July 2020
Communications From Deputy Registrar General on Marriage Licenses updates

2020-07-16 2:41:32 PM

Note: this post has been edited to fix a link.

On July 13th, the Deputy Ontario Registrar General sent two memos to Ontario Marriage license issuers:
The first memo was with regards to Provincial marriage license fees. As AMCTO posted about last week, Bill 197 proposes changes to the Marriage Act to extend the validity date of licenses. However, until the legislation is passed, there remains a gap between the need to replace the license because of expiry and the potential extension of the expiry date.
The memo therefore provides some guidance on the replacement of unused and expired marriage licences prior to the above-described proposed amendments coming into force:

  • Municipalities may wish to inform impacted couples, depending on the date of their wedding, of the proposed amendments regarding the extension of the validity period as they may not need to obtain a replacement licence.
  • To support couples, who cannot wait for the proposed amendments and need to obtain a replacement licence:
    • Municipalities have discretion as to whether they collect the $75 fee from the couple or assume this cost on their behalf.
    • If a municipality assumes the cost, and issues a licence without collecting a fee, $48 will still be payable to the Province for each blank marriage licence required by the municipality to replenish its stock. 
    • Municipalities may wish to consult their respective legal counsel if they are considering doing so
The second memo was with regard to changes to the Marriage License Application Form:
  • Minor changes were made to the signature fields of the Marriage Licence Application form that is available online to allow applicants to complete it with electronic signatures (i.e., by typing their names into the signature fields).
  • The Requirements Respecting Marriage in Ontario form (Form 11031) as a PDF that is available for download online for easier access by municipalities and the public available here.
The ORG acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges and changes to the signature fields of the form allow municipalities the option of accepting marriage licence applications and copies of required documents via email (in accordance with the municipality’s IT and encryption policies and requirements under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).
AMCTO welcomes the flexibility in the delivery of this service if municipalities so choose and the enhancements to Provincial forms as a first step towards improving administrative efficiency. This change addresses some of the concerns raised by our members on the administratively burdensome process for ensuring marriage licenses meet Provincially directed specifications.
AMCTO will continue its advocacy efforts to modernize life event processes, such as the issuance of marriage licences, which are based on Provincial rules but administered by municipalities.  

Memo to Marriage Licence Issuers re: Provincial Marriage Licence Fees
Memo to Marriage Licence Issuers re: Updates to Marriage Licence Application Form


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