An Alberta marriage licence must be obtained before a marriage can be performed in Alberta. A marriage licence shows a marriage officiant that all the laws in Alberta have been met and the couple may get married.
- Alberta Marriage Licences are available from a registry agent office.
- A registry agent issues a two part document. The top part is a Registration of Marriage and the bottom part is the marriage licence.
- The full document (Registration of Marriage and Marriage Licence) must be given to the marriage officiant that will be performing the marriage.
- The document must be kept in good condition and not folded.
- A marriage licence is valid for three months from the date the marriage licence is issued.
- An Alberta Marriage Licence is only valid for an Alberta marriage; the wedding must take place in Alberta.
- A wedding may take place the same day a marriage licence is issued; there is no waiting time.
- In Alberta a person cannot marry his/her grandparent, parent, child, sibling or grandchild that is related by whole blood, half blood or adoption.
- A couple cannot be under the influence of a drug and/or alcohol when applying for a marriage licence.
- A couple must apply together for their marriage licence. Some exceptions may apply, check with a registry agent for details.
- There is no time period that must pass between the date a couple arrives in Alberta and the date a marriage licence is issued.
- There are no residency requirements.
- There are no citizenship requirements.
- Blood tests are not required.
- Banns are not acceptable in place of a marriage licence.
- When a marriage licence is issued, review the Registration of Marriage and Marriage Licence document very closely for errors before leaving the registry agent office. Always have errors corrected immediately.
- Before the ceremony takes place, errors may be corrected by a registry agent.
- After the ceremony takes place, errors must be corrected by an amendment.
Marriage Licence Requirements
- A person must be 18 years old or older.
- When a person is younger than 18 all parents and legal guardians must consent to the marriage licence being issued unless other conditions apply. Check with a registry agent for full details.
- No one younger than 16 years of age may marry.
Proof of Identity
- Each person getting married must show acceptable identification.
- When one person does not have acceptable identification, that person may provide his/her birth certificate or immigration document and the other person must have the acceptable identification.
- To obtain a marriage licence, a couple cannot already be married to each other or someone else.
- A person's legal marital status must be: never been married, divorced or widowed.
- When a person's marital status is divorced, proof of divorce is needed.
- The divorce document provided must be the final document (e.g., Certificate of Divorce, Decree Absolute, etc.).
- A divorce document that says a marriage is dissolved in X amount of time is not acceptable as there is no way to know if the final documents were filed or the divorce was contested during that time.
- Divorce documents that are not in English must have a notarized translation. Check with a registry agent for translation requirements.
- When a person's marriage was annulled, a copy of the court ordered annulment must be provided.
- When an annulment has been granted, the person's marital status reverts back to what it was before the annulled marriage took place. The previous marital status may have to be proven; e.g.,
- when the marital status before the annulment was divorced, the divorced marital status must be proven in addition to providing a copy of the court ordered annulment.
- when the previous marital status is never been married, only the court ordered annulment is needed.
- Annulment documents that are not in English must have a notarized translation. Check with a registry agent for translation requirements.
- When a person is widowed, a death certificate of the deceased spouse is not needed.
- Never Been Married
- When a person has never been legally married, no further documents are needed.
- Both persons getting married must be fluent in English; otherwise an interpreter is needed.
- When the registry agent employee issuing the marriage licence is fluent in the other language, then that registry agent employee may be the interpreter and issue the marriage licence.
- When an interpreter is needed, it is the couple's responsibility to provide one.
- An interpreter must be 18 years of age or older.
- The interpreter must be fluent in both English and the language requiring translation.
- The couple applying for a marriage licence cannot interpret/translate for each other.
- The couple getting married must swear/affirm one or more affidavits.
- The couple getting married must provide their parents' birth place and full names (including mother's maiden name).
- When either person getting married is hearing, speech or visually impaired, additional requirements may apply; check with a registry agent for details.
- When either person getting married is cognitively impaired and has a court ordered guardian appointed, additional requirements apply; check with a registry agent for details.