The Solemnization of Marriage Act requires that you obtain a marriage license before getting married in Nova Scotia. The license does not mean that you are married, but that you may get married. The license will expire one year from date of issuance.
Either party to the intended marriage must apply in person to a Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licenses in their community (find a location near you ).
Only one member of the couple needs to apply for the license, but you will be asked to provide identification and proof of age for both parties to the intended marriage. Information required with identification will include:
Full name, including given names, age, marital status and current address.
The fee for a marriage license is $106.50
There is a five day waiting period between the day of application for the license and the date of issuance.
Who can get Married?
Anyone over 19 years of age is eligible to apply for a marriage license in Nova Scotia.
Anyone under 19 years of age must first obtain the consent of both parents. Your local Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licenses has the required consent forms.
No one under the age of 16 years can be married without the consent of the Court.
You do not have to be a Nova Scotia resident in order to be married here, but the license is only valid in this Province.
If you are living outside Canada or are from another province please read the requirements for purchasing a marriage license in Nova Scotia. If you are not able to apply for the marriage license in person at least 5 days prior to the wedding at a Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licenses in the community in which you will be married, please contact Vital Statistics for further information.
Blood tests are not required under Nova Scotia legislation.
If one or both of the intended parties was divorced, final proof of divorce (called Certificate of Divorce or Decree Absolute) must be provided when applying for a marriage license. If the divorce occurred in another country and the final divorce papers are in another language, a copy of the translated document will be required.
If one or both of the intended parties was widowed, proof of death must be provided.
The Marriage Ceremony
In Nova Scotia, couples can choose a religious or civil ceremony. Either type of ceremony must be witnessed by two people who are at least 16 years of age.
Religious ceremonies are performed by a religious representative of your choice, as long as they are registered with Nova Scotia Vital Statistics under the Solemnization of Marriage Act.
Civil ceremonies are performed by a Justice of the Peace or Judge. Contact the Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licenses to obtain a list of Justices of the Peace authorized to perform marriages. You can also get this list of Justices of the Peace from the Department of Justice website.
Registering the Marriage
The religious representative or Justice of the Peace or Judge who performs the ceremony will also help to complete the necessary Marriage Registration Form.
This form is then sent within 48 hours of the marriage ceremony by the religious representative or Justice of the Peace or Judge to the Deputy Issuer who returns it to the Vital Statistics office, where the marriage is registered and a legal record is kept.
At the time of the ceremony, your religious representative or Justice of the Peace or Judge will provide you with a certificate of marriage. This certificate is a "memento" document, and is not legal proof of marriage.
After the marriage, and following the receipt and registration of the Marriage Registration Form, you may apply to Vital Statistics for an official Marriage Certificate, which is legal proof of marriage.
The short form marriage certificate contains the following information:
Cost of Certificate: $26.50
The long form marriage certificate is actually a restricted and certified photographic copy of the original marriage registration, it is available to either party to the marriage or to another person upon written consent from either party to the marriage. The long form marriage certificate may contain the following information of both parties to the marriage:
Place of Marriage
Given and Surname
Trade or Profession
Place of Birth
Full name of Parents
Birthplace of Parents
Cost of Certificate: $32.00
For further information visit www.gov.ns.ca photography by Joseph Chater Moments in Time Photography 902.830.3232