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Who May Marry

Any person who is at least 18 years old may obtain a marriage license or may be married under the authority of the publication of banns, provided no lawful cause exists to hinder the solemnization. A 16 or 17 year old can obtain a marriage license if he receives in writing the consent of both parents in the form prescribed by the regulations. Any person who lacks the capacity to marry by reason of being mentally ill or under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs cannot be married.

Marriage License
Application forms can be optained by mail from the Ministry’s headquarters in Thunder Bay, 189 Red River Road or in Toronto, 900 Bay Street, 2nd floor. They can also be picked up at most municipal offices and some Land Registry offices. The fee is $110.00. To complete the application, the following documents are necessary: birth certificate or passport and, if previously married, a copy of the divorce papers certified by the court. If the bride or groom was divorced outside of Canada, he or she must obtain a foreign divorce kit from the local City Hall.

Publications of Banns
Where a marriage is to be solemnized under the authority of the publication of banns, the intention to marry shall be proclaimed openly in an audible voice during the religious service. The banns shall be published according to the usage of the denomination, faith or creed of the church in which they published.

Prohibited Marriages
Degrees of Affinity and Consanguinity
Section 19 of the Marriage Act requires the form listing the degrees of affinity and consanguinity which bar the lawful solemmnization of marriage, to be endorsed on the license and on the proof of publication of banns. The form states that a man may not marry his: grandmother, grandfathers wife, wifes grandmother, aunt, wife’s aunt, mother, step mother, wifes mother, daughter, son’s wife, sister, granddaughter, grandson’s wife, wife’s granddaughter, niece, and nephew’s wife.

A woman cannot marry her: grandfather, grandmothers husband, husbands grandfather, uncle, husbands uncle, father, step father, husbands father, son, husband’s son, daughters husband, brother, grandson, granddaughter’s husband, husband’s grandson, nephew and niece’s husband.

Time Limits
A wedding cannot be solemnized before the third day after the marriage license is obtained or until the fifth day after the publication of banns. The wedding will have to take place 3 months after obtaining the marriage license.

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