The regulatory requirements for a civil union or marriage in Quebec

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The regulatory requirements for a civil union or marriage in Quebec – This article explains only the essential requirements for being able to marry.Congratulations! You have made the decision to stay with your partner for life. Whether you decide on a religious ceremony, civil ceremony there are some requirements you must consider.

Age, identity and marital status

Before the officiator can conduct a civil marriage, the notary must be sure that the future spouses have reached 16 years of age for a civil marriage and 18 years of age for a civil union. If you are celebrating a civil marriage and one of the spouses is under 18 years of age, the notary must ensure that the Superior Court has authorized the solemnization of the marriage. The notary must also verify that the future spouses are free from any prior marriage or civil union.

 The publication of the marriage or civil union

The publication of a notice of marriage or civil union on the website of the Directeur de l’état civil is therefore very important. Failing to meet that requirement without prior dispensation could lead to the marriage or civil union being declared null. However, no publication is required if the intended spouses are already in a civil union. Every notice of marriage or of civil union must be published on the website of the Directeur de l’état civil for 20 days preceding the scheduled solemnization date. Note that if the marriage or civil union is not solemnized within three months following the twentieth day of publication, the officiant must file a new application for publication. This obligation may, however, be waived if there is a significant reason to do so.


The witness must meet with the notary. The witness’s role is to certify the information accuracy in the publication of the marriage or civil union. The information that is verified are the names of the spouses, location of the union or marriage and the date. The witness must confirm the will of the spouses to be united in the bonds of marriage or civil union. It’s not necessary for the witness who signed the notice of marriage to attend the ceremony. For the marriage celebration or civil union celebration, two witnesses are necessary.

Register of Officiants

Please note that mayors, municipal and borough counselors as well as other municipal representatives are authorized to solemnize marriages and civil unions as long as they hold office. Therefore, they are not allowed to solemnize any marriage or civil union once they are not re-elected. While waiting for an update of the Répertoire des municipality, information in the register of officiants regarding authorized officiants may not be consistent with election results so you must verify the information.

The register of officiants is a database containing the names of persons authorized to perform a marriage or civil union. Future spouses can consult this register on line to check that the officiant they have chosen is authorized to perform the ceremony on the scheduled date.

 N.B.: You cannot consult the register to find a potential officiant, but rather to check that the person you have chosen is authorized by the Directeur de l’état civil to perform the marriage or civil union.

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