How do you attest a marriage certificate?

Published on Tuesday, May 7, 2019

If you have been married in Canada and need to attest your marriage certificate for use in another country, read on! Before your marriage certificate will be recognized outside of Canada, you may need to have it attested. This article explains why you might need attestation, and how to attest a Canadian marriage certificate.

Why do I need to attest my marriage certificate?

The document attestation process certifies the authenticity of a document, so that the document will be recognized as valid in another country. For example, if you were married in Canada and want to have your marriage recognized in the United Arab Emirates, you will need to have your marriage certificate attested before the UAE will accept it.

It is important to note that there are some situations where you won’t need to attest your marriage certificate before using it in another country. Check with whoever you are sending your marriage certificate to. They will be able to tell you whether they will accept a marriage certificate that has not been attested.

Are there other names for the attestation process?

There are a number of different terms that are commonly used to describe the document attestation process. In Canada, the official name for the document attestation process is “document authentication and legalization”. The term “apostille” is also frequently used. So if you have been told that you need to attest or apostille your Canadian marriage certificate, what you actually be doing is authenticating and legalizing your certificate.

How do I attest a marriage certificate?

The Canadian attestation process (document authentication & legalization) has three steps. The first step involves preparing your marriage certificate for processing. This may involve making a Certified True Copy of your certificate and providing required supporting documents.

The second step involves having your marriage certificate authenticated at Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. They will confirm that your marriage certificate is legitimate and when satisfied, will place a large red stamp directly on your certificate. Your marriage certificate is now authenticated and ready for the final step.

The third and final step involves having your marriage certificate legalized at the embassy or consulate of the country to which you are submitting your certificate. The consular staff will confirm that your marriage certificate has been authenticated by Global Affairs Canada and that it meets their specific requirements. When satisfied, they will place a sticker or stamp directly on your certificate. Your marriage certificate is now legalized.

Click on the links above for more information on each of these three steps.

Important – you can only attest a marriage certificate that has been issued by a provincial government. You cannot attest a record of marriage issued by a religious establishment in Canada. Contact us if you have any questions about whether your marriage certificate is eligible for attestation. If you have the wrong type of certificate, we can assist you in getting a version of your marriage certificate that can be attested.

How can I get more information?

At International Documents Canada, we specialize in quickly and accurately navigating the document attestation process on behalf of our clients. Our website has a wealth of information on the Canadian attestation process (officially called document authentication and legalization). Or even better, feel free to contact our friendly staff. We’ll discuss your specific attestation needs, answer your questions, and outline your options. Phone us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011, or send us a quick contact us form.