Apply for a Marriage Licence
To get married in Nova Scotia, you need to have a Marriage Licence before you have a marriage ceremony. The licence is valid for 3 months from the date it’s issued.
You need to have a Marriage Licence to get married in Nova Scotia. You need the licence before you have a marriage ceremony.
Having a Marriage Licence doesn’t mean you’re married. It means you’re allowed to get married. The licence is valid for 3 months from the date it’s issued.
You can choose a religious or civil ceremony.
A religious representative of your choice may perform the religious ceremony. The representative needs to be registered with Vital Statistics.
A justice of the peace or judge may perform the civil ceremony if they’re registered with Vital Statistics.
You need to have 2 people who are at least 16 years old witness the ceremony.
Certificate of marriage
At the time of the ceremony, your religious representative, justice of the peace or judge will give you a memento certificate. This document is not legal proof of marriage.
After a marriage is registered, you can apply for an official Marriage Certificate, which is legal proof of marriage.
Getting married outside Nova Scotia
If you're planning to get married outside of Nova Scotia, you need to contact the jurisdiction where the marriage ceremony will take place for licensing and registration requirements.
You can get married in Nova Scotia if you’re 19 or older and not currently married. If you’re 16 to 18, you can get married if you have written consent from your parents or guardians. You can’t get married if you’re 15 or younger.
Both people getting married need to complete the Marriage Licence Application and Affidavit Form. The Affidavit Form needs to be witnessed by an authorized agent. If both parties are not available to apply in person, contact Vital Statistics. You can apply for a licence and get married in Nova Scotia even if you don’t live in the province.
How to apply
- Visit Access Nova Scotia or a Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licences in your community.
- Complete the application form they give you.
- Check the application for details on all required supporting documents.
- Include payment with your application.
- Give your completed application, supporting documents and payment to the Deputy Issuer.
- The Deputy Issuer gives you a Marriage Licence.
- Give your Marriage Licence to your religious representative, justice of the peace or judge before the marriage ceremony.
How long it takes
You should get the licence right away. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your form hasn’t been filled in correctly.
See all fees for Vital Statistics certificates, licences and services.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, debit card, cheque, money order, cash. A cheque or money order should be made payable to the Minister of Finance. Payment options may vary depending on how you apply.
Before you start
Make sure you have:
- signed piece of government-issued identification and proof of age for both people getting married (identification can't be expired)
- proof of divorce if either person getting married is divorced (original Certificate of Divorce or Decree Absolute), along with the affidavit
- proof of death if either person getting married is widowed
- written consent of your parents or guardians, if required (the Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licences has the required consent form)