Marriage Licence and Certificate Information
What is the difference between the Marriage Licence and Marriage Certificate?
The Marriage Licence is the document you need to purchase in order to get married. It is the document that is signed during the ceremony then used to register your marriage with Vital Statistics.
The Marriage Certificate is your legal proof of marriage. NOTE Vital Statistics does not automatically send you the certificate. It must be ordered. Here is a link to order online. This is what is needed for change of name purposes.
If you are getting married in Manitoba, you must:
STEP 1: Buy a marriage licence
Buy a marriage licence no less than 24 hours before the marriage and no more than three months. Licence expires after 3 months from time of purchase.
Both must be present to buy the marriage licence from a registered issuer in your area. Click here for a list of marriage licence issuers in Winnipeg or here for a list of issuers outside of Winnipeg.
Be single, divorced, or widowed:
Single - (never married) and over 18 years of age
Divorced persons are required to show one of:
Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute
Widowed - persons whose spouse is deceased must show:
Death Certificate or
Funeral Home Statement of Death or
Obituary clipping from the newspaper
Provide identification for proof of age (18 years or older).
Acceptable documents for identification can include:
Passport or US Passport Card
Citizenship Certificate (Canadian or United States)
Canada Immigration documents
Canadian Armed Forces Identification Card
Government of Canada Indian Status Card
Driver's Licence (photo ID) with one of the following:
Manitoba Health Card
Senior Citizen Card/Old Age Security Card
Change of Name Certificate
Social Insurance Card
A Marriage Licence/Registration of Marriage is a permanent legal document.
When you buy your Marriage Licence/Registration of Marriage, before signing the oath, please read through the entire form to make certain that all fields completed by the issuer are clearly legible, accurate, and fully completed. If there are any omissions or errors on the Marriage Licence/Registration of Marriage, Manitoba law determines how, or even if, changes can be made to a permanent legal record and requires payment of fees to do so.
• Print legibly.
• Don't use abbreviations, nicknames, or initials.
• Use full legal names as they appear on your government issued identification.
• If the name on the marriage registration doesn’t exactly match the name on your identification you may encounter
• Vital Statistics Agency permanently maintains a copy of the registration form exactly as it is received.
Once received by the Agency, it becomes a permanent legal document.
• Do not assume the registration can be changed or corrected later.
• A marriage certificate cannot be issued until the registration is complete, resulting in delays and
inconvenience to newlyweds.
STEP 2: Meet with your officiant
Before your Ceremony Date, you must:
• Make your arrangements with your officiant
• Give your licence and the white self-addressed envelope to your officiant.
STEP 3: Officiant completes Marriage Registration form and sends to Vital Statistics Agency.
After your Ceremony:
• Both parties, your witnesses, and the clergy or marriage commissioner who performed the ceremony must
all sign the Marriage Registration.
Note: Vital Statistics Agency does not automatically issue a Marriage Certificate.
You have to apply for it. You will receive the application when you purchase your Marriage Licence/Registration.
You can also click here for the application. (Sheri will assist you in completing the application form.)
• Marriage Licence: $100.00
• Certificate of Marriage: $30.00 for regular service (current processing time is apx. 6+ months due to pandemic) or $65.00 for rush service (highly recommended) within Canada (processed within a few business days once marriage is registered. Delivery time may be longer depending on when marriage was registered).
(Fees may change without notice)
(source: Manitoba Vital Statistics)
Feel free to contact Vital Statistics or Sheri if you have any further questions.