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Okanagan Marriage Questions- FAQ's
Getting Married in British Columbia
- Your Marriage License will expire after three months, if it expires there is no extensions, you would have to re-purchase another license.
- If you were recently divorced within the last 31 days, proof of divorce must be provided. No licence is issued until the courts finalize a divorce, normally 31 days after the divorce decree is issued by the Courts.
Apply for a Marriage Licence
- Only one of the couples needs to apply in person for a marriage licence however it is best that both apply. You can also apply for the marriage license online vie a secure government website. https://ecos.vs.gov.bc.ca/ecos_prod/begin.do
- The non-refundable fee for a Marriage Licence is $100 and must be paid at the time of application with appropriate identification is required: Birth certificate, IMM/Immigration form, Permanent Resident or Citizenship card confirming 1) full legal names 2) birth date 3) place of birth should be provided for both parties. You will also be asked to provide information on your current marital status and address.
- If the applicant does not have primary identification for the parties then the following documents may be utilized in a descending order of preference: Driver's Licence, Passport and other documents may also be accepted.
Arrange the Marriage Ceremony
- In British Columbia, couples can choose a religious or civil ceremony, which must be witnessed by two people.
- To perform the ceremony, you can choose a representative who must be registered with the Vital Statistics Agency, under the Marriage Act.
- Make sure you provide the necessary information on your wedding: Date and time of your wedding ceremony, Location and address, Payment of fees to the representative
- Additional information can be helpful, including the number of guests and people in the wedding party, plus any special wardrobe or other requests.
Register the Marriage
- The marriage representative who will perform the wedding ceremony will help complete the Marriage Registration Form. Within 48 hours of the wedding ceremony, the form will be sent to the Vital Statistics Agency, where the marriage will be registered and a legal record will be kept. It can take up to two months to get your Marriage Certificate in the mail.
Proof of Marriage
- At the time of the ceremony, your marriage representative may provide a statement of marriage, which can be used temporarily as proof of marriage. However, it is not a legal document.
- You will receive a legal Marriage Certificate from the Vital Statistics Agency after the registration of the marriage. Again it can take up to 2 months to receive your legal marriage Certificate in the mail.
Which name can I use?
- After marriage, you can continue using or choose to use your own surname at any time. You also gain the right to use your spouse's surname. This does not result in a legal change of name or any automatic change to your identification records. If you choose to use hyphenated surnames, a legal Change of Name is required.
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