Religious Organization and Clergy Registration

Religious organizations seeking authority for their clergy/religious representative to perform Alberta marriages must apply to Vital Statistics for their registration.

The religious organization must be recognized by Vital Statistics.

  • The religious body must be functioning and incorporated within Alberta for a period of at least three years; or alternatively, demonstrate that they have been established and incorporated in Canada for a minimum of three years and have been recognized for the purpose of solemnizing marriages in at least one other province.
  • The religious body must have a church or congregation established in Alberta at the time of its application to Vital Statistics.
  • The religious organization must complete an Application for Registration by a Religious Body to Perform Marriage Ceremonies (pdf form).
  • The religious organization must provide a copy of the following:
    • Certificate of Incorporation, and related incorporation documents from Service Alberta, Corporate Registry, issued according to the Societies Act, the Religious Societies’ Land Act, or the Companies Act, or as an Extra-Provincial Organization under the Business Corporations Act.
    • Constitution and by-laws of the religious body, including provision for ordination, appointment and dismissal of ministers, clergy and religious representatives. 
    • Religious sacraments, tenets, religious beliefs, etc; including the marriage ceremony.
    • Proposed marriage certificate that is to be given to couples at time of marriage ceremony.
  • The religious organization must also provide the following information:
    • Date and place of incorporation or founding of the religious body, and length of continuous operation in Alberta.
    • Address of the regular meeting place(s); scheduled working days and hours of worship.
    • Number of members/believers 18 years of age or older and living in Alberta.
    • Names, address and telephone numbers of clergy living in Alberta to be registered to perform marriages.
    • Name, address and telephone number for the governing authority (e.g. chairman, president, elder – elected to represent the organization to Vital Statistics), including minutes from scheduled meetings and/or appointment documents confirming their representation.
  • This documentation may include, but is not restricted to the above noted items.
  • The religious organization must have a governing authority appointed.

The qualification of an application for recognition is determined on an individual basis. At its discretion, Vital Statistics may ask for further documents to verify continuity and proof of existence, proof of ordination, proof of registration in another jurisdiction, etc.

Once a religious organization has been recognized by Vital Statistics, the governing authority is responsible for submitting the names of the clergy for registration for performing marriages in Alberta.

  • Restrictions may apply to clergy/religious representatives that may be registered.

For more information regarding application and registration criteria contact Vital Statistics.