Purchasing a marriage license can be a confusing task. What's the difference between a license and a certificate? How do I get each one? What do they cost? Where can I find one?
I will start this off by saying that you could be reading this blog months or years after it has been posted, so be sure to check in with Vital Statistics for the most up to date information.
The marriage license can be purchased from 24 hours to 3 months prior to the wedding date from a list of authorized issuers.
The cost is $100, there are no taxes or additional fees on top of this.
Once you purchase the license, you will leave with it at that time. Keep it in a safe place so you don't misplace it. This is what you will be signing at the ceremony.
You will also receive a postage paid envelope for your officiant to mail your license in for you, after the wedding as well as an application for a marriage document.
You must both be present to buy the marriage licence, no exceptions. You must both be single. If you are divorced you must provide a divorce certificate. If you are widowed, you must provide a death certificate, a funeral home statement or an obituary clipping from the newspaper.
You must both provide acceptable documents for identification as follows:
- Acceptable documents for identification can include:
- Birth Certificate
- Passport or US Passport Card
- Citizenship Certificate (Canadian or United States)
- Canada Immigration documents
- Canadian Armed Forces Identification Card
- Government of Canada Indian Status Card
- Driver's Licence (photo ID) with one of the following:
- Manitoba Health Card
- Senior Citizen Card/Old Age Security Card
- Change of Name Certificate
- Social Insurance Card
A Marriage Licence/Registration of Marriage is a permanent legal document.
When you buy your Marriage Licence/Registration of Marriage, before signing the oath, please read through the entire form to make certain that all fields completed by the issuer are clearly legible, accurate, and fully completed. If there are any omissions or errors on the Marriage Licence/Registration of Marriage, Manitoba law determines how, or even if, changes can be made to a permanent legal record and requires payment of fees to do so.
- Print legibly.
- Don't use abbreviations, nicknames, or initials.
- Use full legal names as they appear on your government issued identification.
- If the name on the marriage registration doesn't exactly match the name on your identification you may encounter difficulties.
- Vital Statistics Agency permanently maintains a copy of the registration form exactly as it is received. Once received by the Agency, it becomes a permanent legal document.
- Do not assume the registration can be changed or corrected later.
- A marriage certificate cannot be issued until the registration is complete, resulting in delays and inconvenience to newlyweds.
The person who sells you the marriage license can not officiate your wedding, these must be two separate people.
We well marriage licenses from our home office as well. If you are in need of a license, let's chat.