In my search for the contact number to Vital Statistics, I found something better.
It turns out you can fill out a Marriage Certificate Application Form online. It then needs to be printed out and signed, but one of the options to send it in is to scan the signed document and email it.
Which I just finished doing.
It costs $80 for one copy. It also takes 6-8 weeks for it to be processed. Unless you pay an extra $40 for rush service within Canada, at which point it will be processed in 5-8 business days.
I had to suck it up and check off the rush service box. This whole debacle is already taking too long!
The site also had a link to a sample image of a marriage certificate.
Apparently, I’ve never had one. It’s the same design as a birth certificate, but a different colour.
In filling out the form, though, it had the option of a large, framing size certificate, or a certified copy of marriage registration. So I think what I have that I can’t find is a framing size.
I included copies of my and my husband’s birth certificates, just in case.
I hope it is acceptable.
I foresee problems for my husband, too.
He took a photo of his birth certificate with his phone, used his phone’s editing software to clean it up, emailed the clear image to me, which I have printed off to send with our health care number application form.
His name doesn’t match his ID, either.
You see, my husband is from the East Coast. As is common among French Canadians, he has 4 names – a first name, two middle names and a surname, but uses his second name. It’s the only name that was ever used for him. I knew him for years before I found out I didn’t know what his first name was. In fact, no one in his family uses their first name. I don’t know the first names of my in-laws. I’m not sure my husband even remembers them anymore! 😀
It became a bit of an issue when he was in the military, because they kept wanting to use the first name on his birth certificate on various documentation, but he never used it, and they are required to use the name the person goes by, which meant they couldn’t use his first name, but had to use his second name, but they couldn’t use his second name because it was not the first name on is birth certificate…
It was a very circular problem.
In the end, they reversed his first two names on the paperwork.
So all my husband’s ID uses his second name and surname, his birth certificate has his full name, but his military record has his full name with the first two names reversed.
Oh, and I looked it up on the Vital Statistics website. This is what is says about surnames “after marriage or entry into a common-law relationship”.
As a married person or a person living in a common-law relationship, you have a number of options for choosing your name.
- You may retain your present surname;
- You may assume your spouse’s surname or common-law partner’s surname;
- You may combine your present surname with your spouse’s or common-law partner’s surname, with or without a hyphen (it does not matter which surname you use first); or
- You may assume your spouse’s or common-law partner’s surname and retain your present surname as a given, middle name.
- All options apply equally to men and women.
- If you were born in [province], your birth certificate does not change to your married name or common-law partner’s name.
If you are living common-law, it will be necessary to file a declaration with Vital Statistics in order to change your surname. You will be charged a fee to obtain a certificate of Election of Surname that will provide proof of your new name.
Now, I can see the need for proof of marriage for someone who has just gotten married and wants to change their ID to reflect their chosen new surname. But once that’s been done, that should be it. It’s done. They should not have to prove it all over again, decades later, when absolutely everything that person has is in their legal, married name!
And it’s costing me $120 to get that proof, so I can get a $20 driver’s license.
What a pain!