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Marriage in PEI FAQs

What are the requirements for out-of-province couples that want to get married on PEI?

Before getting married on PEI, you and your partner must apply for a marriage licence within three months of the date of your wedding. When you apply for the marriage licence you must provide original birth certificates of both individuals in either English or French. If your birth certificate is issued in another language (not English or French) you are responsible for having it translated and notarized and must present both the original certificate and the translated document at the time of licensing. A $100 fee is required at the time of application, a photo ID and any other supporting documentation (ie Divorce Decree/Certificate) required to legally get married.

How old do I have to be to get married in PEI?
You must be 18 years of age or older.  If you are younger than 18 years, you will need to have written consent.

Where can I get a marriage licence?

Through appointment by contacting Vital Statistics (Montague) or AccessPEI sites in Souris, Summerside, Wellington, Alberton, O'Leary and Tignish. Learn more about Marriage Licences.

Do I have to book an appointment to obtain a marriage licence?

Yes, booking an appointment in advance is strongly recommended. It will save disappointment and cost. If you are arriving to PEI only a few days before your wedding (and not in the 3 months prior to) you should make sure you have an appointment booked before arriving. If you are not able to obtain a licence you cannot be legally married.

Do I have to get a blood test to get my marriage licence?

No. PEI legislation no longer requires you to obtain a blood test prior to issuing a marriage licence.

What are the language requirements for obtaining a licence and getting married in PEI?

If you or your intended partner to the marriage does not understand the English language or the language being used to perform the wedding ceremony, it is your responsibility to obtain an interpreter who is expected to accompany you to the marriage licence appointment and the ceremony (if required) to translate and explain the meaning and intent of the meeting and ceremony.

What documentation do I need if I'm divorced?

If you are divorced and are planning to re-marry you must provide the original copy of your Certificate of Divorce, with seal intact, to the office issuing the marriage licence. This is in addition to the other requirements listed. The Certificate of Divorce is issued by a court officer in a divorce proceeding. If you need to obtain a certificate, contact the Prince Edward Island Courts at (902) 368-6000 or the Provincial Court where your divorce was filed. 

What documentation do I need if I'm widowed? 

In addition to your birth certificate, identification and PEI health card (if applicable) you will need to provide an original Death Certificate of spouse(issued from the Vital Statistics office from the province/state where the death occurred) at the time of your marriage licence appointment.  

Do I have to change my last name (surname) when I get married?

No, you can keep the last name you are currently using.  

If I decide to change my last name when I get married what do I have to do?

If you take your spouses surname or chose to hyphenate your last name this does not require a legal change of name. You can just assume this new name. Your last name (surname) on your birth certificate does not change because of marriage. If your marriage occurred in PEI you will need to apply for a marriage certificate from PEI Vital Statistics in order to change your last name on such things as your driver's licence, passport, vehicle registration and insurance, mortgage, etc. It's always a good idea to check with these agencies about their requirements prior to contacting Vital Statistics and ordering a document.

I live in PEI but I'm getting married outside of PEI. Do I have to contact Vital Statistics before or after the wedding?

No. Marriage licence requirements vary according to province/territory and country and will be outlined according to the laws of the jurisdiction where the marriage is taking place. Even though you are a resident of PEI, the Vital Statistics Office does not register your marriage if it does not happen in PEI. The marriage is registered in the province/territory or country where the ceremony takes place. This also means that any documentation you require relating to that event will have to be ordered and obtained from the place where the marriage occurred.

How do I find someone to Officiate (perform) my wedding ceremony?

This will depend on what kind of wedding ceremony you want to have. If it is a civil wedding you can check out the list of registered Marriage Commissioners in PEI. You can also have a judge of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court or the Provincial Court; a designated justice of the peace; or the Prothonotary preside over your marriage. If you wish to have a religious ceremony, you must contact a registered clergy member to perform the wedding ceremony.

Do other people need to be present at the wedding ceremony?
Yes, you must have two credible adult witnesses (18 years of age or older) in attendance at your marriage ceremony.  These witnesses also sign the legal statement of marriage that is used to register your marriage at Vital Statistics.

How much do I have to pay someone to marry my partner and I?

Officiants registered and licensed to perform civil and religious marriage ceremonies in PEI can set their own fee; it is not regulated by government. This is one of the questions you should ask in planning your wedding and before choosing an officiant to ensure you are comfortable with the cost.

Are same-sex marriages performed in PEI?

Yes, same-sex marriage has been legal on PEI since July 20, 2005. The existing requirements for getting married in PEI apply to same-sex marriages.

Where can I find information on same-sex marriage in PEI?

Learn more about important legal information for same-sex couples by visiting the Community Legal Information Association of PEI. Here are some other helpful links:

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