Everything You Need to Know About How to Get a Marriage License

You got the ring and you’ve started planning out your dream wedding, but there is one important (and quite frankly not as glamorous or exciting) step that you cannot miss: getting the marriage license. You can Google the requirements on how to obtain a marriage license and you’ll most likely be pointed to the county clerk’s office, city hall or a marriage license bureau. You should submit your application at least a few weeks before the wedding so that you can have it a week or two before your wedding day. You may need to be present with your fiance to pick up the license so give them a heads up!

At your wedding, your officiant will sign the license to validate it and he/she is responsible for submitting it to the county or city clerk’s office. From there, it will get processed and you will receive the marriage certificate by mail within a few weeks. You may want to request multiple copies of the wedding certificate, especially if you plan on changing your name.

Here is a check list of things you should prepare before going to obtain your marriage license:
  1. Check to see if you meet the requirements (age of consent).
  2. See what documentation is needed when you go to the issuing office. Typically a birth certificate, proof of citizenship (if born out side the United States) and a photo ID. If you’re divorced or widowed, you may need to bring a divorce decree or death certificate with you.
  3. Will you need to bring a witness with you?
  4. Do you need to bring blood tests, proof of vaccinations or other medical tests? Make sure these are all recent.
  5. What is the marriage license fee?
  6. Check to see if there’s a waiting period between when you apply for the license and your wedding date.
  7. Ask how long the license is valid. Some may only be valid for 30 days so it’s important to know.

Featured Cover Image: Dana Fernandez Photography

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