Making Certified Copies Of Marriage Certificates
For most court and government applications, you require a certified true copy of your original marriage certificate as opposed to a mere photocopy. In general, if you mail your original document to a Canadian government agency, they inevitably mail it back to you after processing your application. However, rather than risk losing or damaging your marriage certificate, we recommend that you submit a certified copy. Continue reading to learn more about obtaining a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
Certified Copy VS Photocopy
A certified copy of an original document differs from a photocopy in that an authorized individual will compare the original document and the photocopy, and stamp it with a declaration that signifies it is a true copy of the original document. Notably, having a document certified as true does not guarantee its authenticity. Instead, a certified copy only certifies that the individual compared the original document and the photocopy. They guarantee the information on the original matches the photocopy. Lastly, they certify that it is a true reproduction of the original unaltered document.
The rules of who can make marriage certificate certified copies differs depending on the province or territory. In Alberta, individuals including lawyers, justices of the peace, officials of federal or provincial governments, and members of a provincial legislature may certify your photocopy. Once you have found an authorized individual, it is typically not enough that he or she to sign off on a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Instead, a document certified as true includes the following phrase:
“I hereby certify that the within instrument is a true and correct copy of the original document of which it purports to be a true copy.”
Further, the authorized individual certifying the document must:
- sign and seal the document with his or her notarial seal;
- state their official position and print their name;
- state their telephone number; and
- state the date the document was certified on.
You cannot certify the document on your own or ask a relative to do it for you. If your photocopy fails to contain any of the above-noted criteria, your application may be delayed or rejected.
Occasions Requiring Certified Copies Of Marriage Certificates
For most government and court applications that require a marriage certificate as supporting evidence. You need to provide a certified true copy rather than a mere photocopy of the document. Therefore marriage certificate certified copies substitute for the originals.
Depending on where you were married, your marriage certificate includes:
- the names and places of birth of the married couple;
- date and place of the marriage;
- registration date and number of the document; and
- the date of issue of the marriage certificate.
Certified copies of your marriage certificate are commonly required when applying for:
- spousal sponsorships;
- name changes;
- probate applications;
- work visas;
- study permits;
- passports; and lastly
- refugee status.
Because marriage certificates state where an individual was born, using it as proof of citizenship in various immigration, employment, academic and government applications helps ascertain your birthplace.
Can My Foreign Marriage Certificate Be Certified As True?
If you plan to use include your marriage certificate in a Canadian application and it is in another language other than English or French, you must have a certified translator translate the contents of your marriage certificate to English or French and provide it with your original marriage certificate along with a certificate of translation. An authorized individual will then photocopy your marriage certificate, the translation and the certificate of translation, and certify the document as true.
How Do I Obtain a Certified Copy of my Marriage Certificate?
Call or email us today to book an appointment! Although we recommend scheduling in advance, if your situation is urgent, same day and walk-in appointments are available. It is necessary to bring your original marriage certificate and two pieces of valid identification (at least one government-issued photo identification). We will photocopy your documents and one of our notary publics, commissioner of oaths or lawyers will certify your marriage certificate for you. If you bring a photocopy of your marriage certificate, please ensure that it is a good quality copy. Lastly, photocopies that are too light, too dark, illegible or fail to show the entire document may be rejected.
Where Do I Obtain a New Marriage Certificate?
Lost your Canadian marriage certificate? Contact the vital statistics agency of the province or territory you were married in for a replacement. Because we will need to compare a photocopy of your marriage certificate to the original, we are unable to issue a certified copy without examining your original marriage certificate.
Help With Marriage Certificate Certified Copies
Should you require marriage certificate certified copies, or certified copies of any other document such as birth, divorce or death certificates, give us a call to schedule an appointment with one of our notary publics, commissioners or lawyers. Above all, we invite people to drop in for this service if easier. Please call us toll-free at 1-877-225-8817 (or 403-225-8810 locally in Calgary, Alberta), or email us directly here today.