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Marriage and civil union

What constitutes marriage and civil union?

ATTENTION !

The Law introducing diverse legislative modifications to reinforce the protection of persons ( RLRQ, 2016, Chapter 12) received official sanction on June 8, 2016. This law introduces certain measures pertaining to civil status that will be enacted at a later date to be determined by the government with exception to the following which is already in force:

Before June 8, 2016, a minor wishing to be married had to obtain the authorization of the titular parental authority or, if applicable, the tutor. As of this date, a person of 16 or 17 years of age who wishes to marry must first obtain from the courts the permission to marry. However, a transition disposition established in Art. 48, a.2 of this law, provides that, if consent had been obtained from the parental authority or, if applicable, the tutor prior to the date of June 8,2016, the marriage of the minor remains governed by Art. 373 of the Quebec Civil Code as read before this date on condition that the marriage be solemnized within the following six (6) months of said date.

Moreover, pursuant to modifications brought to Art. 3088 of the Quebec Civil Code, the minor residing in the province of Québec who wishes to marry outside Quebec must first obtain authorization from the courts.

It is the responsibility of the officiant to ensure that, if one of the parties is of minor age, the courts have granted their authorization.

The above requirements and provisos do not apply to a civil union which, in all cases, can only be granted to persons of legal age, that is 18 years of age and older.

For more information, consult the Justice Quebec web site or contact us.

Marriage, is a commitment by two persons who must be at least 16 years old, and have obtained the court authorization to solemnize the marriage if they are under 18 years of age.

Civil union is a commitment by two persons, aged 18 or older, who publicly express their free and informed consent to live together as a couple and uphold the rights and obligations that derive from this civil status.

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Declaration of marriage or civil union

The Declaration of marriage This link opens a new window. or civil union This link opens a new window. is mandatory under the Civil Code of Québec. It enables the Directeur de l'état civil to produce the act of marriage or civil union and enter it in the register of civil status of Québec.

This entry in the register of civil status:

  • provides legal proof of the marriage or civil union;
  • enables the married or civil union spouses to obtain a certificate or copy of the act of marriage or civil union.

How to declare a marriage or civil union:

  • The future married or civil union spouses select a person who is legally authorized to perform a marriage or civil union.
  • The newly married or civil union spouses and their witnesses sign the Declaration of marriage This link opens a new window. or civil union This link opens a new window. at the end of the ceremony.
  • The officiant sends the Declaration of marriage This link opens a new window. or civil union This link opens a new window. to the Directeur de l'état civil without delay for entry into the register of civil status.
  • The newly married or civil union spouses may apply for a certificate or copy of the act of marriage or civil union after it has been entered in the register of civil status.

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Persons authorized to solemnize a marriage or civil union:

  • Clerks and deputy clerks of Superior Court designated by the Minister of Justice
  • Notaries authorized by law to execute notarized acts
  • Any other person designated by the Minister of Justice, such as mayors, municipal or borough councilors and municipal officers, within the territory defined in their instrument of designation
  • Ministers of different religions authorized by the registrar of civil status

IMPORTANT:

Ensure that your officiant is authorized to solemnize the marriage or civil union by consulting the register of officients.

Some of these officiants are affiliated with a religious society. To consult the list of religious societies.(PDF, 53 Ko)

For information on the rules respecting the solemnization of civil marriages This link opens a new window. and civil unions This link opens a new window., go to this link on the Web site of the Ministère de la Justice.

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Certificate and copy of an act of marriage or civil union

To obtain a civil status document concerning marriage or civil union, consult the section Certificate and copy of an act.

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Attestation of marriage or civil union

To obtain an attestation of marriage or civil union, consult the section Attestation.

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Officiant's guide

This guide is intended for all officiants of marriages and civil unions.

The information it contains will assist them in observing the rules and formalities relating to the solemnization of a marriage or civil union.

Officiant's guide (PDF, 467 Ko) This link opens a new window.

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Reviewed: 2016-06-28

Website of Québec.

© Gouvernement du Québec, 2016

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