Who may solemnize a marriage in New Brunswick?
In New Brunswick a marriage may be solemnized by any of the following celebrants:
*Effective April 1, 2014. An eligible member of the Law Society of New Brunswick may apply to the Registrar General of Vital Statistics at www.snb.ca/civilofficiant.
As a Civil Officiant, what do I need to know about solemnizing marriages in New Brunswick?
The Vital Statistics Office provides the following supplies free of charge to Civil Officiants.
1. Hard copy of Form C-2 “Registration of Marriage” (Do Not Photocopy This Form)
2. Postage-paid envelopes. The Vital Statistics Act requires the Form C-2 “Registration of Marriage”
All requests for supplies and additional information should be directed to:
Vital Statistics Office
Telephone: (506) 453-2385
2. Marriage Licence
Every couple must obtain a marriage licence and present it to the officiant before a ceremony is performed.
Marriage Licences are available at Service New Brunswick locations throughout the province (www.snb.ca/locations). For more information call 1-888-762-8600 toll-free within North America, or 1-506-684-7901 outside North America. Please note the Vital Statistics Office does not issue Marriage Licences.
The fee for a Marriage Licence is $115.00.
The “Marriage Licence and Statement of Marriage” is a two-part form. The “Marriage Licence (Form 9)” must be retained in office records as your authorization to solemnize the marriage. The “Statement of Marriage (Form 10)” must be completed and signed by the Civil Officiant, the contracting parties and witnesses on the day of the marriage. This portion of the form is given to the newly married couple.
No Waiting Period
When an application is made for a Marriage Licence, the licence may be issued at once and become valid immediately if everything is found to be in order by the “Issuer of Marriage Licences” (a Service New Brunswick employee who issues the marriage licence).
Time Restriction of Licence
A Marriage Licence is valid for three months from the date of issue. If the proposed date of marriage or name of the officiant is changed within the three month period, the licence is still valid. Neither the Issuer of Marriage Licences at the Service New Brunswick centre nor the Vital Statistics Office need to be contacted. However, if the licence has expired, the couple must apply for another licence.
Legal Age of the two Witnesses
A person must be 19 years of age or older to be a witness to a marriage.
Legal Age for Marriage
Both parties to the marriage must be at least 18 years of age to marry without the consent of their parent(s) or guardian(s), or each must have been previously married.
Consent Required - Ages 16 or 17
Any person 16 or 17 years of age who was not previously married must receive written consent from his or her mother and father when applying for a marriage licence. Both parents* must appear before the Issuer of Marriage Licences and sign an affidavit of consent.
Under the Age of 16
No person who is under the age of 16 years may contract marriage.
3. Is there anyone that a Civil Officiant is not allowed to marry?
A civil marriage officiant shall ensure that both parties to the marriage are aware of what degrees of consanguinity bar the solemnization of marriage in Canada as per the list below.
According to the “Prohibited Degrees of Consanguinity Barring Lawful Solemnization of Marriage in Canada,” a person cannot marry his or her:
¹ or half-sister, or sister by adoption
A completed marriage registration form must be mailed in the postage-paid envelope provided or delivered to the Vital Statistics Office within five days after the date of marriage.
The information entered must be clearly written in black ink or typed. Corrections should not be made to this document.
In order to ensure accuracy, the Civil Officiant should request that birth certificates be presented in order to correctly enter the names, birth dates and birth places of the contracting parties on the marriage registration form.
The top portion of the form may be completed in advance. However, under no circumstances is the form to be signed by anyone until after the marriage has been solemnized. The form must be signed by the Civil Officiant, the contracting parties and the two witnesses. The contracting parties must sign the marriage registration with the same name used on the Marriage Licence. The name signed on this form identifies who was married and should not reflect the choice of marital surname if either person wishes to make a change.
For questions regarding the completion of the marriage registration form, please contact the Vital Statistics Office at (506) 453-2385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the couple has been married, either party may choose to assume a marital surname. Choices include:
Assuming a spouse’s surname after marriage does not alter their birth certificate. This is not a legal name change and no documentation of a change in marital surname would be issued by the Vital Statistics Office or any government office.
The “Statement of Marriage (Form 10)” given by the Civil Officiant to the couple may be used to change other legal documentation. For example, the statement may be taken to a Service New Brunswick centre in order to change the surname on a provincial drivers licence, motor vehicle registration and Medicare card. More information is available online at www.snb.ca or by calling 1-888-762-8600 toll free within the province.
NOTE: Couples are responsible for contacting any institutions they do business with (e.g. banks, insurance companies, utilities, etc.) to determine all documentation required to make a name change. For example, a birth, marriage, death or divorce certificate may be requested.
After the marriage ceremony, the Civil Officiant gives the couple the completed “Statement of Marriage (Form 10)”. The couple may also request a copy of their marriage certificate, which they may apply for:
1. At any Service New Brunswick service centre (www.snb.ca/locations); or
2. Online at www.snb.ca
Complete application details may be obtained by visiting www.snb.ca or by calling 1-888-762-8600 (toll-free within North America) or 1-506-684-7901 outside North America.