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Bracebridge agrees to participate in facilitating online marriage licences
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Bracebridge agrees to participate in facilitating online marriage licences

Posted: 2024-04-03 07:29:22 By: thebay

Bracebridge General Committee agreed to participate in facilitating online marriage application licences, in the April 2, 2024, meeting.

According to the report from the Town’s Director of Corporate Services/Clerk, Lori McDonald, the province is inviting municipalities across Ontario to participate in the Mariage Licence Modernization Participation Agreement. This agreement allows the processing of marriage licences to take place online from the Service Ontario portal.

In 2021 Service Ontario allowed signatures of marriage applications using a PDF to enable applicants to view the proof prior to obtaining it.

In 2022 the government advised municipalities of the new Marriage Licence Modernization (MLM) service changing from paper-based the process for applicants and municipalities toward a more digital platform.

The primary focus of this step is to provide a secure online application process for electronic submissions.

The MLM services has been launched in other municipalities across Ontario since last October, and upon attending a webinar about it last February, Bracebridge staff recommended its approval for the Town, which issues 110 licences each year.

The typical process involves applicants contacting the Town for a meeting, which includes providing a copy of the application, identification, and other documents as needed, processing the licence agreement, and submitting payment. Staff then validate the documents and inputs the information.

The MLM process will use the same forms, however, the application process involves applicants going onto the Service Ontario portal, selecting the municipality, submit the application, receive confirmation and a downloadable copy. Municipalities receive the application notification and respond directly to applicants from there.

McDonald’s report adds the process “will create more efficiency and consistency in carrying out this provincially prescribed process.”

The paper process will still be available in municipalities, which will be uploaded to the MLM service.

Municipalities have a choice about whether to participate in this service, including ending it after 30 days.

The report indicates, “There is no cost for municipalities to participate, but any prepatory actions required to access or use the service must be done at their own expense. The province will not be providing any financial or resource compensation for participating.”

The next steps include staff training, setting up the Town portal, and updating their website, which will include providing a link to the Service Ontario portal.

Councillor, Don Smith, inquired about what the advantage this has to the Town.

McDonald advised that the transition to the MLM service is anticipated to be a more “streamlined process.”

She indicated that this is a service the province is making available to the Town, “otherwise the Town won’t be available on the one stop provincial portal.” She said that otherwise applicants would have to deal directly with the Town instead, which was typically primarily a paper-based process.

“The is a huge move forward,” she said.

She advised that it will help eliminate the back-and-forth process typically involved with the applications requiring additional information.

She said, “We’re pretty excited to participate in this service with the province.”