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Getting Married

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GettingMarried At Service New Brunswick, we understand that marriage is an exciting time in a couple's life. While there are certain steps you'll need to follow before and after your wedding takes place, our aim is to make this experience as stress-free as possible. We've prepared this brochure to help answer questions you may have about getting married in New Brunswick.

FrequentlyAsked Questions 1. What constitutes a legal marriage? 1) A legal marriage may take place as either a civil or a religious ceremony. This ceremony may be performed anywhere in New Brunswick, as long as the person performing the marriage is authorized to do so. 2) Civil marriages are performed by Clerks and Deputy Clerks of the Court of Queen’s Bench in New Brunswick. Only a lawyer may be appointed a civil officiant. To arrange a civil ceremony you can contact one of eight jusdicial district offices of the Clerk of the Court of Queen’s Bench using the addresses and telephone numbers listed on the last page of this brochure. 3) Religious marriage ceremonies are performed by clerics of churches and religious denominations recognized under the Marriage Act. In order to be registered, the governing authority of the recognized church or religious denomination will apply on behalf of the cleric to the Vital Statistics Office. Your cleric can advise you whether he or she is registered under the Marriage Act to solemnize marriage in New Brunswick.

2. What is a marriage licence? In the province of New Brunswick, every couple must obtain a marriage licence before getting married. A marriage licence confirms that an engaged couple is legally entitled to wed. You'll need to present this document to the person who is going to perform your marriage before the ceremony takes place.

3. What information and documentation is required from us when applying for a marriage licence in New Brunswick? A couple applying for a marriage licence will need to take the following steps. 1) You will need to know the date on which you are going to be married in addition to the name and address of the person who is going to perform your marriage. 2) You and your future spouse must appear before the Issuer of Marriage Licences, with whom you will each have a separate interview. All information disclosed during the meeting will be kept strictly confidential. 3) At this time, applicants for a marriage licence are required to provide proof of their age and identity by presenting documentation such as: • Birth Certificate • Current Passport • Canadian Citizenship Card • Record of Landing/Canadian Permanent Resident Card 4) If you are divorced or have received a civil annulment, you will have to provide proof of your current marital status. It is the responsibility of the couple to ensure proper documents are obtained prior to applying for a Marriage Licence.

Acceptable proof of divorce includes the following: • Certificate of Divorce • Decree Absolute • Final Decree, Final Judgement or Order granting a divorce The above documents must be original forms, or copies certified by the stamp, seal and/or signature of an official of the judicial district where the divorce was granted. Uncertified photocopies will not be accepted. Documents issued by Canadian jurisdictions entitled “Divorce Order, Divorce Judgement, Decree Nisi or Conditional Judgement” are not acceptable as final proof of divorce. If you have received a civil annulment, a court certified copy of this document must be presented to the Issuer of Marriage Licences. Please note a religious annulment is not an acceptable document when applying for a marriage licence. Similarly, if you have been widowed, you must present proof of the death of your former spouse. This may include: • Death Certificate issued by the Vital Statistics Office • Funeral Directors Statement of Death If any of the documents mentioned above were issued in a language other than French or English, you will need to provide a translation completed by a qualified, impartial translator. 5) Before receiving a marriage licence, you will also have to complete and sign an “Affidavit on Application for a Marriage Licence”. You will both be asked to solemnly swear or affirm that the information you have provided is true before signing this form.

4. What if one of us can't appear in person before the Issuer of Marriage Licences? Only one person may be excused from appearing before the Issuer of Marriage Licences. In the event that either you or your partner must be absent, a “Personal Attendance Excused� form may be obtained from a Service New Brunswick service centre. This form must be completed and witnessed in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths. If the form is completed outside of New Brunswick, it must be witnessed by a Notary Public. Whomever appears before the Marriage Licence Issuer must then bring this form and any supporting documentation when applying for the licence.

5. Where can we get a marriage licence in New Brunswick? Marriage licences are available at SNB service centre locations throughout the province. For further information go online to to find the nearest centre that offers this service. Or, you may call 1-888-762-8600 toll-free within North America, or 1-506-684-7901 outside North America.

6. How much does a marriage licence cost? The fee is $100.

7. How long will our marriage licence be valid? A marriage licence is valid for three months from its date of issue. If it expires before your marriage ceremony is held, you will have to apply for another marriage licence.

8. Can we acquire our marriage licence in New Brunswick, but get married in another province, territory or country? No. You must obtain your marriage licence in the province/territory/country where your wedding will take place. For example, if you intend to get married in Hawaii, you will have to acquire a licence from that state. For further information, please contact the authorities where you wish to be married.

9. Do we need to register our marriage in New Brunswick if we were married elsewhere? No. The Vital Statistics Office only registers marriages that have occurred within New Brunswick, regardless of whether or not you are a New Brunswick resident. This means that the province/territory/country where the marriage took place will register your marriage according to its own laws. In the future, proof of marriage must therefore be obtained from the province/territory/country where your marriage occurred.

10. Can we get married right away? Yes. As long as your application is in order, there is no waiting period: your licence will be issued immediately.

11. If we lose or damage our marriage licence, how do we replace it? If you lose your marriage licence or cannot read it clearly due to a stain or tear, please contact the Service New Brunswick service centre that issued your licence for replacement instructions.

