Getting a copy of your marriage certificate

Supreme Court

To get a divorce, you need an original marriage certificate or a certified true copy of your registration of marriage from the Vital Statistics Agency (an office run by the provincial government). The court won't accept the marriage certificate that you got at the church, venue, or other place you were married.

If you were married:

  • in BC, see Marriage Certificates to find out what BC marriage certificates look like, and how to order one from the BC government's Vital Statistics Agency
  • in another province or territory, contact the office that deals with vital statistics there
  • in another country, contact the office that deals with marriage records in the country where you were married

Ask them to send your marriage certificate to you. Usually you need to pay for this. In BC, it costs $27 to order your marriage certificate from the Vital Statistics Agency.

File your marriage certificate at the start of your divorce case.

If you can't get your marriage certificate before your case starts, write that on the court forms and say why you couldn't get it. You might be able to file your marriage certificate later if the court registrar agrees you had a good reason for not filing it sooner.

If the court registrar doesn't agree you had a good reason for not filing it, your case might be delayed until you file it.

If you were married in Quebec and your marriage certificate is in French, the registry might need you to get it translated into English. Contact your nearest Supreme Court registry to find out its rule about marriage certificates in French.

If your marriage certificate is from another country and isn't in English, you need to get it translated by a certified translator. Ask the translator to give you an Affidavit of Translation. File the original marriage certificate and the Affidavit of Translation with a copy of the marriage certificate and the English translation attached as exhibits at the court registry.


Updated on 10 June 2021