In Saskatchewan, marriages between two individuals may be solemnized, or legalized, through a religious or civil ceremony.
Only certain clergy can perform religious ceremonies.
Marriage commissioners perform civil ceremonies. Marriage commissioners must be registered with the Marriage Unit, Family Justice Services, Saskatchewan Justice.
Clergy and marriage commissioners must be registered in Saskatchewan according to The Marriage Act, 1995.
Name Change Information
I have, on occasion, had couples contact me after their wedding asking why documentation has not been sent to them that would allow them to proceed with changing their name. It is my understanding from EHealth Saskatchewan Vital Statistics > Registry, that once you are married you assume your husband's name and that there is nothing to apply for in this regard. If you want to change your name on your personal documents, for example your driver's license, it would involve you contacting SGI directly to do this. I do not send you any documentation after you have been married other than giving you an "unofficial" Marriage Certificate (which the Marriage Unit issues us as Marriage Commissioners to give to you after your marriage ceremony) that you might want to save as a keepsake. If you require an "Official" Marriage Certificate for whatever reasons, you must apply through EHealth Saskatchewan Vital Statistics > Registry.
Can a Justice of the Peace perform marriages?
No. A Justice of the Peace cannot marry people unless he or she is a Marriage Commissioner.
In Saskatchewan, couples who want to marry must purchase a Saskatchewan Marriage Licence. This law came into effect on October 1, 1992.
The Marriage Amendment Act, 1992 eliminates the "publication of Banns" form as a prerequisite to marriage. Banns are the public announcement of a proposed marriage. Banns may still be read for religious purposes.
If either of the prospective spouses is unable to understand or speak English or French, they must arrange for an independent interpreter to be present when purchasing the marriage licence.
Where can marriage licences be purchased?
Saskatchewan marriage licences are purchased from marriage licence issuers. Jewellery stores or town administrators in Saskatchewan generally provide this service.
Marriage licences purchased outside Saskatchewan are not valid for marriage in Saskatchewan. For example, couples purchasing an Alberta Marriage Licence must be married in Alberta.
When should we purchase the marriage licence?
The marriage licence must be purchased at least one day prior to the wedding day. However, it cannot be purchased more than three months or 90 days in advance.
Do we need to show identification?
Identification must be presented to the marriage licence issuer.
- Canadian citizens must present a valid driver's licence or birth certificate.
- Residents outside of Canada must present their birth certificate.
- Landed immigrants must present a valid birth certificate and landed immigrant papers.
What is the statutory declaration?
The statutory declaration is a series of questions and information, located on the back of the marriage licence.
When applying for the marriage licence, the prospective spouses must complete and sign the statutory declaration in the presence of the marriage licence issuer. The statutory declaration must be read to the parties to prove that they fully understand the content. This includes reading the "Degrees of Consanguinity" which may bar the solemnization of the marriage.
What "Degree of Consanguinity" would bar the solemnization of marriage?
Degrees of consanguinity refer to the relationship between the prospective spouses.
An individual may not marry his or her:
The relationships above include all relationships, whether by whole or half blood or adoption.
What is the age of majority in Saskatchewan?
The age of majority is 18 years. There are certain restrictions that apply to minors.
Persons 16 or 17 years of age
A Saskatchewan "Consent to Marriage of a Minor" form much be signed and completed by the parent(s) or guardian(s). They must sign the consent form in the presence of a Saskatchewan marriage licence issuer, clergy or any person authorized to take affidavits.
Consent forms can be obtained from a Saskatchewan marriage licence issuer or from the Marriage Unit.
If the parent(s) or guardian(s) refuse to consent to the marriage, the minor can apply to a judge of either the provincial or Queen's Bench court for an order dispensing with their consent. The minor may obtain the judge's order by applying to a court house in Saskatchewan.
Persons 15 year of age or under
If either party of the prospective marriage is under 16 years of age, no licence will be issued and no marriage will be solemnized. However, an order from a Provincial Court judge can override this. The minor may obtain the judge's order by applying to a courthouse in Saskatchewan. In addition, the "Consent to Marriage of a Minor" form must be completed and attached to the statement.
Previously Married Persons
What documentation is required for persons who were previously married?
If either of the prospective spouses is divorced, evidence of the termination of the marriage must be presented to the marriage licence issuer when purchasing the marriage licence. The following documents are acceptable as proof of the dissolution of marriage:
- the original or a court certified copy of the "Decree Absolute" of Divorce; or
- the original or court certified copy of the "Certificate of Divorce".
The preliminary document (a Judgment, an Order, or a Decree Nisi) are not accepted as proof of divorce in Saskatchewan. Church annulment papers are not acceptable.
The correct divorce documents can be obtained from the court in the province or state in which the marriage was dissolved.
All divorce documents must be translated into English or French by an independent translator. The translator must include his or her name, complete address and telephone number.
The original or court certified copy of the "Decree of Annulment" of marriage is acceptable. This document can be obtained from the "Custodian of Registrations of Annulment of Marriages" in the province or state in which the marriage was annulled. Church annulment papers are not acceptable.
Parties cannot remarry until 30 days after the annulment is granted.
If either of the prospective spouses was previously married and the former spouse is known to have died, no proof of death is required. The exact date and place of death of the former spouse must be known.
If the former spouse is presumed to have died, a declaration of presumption of death must be presented to the marriage licence issuer. The Court of Queen's Bench issues the declaration in Saskatchewan. This document must be attached to the marriage licence. The official performing the marriage ceremony must ensure all documents are signed and in order.
Can same sex couples be married in Saskatchewan?
Yes. Same sex marriages are permitted in Saskatchewan.
Are blood tests or medical examinations required?
No. Blood tests or medical examinations are not required.
How many witnesses are needed?
Two witnesses 18 years of age or over are needed.
What if I want to get married outside of Saskatchewan?
Contact the province or country where you want to get married for information about their marriage laws.
How much does a marriage licence cost?
The fee is $60.