12. Can a cleric from outside New Brunswick preside at our wedding? If you would like a cleric who resides outside of New Brunswick to solemnize your marriage, he/she must obtain a temporary registration permit from Service New Brunswick’s Vital Statistics Office. In order for this to occur, the governing authority of a recognized church or religious denomination will have to make an application to the Vital Statistics Office on behalf of the visiting cleric. We recommend that this application be submitted at least one month prior to the marriage to allow sufficient time for processing. Please note that not all applicants may be authorized to solemnize a marriage in New Brunswick.

13. Can an individual, who is not a registered cleric or an appointed clerk/deputy clerk of the Court of Queen’s Bench, be granted a temporary registration permit to preside at our wedding? No. Only clerics registered with the Vital Statistics Office by recognized churches/religious denominations and lawyers appointed as deputy clerks are eligible in New Brunswick to perform marriage ceremonies.

14. How old do we have to be to get married in New Brunswick? In order to marry without the consent of your parents or Guardians, both you and your partner must have been previously married, or be at least 18 years of age.

15. How can we get married if we’re not of legal age? If you are 16 or 17 years old and have never married, your parents or guardians must sign an affidavit of consent. If either of you are under sixteen years of age, a marriage licence shall not be issued nor a marriage solemnized unless an application is made and a declaration received from a Judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench.

16. Is there anyone that I’m not allowed to marry? According to the “Prohibited Degrees of Consanguinity Barring Lawful Solemnization of Marriage in Canada,” a person cannot marry their: • Mother

• Father

• Daughter

• Son

• Sister

1 2


• Brother 2

• Grandmother

• Grandfather

• Granddaughter

• Grandson

or half-sister, including sister by adoption or half-brother, including brother by adoption

17. What name do I sign on the Marriage Registration Form and Marriage Certificate after the ceremony? These documents must be signed with the names indicated on your marriage licence in order to properly identify who was married. Note that this signature does not reflect your choice of marital surname, if you should decide to change it.

18. What surname may I use after I’m married? Who should I notify if I change my surname? After you have been married, you and/or your spouse may choose to assume a marital surname. You have several options, including: a) Keeping your registered birth surname, which is the name listed on your birth certificate. b) Keeping the surname you retained from a previous marriage, if it was used immediately prior to your present marriage. c) Assuming the surname of your spouse. d) Assuming a combination surname comprised of both your surnames, with or without a hyphen. It should be noted that assuming a spouse’s surname after marriage does not alter your birth certificate. Since it doesn't constitute a legal name change, no notice of a change in surname will be issued by Vital Statistics, or any other government office. However, you may use the Form 10 “Marriage Certificate” given to you by the Marriage Officiant to change your surname on other documentation, such as your provincial driver's licence, vehicle registration or Medicare card. In order to do so, you will need to present your Marriage Certificate at your nearest Service New Brunswick service centre. Please note that specific offices may require additional documentation to make these changes, and that you are responsible for contacting such offices to determine what additional documents (e.g. a birth, marriage, death or divorce certificate) must be presented in order for the change to be processed. For more information, please call 1-888-762-8600.

19. Who can be a witness to our marriage? There must be two witnesses to your marriage. When choosing who your witnesses will be, keep in mind that both must be nineteen years of age or older, as they will be required to sign the Registration of Marriage form on the day of your wedding.

20. Does New Brunswick law require my partner and I to have a blood test before we get married? You are not legally required to have a blood test prior to marriage in New Brunswick.

21. Where can we get a copy of our marriage certificate after we are married? After the marriage ceremony, you will be given the Form 10 “Marriage Certificate�. You may also require or wish to own a registered copy of your certificate of marriage. If this is the case, a certificate may be applied for: 1. At all Service New Brunswick service centres located throughout the province. 2. Online at Complete application details may be obtained by visiting or by telephoning 1-888-762-8600 toll-free within North America, or 1-506-684-7901 outside North America.

ClerksoftheCourtof Queen’s Bench Bathurst Court of Queen’s Bench P.O. Box 5001 Court House, 254 St. Patrick Street Bathurst, NB E2A 3Z9 Tel: (506) 547-2150

Campbellton Court of Queen’s Bench City Centre Bldg 157 Water Street, 2nd Floor - Room 202 Campbellton, NB E3N 3H5 Tel: (506)789-2364

Edmundston Court of Queen’s Bench P.O. Box 5001 121 Church Street, Suite 231 Edmundston, NB E3V 1V9 Tel: (506) 735-2028

Fredericton Court of Queen’s Bench P.O. Box 6000 427 Queen Street, Room 207 Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1 Tel: (506) 453-2015

Miramichi Court of Queen’s Bench Miramichi Law Courts 673 King George Highway, Suite 109 Miramichi, NB E1V 1N6 Tel: (506) 627-4023

Moncton Court of Queen’s Bench P.O. Box 5001 770 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 207 Moncton, NB E1C 8R3 Tel: (506) 856-2304

Saint John Court of Queen’s Bench P.O. Box 5001 110 Charlotte Street 4th Floor, Room 413 Saint John, NB E2L 4Y9 Tel: (506) 658-2560

Woodstock Court of Queen’s Bench P.O. Box 5001 689 Main Street Woodstock, NB, E7M 5C6 Tel: (506) 325-4414

Service New Brunswick, Getting Married  

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