“Buy a New One” is City’s Answer to Replace a Lost or Stolen Marriage License

I had the unfortunate circumstance of having my briefcase stolen this week. Inside was a marriage license for a wedding the next day. I quickly discovered what needs to be done to replace an Ontario Marriage License if it is lost or stolen within the City of Ottawa.

My heart was in my stomach when I discovered that my briefcase had been stolen this week. Two marriage licenses were in there for upcoming weddings.  One was for a wedding for the next day.  I was in a panic as to how to get a replacement marriage license for the couples. I immediately went on-line for help. I became frustrated because neither the Government of Ontario nor the  City of Ottawa websites contained any useful information on what do to.

My next stop was the local City of Ottawa Service Centre office. Surely this had happened to other people before and they should know what to do, I reasoned. No, they were baffled as to what to do.  The desk clerk phoned a special helpline to the Government of  Ontario Registrar General and left a message (no one live answers) to call me directly. I received a call from a nice lady about an hour later. The answer: the couple needs to purchase a new license. She said that if the City was understanding, that they would not charge the full fee but only the City’s administrative portion.

I phoned my bride for the next day and gave her those instructions. She went to the same City of Ottawa Service Centre where I had just been. Unfortunately, the City was not understanding and charged her the full amount as if it were a brand new license application.  When I arrived at the venue for the ceremony, I immediately reimbursed the bride for the new purchase. Since it was under my watch that this happened, I figured it was my issue. The wedding proceeded as planned despite this small yet stressful setback. As my bride said we were “On track.”

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