How to request a Certificate of Divorce in Ontario, Canada?

First I am not a lawyer; I am just a regular person. I helped a friend of mine to get a Certificate of Divorce in Toronto, so I know how this works. We did it ourselves since the lawyers, clerks, law offices, etc. always charge you what we considered to be excessive for something that’s quite rather simple and cheap. That been said, if you decide to follow the steps described in this post, do it at your own risk; I take no responsibility if something goes south.

On the other hand, if you find this information useful, I would be grateful if you click the Google Plus (G+) button close to the title of this article.

Be also advised that the procedure to get a Certificate of Divorce could change any time. So, for accurate information make sure to read this directly from the Ministry of the Attorney General website

Enough from disclaimers...These are some frequently asked question about the process of requesting a Certificate of Divorce in Ontario: 

How much does it cost? 

There’s a flat fee of $19.00 for a Certificate of Divorce in Ontario. 

How to pay the fee? 

You can pay it by cash, certified cheque or money order[1]. You can get a certified cheque or money order from any Canadian bank and it must be payable to the “Minister of Finance”. 

Where do I get a Certificate of Divorce from? 

You can get it from the Superior Court of Justice. There are several court offices distributed all over the province. You need to find the court office where your case was started and request the certificate there. Follow this link to find out the addresses and working hours of the court offices in Ontario.

How can I know in which court office my case was started?

It is written in your Divorce Order.

What papers do I need to submit in order to get a Certificate of Divorce in Ontario? 

You need a copy of your Divorce Order. You should have gotten a Divorce Order from the court when your divorce was concluded. Simply make a copy of it using a scanner or photocopier. Obviously you will need a certified cheque or money order if you are NOT paying in cash. Be advised that you can only pay in cash directly at the court office. 

How do I request the Certificate of Divorce? 

There are two ways:

1.) Go to the court office and request the Certificate of Divorce in person: take with you a copy of your Divorce Order and $19.00 to pay the fee. At the court office you can pay by cash, certified cheque or money order. The last two should be payable to the “Minister of Finance”. You should have the Certificate of Divorce in your hands before leaving the court. 

2.) Request the Certificate of Divorce by postal mail: get an empty envelop and fill it with the following papers: 
  • A copy of your Divorce Order.
  • A certified cheque (or money order) with exactly $19.00 payable to the “Minister of Finance”. You cannot pay by cash if you are requesting the certificate by mail. 
  • An explanation letter describing who you are, how to contact you and what are you requesting from the court (see an example of the explanation letter below[2]). 
Mail the envelop to the Superior Court of Justice office where your case was started. Your Certificate of Divorce will be mailed to you. How long will it take to get the certificate on your mail box? Nobody can say for sure, but generally speaking you should get it within a month. 

Hope this helps. Good luck. 

[1] Sometimes money orders are also known as bank drafts

[2] Example of an explanation letter. 

To the Superior Court of Justice:

By this mean I am requesting a Certificate of Divorce on my behalf. I enclosed a copy of the Divorce Order and the check for the corresponding fee.

Feel free to contact me anytime (contact information below).

Thanks in advance,

______________                       ____________________________
Date of signature                        Applicant full name and signature

Applicant contact information:
First Name:
Last Name:
Phone number:
Postal Address:


  1. Great post man! Thanks for the info!

  2. That is very good post!!! Very helpful. Thank you for such a detailed info!

  3. Thank you! I called the Ministry of the AG and the woman on the phone tried to tell me I had to go to the court in person. Which because I have moved would have meant a day trip, gas costs, parking, food and a whole bunch of hassle. I am going to do it via the mail. Thank you!

  4. Thanks this is very helpful information, would you happen to know what to do if you don't have a copy of your divorce order? I have my marriage certificate, I divorced in 2003 and would like to obtain a copy of the divorce certificate.

    1. I don’t know the answer to your question.

      Try asking your question here:

      Hope it helps.


  5. Thanks for the post
    Hope I read correctly if I pay the $ 19 at the court dp I get the certificate same day ?
    Do I have to wait long for it or does the person at the wicket make right there ? Just curious

    1. You should get the Certificate of Divorce the same day if you request it directly in the Court office. I am not sure how long you will have to wait though…

      Good luck.

  6. Thank you very much for this information, it was very useful!

  7. Would you happen to know i someone else can visit the court on your behal? I am currently living in Panama!

    1. As long as they have the Court file number they can get a copy of the CErtificate of Divorce.

      I did it for my mom and step father.

      I am known at the courts though as I work in family law.

    2. "If you are unable to attend in person, you may ask a representative to attend on your behalf or you may write to the court office."

  8. If I go to the court to ask for the copy of my divorce certificate, should I get it on the day?

  9. If I go to the court asking for the copy of my divorce certificate (I have lost it), should I get it on the day?

  10. Thanks for the info! I was not so clear about what difference is between a Divorce Order vs a Certificate of Divorce, do they have the same legal effect? If I want to get married again, do I have to have a Certificate of Divorce to register for marriage? even though I have a copy of Divorce Order?

    1. The "Divorce Order" and the "Certificate of Divorce" are not the same thing. You do need a "Certificate of Divorce" to get married again; the "Divorce Order" is not enough.

    2. This is all very true information as I live in Ontario.
      Thank you Yanniel Alvarez.

  11. Hi,
    I want to file a divorce with my husband after separation for almost a year. My questions:
    1.from Where should I start?
    2.can I do it DIY?
    3.Where to get all the forms needed to file the divorce?
    4. what will happen if he refuses to sign the divorce letter?

    Please help me, am so confused.

    1. I don't know the answers to your questions. This article is not about how to get divorced, but about how to get a certificate of divorce once the divorce itself is settle.

      You should probably seek legal advice, specially if you anticipate your husband won't be cooperative.

      Good luck.

    2. if you want to do it yourself you should go to your local family court, most courts have a legal counsel that sits once a week and gives free legal advice. They can guide you in the right direction. have all your questions written out to ask them as they have a limited time to see everyone. good luck!

  12. Do you know if there is a wait time between when your divorce becomes final and when you can request a certificate of divorce? My fiance's divorce becomes final on the 15th of July; can he go the next day to get the certificate?

  13. Do you know if there is a wait time between when your divorce becomes final and when you can request the certificate of divorce? For example, if the divorce becomes final on the 15th, can you go and request on the 16th, or would you have to wait 30 days?

  14. after long research on late Saturday evening all I have to say its BIG THANK YOU for posting this..I really appreciate it