Register as a religious marriage officiant

Recognizing a religious organization

Your religious organization must be recognized by Vital Statistics before it can appoint religious representatives as marriage officiants.

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

  • 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 province/territory in Canada and have been performing marriages there for at least 3 years
  • have a church or congregation established in Alberta at the time of its application to Vital Statistics

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

To apply to be recognized by Vital Statistics, a religious organization must complete the following steps.

1.  Complete the form

The governing authority must complete the application form.

Application for Registration by a Religious Body to Perform Marriage Ceremonies (PDF, 174 KB).

Note: To download a PDF document, right-click and select 'save as' and save to your computer.

2. Gather supporting documents

The religious organization must provide a copy of the following documents: 

  • Certificate of Incorporation 
    • related incorporation documents from Service Alberta
    • incorporation must be under the 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

3.  Gather supporting information

The religious organization must also provide the following supporting information:

  • 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 of age or older and living in Alberta
  • name, address and telephone number for the governing authority (e.g., chairman, president, 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.

4.  Send the application

Send the application, supporting documents and supporting information to Vital Statistics:

Mail:
Vital Statistics, Service Alberta
Box 2023
Edmonton, AB T5J 4W7

Email:
Alberta.ClergyRegistration@gov.ab.ca

For more information regarding your application and the criteria to have your religious organization recognized, contact Vital Statistics.

Contact this service

780-427-7013 (Edmonton)

310-0000, then
780-427-7013 (toll-free in Alberta)

8:15 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Related services

Incorporate a religious society