Publication of a notice of marriage or civil union

The law requires future spouses or civil union partners to give public notice of their intention to marry or to enter into a civil union, as applicable.

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.

Note that the Directeur de l’état civil ensures that the officiant is competent when it receives an application for publication of a notice of marriage or civil union.

A notice of marriage or civil union must contain the name and the address of the domicile of each future spouse or civil union partner, the year and place of their birth, the name and capacity of the officiant, the scheduled solemnization date, as well as the address of the place of solemnization. The accuracy of the information must be attested by a witness of full age.

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. Moreover, if the compulsory information in a notice contains an error (for example, if the name of one of the future spouses or civil union partners is misspelled), the officiant must file a new application for publication.

If the date or time scheduled for the solemnization of a marriage or civil union changes, the officiant must ask the Directeur de l’état civil to amend the publication notice. However, the 20-day period of publication and the obligation to have the solemnization within three months following the expiry of that time period must still be complied with.

Dispensation from publication

A dispensation from publication may be granted by the Directeur de l’état civil if the couple gives serious reasons. This is an exceptional measure for which the Directeur de l’état civil exercises discretionary power. Applications are examined on a case-by-case basis.

To obtain a dispensation from publication, you must submit an application to the Directeur de l’état civil. Please contact us for more information.

However, if there is an urgent need to solemnize a marriage or civil union because the life of one of the future spouses or civil union partners is in danger and it is impossible to obtain a dispensation from the Directeur de l’état civil in time, the officiant can grant such a dispensation. In such a case, the officiant must submit the written document attesting to and describing the reasons justifying the dispensation to the Directeur de l’état civil at the same time as the declaration of marriage or civil union.

Objection

If you wish to object to the solemnization of a marriage or civil union, you must explain your reasons to the court.

For information on the legal steps for objecting to a marriage or civil union, consult a legal advisor.

Other useful links

Reviewed: 2018-01-01


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©Gouvernement du Québec, 2018

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