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Divorced outside of Canada? Here are the steps to get married in Canada.

If you were married and divorced outside of Canada, you must get authorization from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services before you can get a marriage licence in Ontario.

To get the authorization, complete these forms and steps:

  • Marriage Licence Application ;

  • Statement of Sole Responsibility for your divorce, signed by you and your new partner; (signed by both people who are planning to get married and a witness)

  • An original or court-certified copy (certified by the proper court officer in the place the divorce or annulment was granted) of the divorce decree or annulment. If they are in a language other than English or French, you must include a translated copy and an affidavit sworn by a certified translator; and

  • A legal opinion letter from an Ontario lawyer, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in the Province of Ontario. The letter should be addressed to both people who plan to get married, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in Ontario. The Office of the Registrar General will fax a sample legal opinion letter to your lawyer if they call 1-800-461-2156.

The government needs to validate these documents. This process can take up to 4 weeks once it is received*. Send the completed forms to:

The Office of the Registrar General Marriage Office P.O. Box 4600 189 Red River Rd. Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6L8

If you need to expedite this process, send a letter of urgency with the package via courier. Use Express Post envelopes that do not require signatures because it goes to a mail room.

Causes for delays include: applicants not having everything signed, lawyer not completing the legal opinion letter fully and not responding quickly to returned applications.

Note: Completed Foreign Divorce Authorizations are sent back to applicants by courier. It is important that your full mailing address including suite/unit/apartment and buzzer number is included on the marriage licence application form, or the courier package cannot be delivered and returned to Service Ontario.

If you are concerned that you may miss the courier when they come, one option is to request that your Foreign Divorce Authorization be sent to a Purolator Delivery Center (for example, I use the one at Dundee Square: 1 Adelaide St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 2V9). Do not provide the Registrar with the Purolator's phone number, but your own so the Delivery Center will call you when the package has been received.

*Using a courier will take 2 days for delivery rather than regular mail, which takes 5-7 days. All packages go to one mail room, so the one person who does all the Foreign Divorce Applications (yes ...1 person... Ford Freeze has cut down on hiring at the same time these applications have significantly increased for that one poor lady processing them!) and it takes 1-2 days to get to her Office. So total maximum time, if your application is perfect, 4 weeks plus 2 days.

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