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Vital Statistics

Marriage Certificate

Who Needs This Certificate?
  Anyone, regardless of where they now live, who needs proof of a marriage which was registered  in Nova Scotia.

Note:  For information on how to contact another province or territory of Canada to get a marriage certificate, please visit the Canadian Vital Statistics Offices page or you can contact The Service Nova Scotia Call Centre at 902--424-5851.  (If outside metro Halifax, call 1-800-670-4357, toll-free in Nova Scotia only.).  We also have a list of United States Vital Statistics Offices.
Issuing Department / Agency:
  Vital Statistics Office
Service Nova Scotia
Where can you get this Certificate and / or further information?
  Phone Vital Statistics Office:  902-424-4381
(or toll-free in Nova Scotia only:  1-877-848-2578 
You will get a taped message; please select Option 2 for other types of certificates.
  Write P.O. Box 157, Halifax, NS  B3J 2M9  Canada
  Visit Vital Statistics Office
300 Horseshoe Lake Drive
Halifax, NS B3S 0B7

Hours:   8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except Holidays)

  Fax 902-450-7311
Application Forms & Process:
  There are 2 types of Marriages Certificates.  To figure out which type of Certificate you need, and whether or not you are eligible to get one, see Additional Information, below.

How to apply

1) You can apply at the Vital Statistics office in Halifax (see address above).  This is the ONLY way to get a certificate immediately.

2) You can submit your application online; it will be processed within the next 10 business days, and then the certificate will be mailed to you.  (You need a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card to apply online.)

3) You can apply by mail.

4) You can apply at any Access Nova Scotia Centre, or any Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

A convenient application form is available.  To get one:

1) Birth Certificate Application [ Adobe Reader- 65.13 kb], Marriage Certificate Application [ Adobe Reader- 73.23 kb], Death Certificate Application [ Adobe Reader- 73.23 kb]; or 

2) call the number listed above and press 2 to talk to a customer service representative, who can have one mailed to you; or 

3) write or fax the Vital Statistics office listed above; or 

4) visit the Vital Statistics office in Halifax, or any Access Nova Scotia Centre, or any Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

It is not necessary to use an application form to apply for a certificate.  As long as you give complete information on all the key details of the event in a letter, and pay the proper fee, your application can be processed.

The information you need to provide is explained under Additional Information, below.

To return the application form, you can:

1) mail or deliver it to the Vital Statistics office in Halifax (see address above);

2) take it to any Access Nova Scotia Centre or Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

Process:  After your application and the proper payment have been received by the Vital Statistics office in Halifax, the certificate will normally be processed within 10 business days, and sent to you by mail.  Please allow additional days for postal delivery.

In case of emergency, the certificate can be sent by courier to the applicant.  There is an additional charge of $20 for this service.

Waiting Period:

In person: 15 minutes

By Mail: 10 business days
Provided that all the items that must accompany the application have been received
(Please allow several extra days for mail delivery.)

Expiry :
  These certificates do not expire.
Price and Payment: (No tax is charged)
  The different types of certificates are explained in Additional Information, below.
  Short Form $33.00  
  Certified Copy $39.90 restricted


Payment at the Vital Statistics officecash, Interac debit card, Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card, or cheque or money order made out to the Minister of Finance.

Payment by Mail:  Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card or by cheque or money order made out to the Minister of Finance

Payment online:  Debit Card (Interac® Online), or
Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card.

Note:  you can make payment online for previous requests, using "payment on account"

Payment by fax:  Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card.

Related Requirements:
Additional Information:
  1. Searches
    All certificate prices include a three-year search.

    A three-year search may be requested without a certificate (confirmation of event only) for $6.25.

    Please note, genealogy requests are not processed at the counter.

  2. Restrictions:  Release of Long Form Certified Copies of Marriage Certificates are subject to restrictions as set out in the Vital Statistics Act.
  3. All certificates are issued in accordance with information on file and cannot be returned for refund.
Marriage Certificates:
a) The short form marriage certificate contains this information:
First and last name (Given name and Surname) of both spouses
date and place of marriage
registration date & number, and
date issued.

(b) The Long form (detailed) certificate is a certified photocopy of the marriage registration.  It contains all the information in (a) above, plus (for each spouse): marital status; religion; birth date and birthplace; both their father's and mother's names and birthplaces; residence before marriage; signatures of both parties to the marriage and witnesses; and the certification of the person who officiated at the wedding.  Because that is confidential information, this is a restricted document; all applications are subject to review by the Deputy Registrar General.

To get a Marriage Certificate, you must know: full names both parties to the marriage and the date and place of marriage.  To apply for a Long form (detailed), you must also state your relationship to the married persons.  The Long form (detailed) certificate can usually be issued so long as the information listed by the applicant is complete and agrees with the information on file.  Also, the person seeking the certificate may be required to provide some identification.

Who qualifies to apply for a Marriage Certificate
Short Form Marriage Certificates
may be released to any person who has a valid reason for requiring the document.
Long Form (detailed) / Certified copies may be released to:
a) Either party to the marriage;
b) A lawyer representing one of the parties to the marriage in a divorce action; or
c) To a third party upon the written consent of one of the parties.

Legislative Authority:
  Vital Statistics Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 494

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