Marriage Certificate Authentication & Legalization
Free Expert Document Review
Marriage Certificate Authentication in Canada
For your Canadian marriage certificate to be valid in countries abroad, it must first be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada and then legalized by the Embassy of the country where you will be submitting your certificate.
The process of authentication and legalization – sometimes called an apostille, and also attestation – confirms the authenticity of a document.
This guide provides information on the Canadian authentication process, with a step-by-step overview of how you can prepare your marriage certificate for use abroad.
Marriage Certificate Authentication Canada: The Process
Authenticating a marriage certificate is a three-step process:
- Document Preparation
Let’s go into each of these in more detail:
1- How to prepare a Canadian Marriage Certificate for Authentication
You should check with the final recipient of the marriage certificate what is exactly required, including if they require a translation and the accepted marriage certificate format.
You can then order a marriage certificate online by submitting a request on the website of your Province or Territory.
Before you can order a marriage certificate, the marriage needs to be registered. You can order your marriage certificate 6-8 weeks after your officiant sends the completed and signed marriage license to your province.
More information on how to order a marriage certificate is available in the Q&A below.
There is no need to notarize the marriage certificate before submitting it to Global Affairs Canada for step two.
2- How to submit a marriage certificate Canada for authentication
The next step is authentication at Global Affairs Canada Ottawa. Global Affairs Canada will not authenticate a marriage certificate that:
- Is not an original
- Is a notarized copy (if you need a copy, it must be issued by the appropriate vital statistics office)
- Has a signature that’s not verifiable (this shouldn’t be the case if you order your marriage certificate directly from your province)
- Is pocket-sized
- Has been issued by a religious institution
- Is glued or laminated
- Is covered by any substance that makes it difficult to stamp
(If your document has been laminated for safe keeping, you can easily order a new one from your province.)
Once you have your document ready, you can submit it to Global Affairs Canada. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person authentication services are currently unavailable.
You can send your documents by mail instead, and include:
- The authentication request form
- The document you need to be authenticated
- A self-addressed stamped envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label
- Send your documents to the Global Affairs Canada address:
Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
In case of any questions, you can also call the Global Affairs Canada authentication services phone number: 1-833-928-1551
3- How to request legalization of Canadian marriage certificates
The final step is to obtain a legalization stamp from the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be using your document. So, for example, if you need to use your document in Italy, you must get in touch with the Italian embassy to legalize your document, before you can use it successfully in Italy.
A number of embassies ask for supporting documents to process your request. These may include a cover letter, an application form, a copy of your ID or passport, and, in some cases, also a translation.
While completing Step 2 (Authentication) you have the option to ask Global Affairs Canada to forward your documents to an Embassy or consulate in Ottawa on your behalf, for them to complete the legalization step. To do this:
- Select “Forward to an embassy/consulate” in the “Shipping Details” section of the mail-in form
- Provide the embassy or consulate’s full mailing address
- Include a separate, sealed envelope with documents for the embassy
If you choose this option, get in touch with the Embassy or Consulate before you mail your documents to Global Affairs Canada. Failure to follow Global Affairs Canada’s or the Embassy’s instructions may result in your documents being returned to you without having been legalized.
To expedite the process, you can order a marriage certificate from your province and request them to send it directly to us at Document Authentication Canada. We can then complete the entire authentication and legalization process for you, saving you time and money.
Our simple 4-step process helps you authenticate and legalize your Canadian documents in a fast & easy manner.
Start by calling us at 1-855-700-5840 or requesting a quote online. We’ll get back to you in 1 hour.
Not sure if your documents meet the requirements for authentication and legalisation? 👇
Reach out to our experts and receive a Free Document Evaluation.
Once you receive a quote and select a time frame that works best for you. We'll provide you with a final price and help you prepare your documents. When your ready ship your documents to our office in Ottawa: 1103-467 Laurier West, Avenue Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1R 5C7.
We recommend that you use a secure, prepaid and tracked courier service for sending your documents.
Have any questions? Feel free to call us at 1-855-700-5840
After receiving your documents we will take care of the rest. We will make sure your documents get authenticated and legalized within your requested time frame.
Want to stay updated throughout the whole process?
Check out Document Authentication Canada's Document Tracking System.
…and that’s it! After completing the document authentication and legalization process, we will send your documents using the shipping method of your choice.
Remember: With Document Authentication Canada you only pay at the end, once your documents have been completely authenticated and legalized.
Common Questions about Marriage Certificate Authentication and Legalization
Your marriage certificate will not be recognized abroad without stamps proving its authenticity. The process of authentication and legalization (attestation) or apostille tells authorities in foreign countries that the document has been obtained legally and that it can be used for official processes.
The process involves both the country that issued the document and the country where the document will be used. Without this process, it would be difficult for a country to prove that a document issued in a foreign country is genuine.
In Canada, the process to follow is called authentication and legalization. Without these stamps, your document will not be valid abroad.
An apostille is a stamp that authenticates the seals and signatures of the officials who appear on a public document. It tells authorities in foreign countries that the document has been obtained legally and that it can be used for official processes.
An apostille marriage certificate is a certificate that has been prepared for recognition abroad. You may have been asked for an apostille if you’re applying for a visa, family reunification, and registration of marriage abroad, among other reasons.
In Canada, you cannot apostille your marriage certificate. Instead, you can authenticate it and get it legalized by the Embassy of the country where you will be using it. This is an accepted equivalent to an apostille
Global Affairs Canada can authenticate the following documents:
- Marriage certificates are issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office.
- Marriage search letter issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office. You do not need to notarize your marriage search letter if it includes the original signature or seal of the appropriate vital statistics registrar. If not, you must notarize it before submitting to Global Affairs Canada.
Global Affairs Canada’s current processing time is 15 days, but this excludes mailing time, and the time it takes for the Embassy or consulate to complete the legalization step. The whole process can easily take from 4 to 6 weeks, more if you do not submit the correct documents.
If you don’t have all this time available, you can choose to outsource the process to experts who can navigate all the steps accurately and efficiently. At Document Authentication Canada, we can get a marriage certificate authenticated, legalized and ready for use abroad in just 3 to 5 days. Get in touch with us for a free quote!
You do not need to translate your Canadian marriage certificate for it to be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada as they accept documents in English and French.
However, you should check with the entity abroad where you will be using your documents, to see what their requirements are. To complete the legalization step of the process, you should also consult that country’s Embassy or Consulate for language requirements at their end.
You can order a new marriage certificate using the respective Canadian Province’s or Territory’s online service:
To order a marriage certificate, the marriage must have been registered and you’ll also need to provide:
- First and last names or single names of both parties to the marriage
- Dates of birth of both parties to the marriage
- Date of marriage
- Name of city, reserve, or town where the marriage took place
You can order a Marriage Certificate, a certified copy of marriage registration, or a search letter.
Quick Canada Marriage Certificate Authentication
This guide has provided all you should know about ordering a marriage certificate in Canada and then getting it authenticated and legalized, ready for use abroad.
Preparing the marriage certificate and then submitting it to Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy or consulate concerned can be a complicated and lengthy process. There are multiple entities involved, as well as specific procedures to follow.
At Document Authentication Canada, we help facilitate the legalization of marriage certificates and other documents in Canada. We navigate through the bureaucracy on your behalf so that you avoid unnecessary delays. Get in touch with our expert team on 1-855-700-5840 to request a quote and a free document evaluation.
Get your documents authenticated now!
Save up to 21 Business days. Request a quote and get a free expert document evaluation today!