Marriage

COVID-19 UPDATE: The Marriage Act prohibits couples from being legally married virtually or remotely. Both parties to the marriage must be present in person along with the officiant and two witnesses.

Couples that postpone their wedding to a date after their marriage licence has expired due to COVID-19 may request a refund directly from Vital Statistics by calling 250-952-2681 or toll-free within B.C. 1-888-876-1633.

This section contains information on marriage registration and certificates. Find out how to marry in British Columbia, order a marriage certificate, change a marriage record, and search for a marriage licence issuer or marriage commissioner.

Marriage Commissioners

Marriage commissioners provide couples with flexible nonreligious options for their wedding. Any person performing a marriage ceremony in B.C. must be registered with the Vital Statistics Agency. Use our online search to find a marriage commissioner in your area.

Marriage Licences

At some time in the three months prior to your wedding date, you will need to buy a marriage licence. Only one member of the couple is required to apply for a marriage licence, but he or she must apply in person, and show primary identification for both parties.  

Marriage Registration

At any wedding in British Columbia, the couple, two witnesses and the officiant marrying them must sign the Marriage Licence and Registration of Marriage after the ceremony has been performed.

Marriage Certificates

Every couple marrying in British Columbia receives a marriage certificate by mail once Vital Statistics has registered their marriage. On average, couples receive their marriage certificate three weeks after the wedding takes place.

Search of Marriage Records to Prove Freedom to Marry

If you are planning to marry abroad, the country where you are marrying may require you to prove that you are free to marry.