Red Tape Made Easy BC marriage licenses, ceremonies & registrations @ a glance


Marriage applications, licenses, proof, name changes and all of the other details that go into getting married in British Columbia can mean wading through a little bit of red tape. But in honour of the many fabulous BC brides we’ve met recently, we’ve gone through the info and broken it down into on managable point form list for you! Marriage licenses, ceremonies, marriage registration forms, how to do it, where to do it and how much it’ll cost…

Marriage Licence Applications

  • DO NOT have to be a BC resident
  • Marriage Licence valid for only three months & only valid in BC
  • Must be 19+ years old OR have consent of both parents
  • If you’re under 16, you mst have consent of Supreme or County Court
  • If divorced, proof of divorce required.
  • No licence is issued until the courts finalize a divorce, normally 31 days after the divorce decree is issued by the Courts.
  • Blood test NOT required
  • Only one member of the couple required to apply for marriage license
  • To find an issuer, look here
  • Marriage Licence fee is $100 (non-refundable, valid for 3 mths)
  • ID 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
  • Credit Card
  • Bank Card
  • Other documents may also be accepted.


Religious or civil ceremonies are okay and two witnesses are required

Officiant/religious representative must be registered with Vital Statistics Agency, under the Marriage Act

Civil ceremonies are performed by marriage commissioners

If you plan to have a civil ceremony, contact and book a marriage commissioner as soon as possible once you set your wedding date.

Approved wedding ceremonies are here but you can make changes with marriage commissioner (bold text = mandatory for BC civil ceremonies).

Proof of Marriage & Registering your marriage

When you say I Do, your marriage commissions/religious representative may provide a statement of marriage. This is good for temporary proof of marriage, however it’s not technically a legal document.

Marriage commission/religious representative will complete te Marriage Registration Form and send it to Vital Statistics Agency within 48 hours. That’s where your marriage is registered and a record is kept..

After your wedding, you will receive a legal Marriage Certificate from the Vital Statisticss Agency.

Name change Options

  • Continue using your own surname
  • Use your spouse’s surname (doesn’t result in legal change of name or any automatic change to ID)
  • Use hyphenated surnames, which requires a legal Change of Name


– information is gathered by the team at The Ring March 2017 via British Columbia’s website @ While we strive to strive to make sure all our research is accurate, fees and restrictions can change at any time. Please confirm prices and details with your City Hall to avoid unwanted surprises.