Overview

A religious marriage officiant, commonly referred to as a clergy person, or religious representative, is an official of a religious organization authorized to perform marriages in Alberta.

The governing authority of a recognized religious organization must register its clergy/religious representatives with Vital Statistics before they can perform marriages in Alberta.

A governing authority is person appointed by a religious organization (for example: chairman, president, elder) to represent the organization to Vital Statistics for the purpose of registering marriage officiants.

No person can lawfully solemnize a marriage unless registered under the Marriage Act.

Eligibility

To become a religious marriage officiant:

  • you must be 18 years old or older
  • you must be a resident of Alberta
  • your religious organization must be recognized by Alberta Vital Statistics

Clergy/religious representatives visiting Alberta from another jurisdiction may be eligible for a temporary registration as a religious marriage officiant in Alberta. Check with the governing authority of your religious organization or Vital Statistics for details.

Recognizing a religious organization

Before applying for recognition by Vital Statistics, a religious organization must:

  • have a church or congregation established in Alberta at the time of its application to Vital Statistics, and either
    • be active and incorporated within Alberta for at least 3 years, or
    • demonstrate they have been established and incorporated in Canada for at least 3 years, are currently recognized to perform marriages in at least one other Canadian province/territory and have been performing marriages there for at least 3 years

A religious society or religious denomination must demonstrate that it is sufficiently well established regarding its continuity of existence, and recognized rites and usages respecting the solemnization of marriage to warrant the registration of its religious representatives with Alberta Vital Statistics.

Cost

There is no cost to become a registered religious marriage officiant.

There is no cost for a religious organization to become recognized by Alberta to perform marriages.

How to apply

Get your religious organization recognized

Step 1. Complete the application form

The religious organization’s governing authority must complete the application form.

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Application for Registration by a Religious Body to Perform Marriage Ceremonies form (PDF, 143 KB)

Step 2. Gather supporting documents

The following documents must be provided on behalf of the religious organization:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
    • related incorporation documents from Service Alberta
    • incorporation must be under Alberta’s Societies Act, Religious Societies’ Land Act, or Companies Act; or as an Extra-Provincial under the Business Corporations Act
  • the religious organization's constitution, charter document and by-laws that demonstrate the nature of the religious organization, including:
    • provision for ordination
    • appointment and dismissal of clergy/religious representatives
  • summary of religious sacraments, tenets, beliefs, etc., including the marriage ceremony
  • proposed proof of marriage document that will be given to couple at the marriage ceremony

Step 3. Gather supporting information

The following information must also be provided on behalf of the religious organization:

  • date and place of incorporation, or founding of the religious organization
  • length of continuous operation in Alberta
  • address of the regular meeting place(s)
  • scheduled working days and hours of worship
  • number of members/believers 18 years old or older and living in Alberta
  • name, address and telephone number for the governing authority (for example: the chairman, president or elder elected to represent the organization to Vital Statistics)
  • minutes from scheduled meetings and/or appointment documents confirming the governing authority
  • names, address and telephone numbers of clergy/religious representatives living in Alberta that are to be registered to perform marriages

At its discretion, Vital Statistics may ask for more documents to verify continuity and proof of existence, proof of ordination, proof of registration in another jurisdiction, etc.

Step 4. Send the application

Email, mail, fax or courier your application, and the applicable supporting documents and information to Vital Statistics at:

Email: alberta.clergyregistration@gov.ab.ca

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
Attention: Marriage Unit

Fax: 780-422-4225

Courier:
Vital Statistics
Document Reception
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3W7
Attention: Marriage Unit

Getting registered to perform Alberta marriages

Step 1. Contact the governing authority

Advise your religious organization’s governing authority that you want to perform Alberta marriages.

  • The religious organization must be recognized by Alberta Vital Statistics.

Step 2. Complete the application form

The governing authority must complete an Application for Registration of Clergy form.

The governing authority can get the form from Vital Statistics.

Step 3. Send the application form

The governing authority can email, mail, fax or courier the application to Vital Statistics at:
Email: alberta.clergyregistration@gov.ab.ca

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
Attention: Marriage Unit

Fax: 780-422-4225

Courier:
Vital Statistics
Document Reception
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3W7
Attention: Marriage Unit

Contact

To connect with Vital Statistics

Hours: 8:15 am - 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

For the deaf or hard-of-hearing:
TTY: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free TTY: 1-800-232-7215 (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-4225

Email: alberta.clergyregistration@gov.ab.ca

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7
Attention: Marriage Unit

Courier:
Vital Statistics
Document Reception
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7
Attention: Marriage Unit