Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Quebec, Canada
Allow at least 20 days from arrival in Quebec to wedding date for posting wedding banns. We recommend giving yourself more time due to preparation, weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
Please note that all documents must be submitted in French or English. Contact the Embassy in your home country or your Embassy in Canada for an authorized translator. If your documents are translated, be prepared to submit the original copies in your native language for verification as well as the translated version.
- Original birth certificate or valid passports
- Photo identification (i.e. current driver’s license or passport)
- Divorce decree or death certificates, if applicable. For previous marriages registered outside of Canada, the applicable document should be taken to the prior to applying for a marriage license.
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
Civil and religious ceremonies are recognized in Quebec. The ceremony is preformed in French or English. If either party does not speak French or English, an interpreter should be hired.
Civil officiates include: designated clerks, deputy clerks of the Superior Court, notaries, mayors, members of municipal or borough councils, and any individual authorized by the Minister of Justice. If you have another officiate in mind not previously listed, complete a request 3-4 month prior to a planned wedding date.
Religious officiates may require additional paperwork (i.e. baptismal certificates, certificate of celibacy). For detailed information, contact your religious officiate directly.
- Age and Relation
The bride and groom must be at least 18 years of age. If they are underage, parental consent is necessary. With parental consent, both parties must be at least 16 years of age. Note that the legal age in your home country must be met to be recognized. For example, the United States requires that both parties be 18 years of age for your marriage to be recognized upon your return to the United States. The bride and groom cannot be closely related by blood or adoption.
Two witnesses over 18 years of age must be present for the ceremony and provide identification.
Prenuptials are becoming more popular, but are not mandatory. However, before a couple weds a Matrimonial Regime (property contract) is mandatory to sign.
To apply for a Marriage License, take all paperwork to a Municipal Office Clerk. Both parties must sign the application, but it can be submitted by either party. Keep in mind that the marriage license is only valid for 3 months within Quebec.
Note: A marriage officiated by a clerk or deputy clerk of the Superior Court requires a Civil Marriage-General Information Form. Other officiates do not require this form.
A Notice of Marriage must be posted at the chosen wedding venue and the closest courthouse 20 days prior to the date of the wedding ceremony.
Proceeding the ceremony, the officiate, bride, groom and witnesses complete and sign the Declaration of Marriage.
- The officiate will file the Declaration with the Directeur de l’etat civil who will use this document to draw up the act of marriage. The newlyweds must request a Marriage Certificate or copy of their Act of Marriage.
Note: This information can change at any given moment. For up-to-date information, contact your embassy in the country you plan to marry.
We invite you to contact us with any new information. Be sure to note, “Update Marriage Requirements in Quebec, Canada” in the subject line.