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Getting Married in the Northwest Territories

Last modified: 
Tue, 12/18/2018 - 14:13

To get married in the Northwest Territories, you and your partner must meet the following requirements:

  • Both of you must be at least 16 years of age. If you are under 19, you will need to get written consent from your parents or legal guardians to marry.
  • Both of you must freely give consent to be married. You cannot be forced into a marriage.
  • You can marry someone of the same or opposite sex.
  • Both of you must be physically present to be married.
  • Both of you must not be currently married. If you have been married, you must have proof of divorce.
  • You cannot marry certain relatives.

How a Valid Marriage Takes Place

To be married, you must go through a legally recognized marriage ceremony with another person. The ceremony can be a religious or civil one.

A marriage commissioner, which includes members of the clergy, must perform the ceremony.

Before you can get married, you need to do the following:

  • make sure you are legally allowed to marry; and
  • get a marriage license or have the member of the clergy do a publication of the bans for two consecutive weeks.

Banns are published when a member of the clergy names the two people who plan to get married during a regular worship service.

A member of the clergy is someone who is ordained or appointed by his/her religious body, and is authorized by the Marriage Act to formalize marriage.

After you are married 

Once you have been married, the person who officiated the ceremony will send the completed marriage registration form to the Department's Health Service Administrative Unit in Inuvik.

After the marriage registration form has been received by the Department, you may apply for a marriage certificate.

You will need a marriage certificate if you are planning to change your surname to that of your spouse or to use a hyphenated surname.

A copy of your marriage certificate may also be required to change your name on other documents, such as:

  • credit cards;
  • driver's license;
  • social insurance card;
  • bank documents; and
  • insurance forms.

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