How to Obtain a Marriage License

A marriage license is vital in obtaining legal confirmation that you and your significant other are free to marry each other under the law. Marriage license laws vary by state, but we have gathered the basics for you so you know what to expect.

  1. You and your soon-to-be bride or groom will need to bring identification, necessary paperwork, fees, and sometimes blood test results to the county clerk.
  2. Depending on the state, there could be a waiting period.  Be sure to check out the timeline to ensure your license will still be valid on your big day.
  3. The person marrying you must be certified to do so in your particular state.
  4. That person, two witnesses, and the bride and groom must sign the marriage license.
  5. About a week after the license is issued, copies of the certified marriage certificate can be purchased from the clerk’s office.

IF YOU ARE HAVING A LEGAL ceremony in destination – you will need to follow the very specific rules of each country.  Weddings by Funjet Concierge Brittany has broken down the legal ceremony requirements for you here.

You can view the requirements by state when you visit either the county clerk’s website or at US Marriage Laws.

Most states will need the following:

ID Requirement: You will need a Social Security Card, proof of your residence and a certified birth certificate.  In most cases you will also need your parent’s full names and your mother’s maiden name.

Residency Requirement: Because marriage licenses are issued by state, at least one of you will need to reside in the county of application for at least 30 days.

If Previously Married: You will need to bring in a document showing a divorce, death or annulment from your most recent marriage. Some states have regulations on how long you must wait before you can be married again.

Application Requirement: Both the bride and groom must appear in person at the time of applying.

Waiting Period: In some states there is a waiting period from the date the application is signed until the license becomes effective.

Blood Tests: Some states require a blood test prior to receiving your license.  This is also true in some of the other countries where you may be having your destination wedding.

Under 18: A parent or guardian will need to sign off on weddings where either the bride or groom is 16 or 17.

Officiants: There are many different types of officiants. These include: Ordained members of the clergy, a judge, a court commissioner, or religious appointees.

Validity: The License length of validity varies by state.

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