What Is A Marriage License?
A marriage license is an official government document stating that two people can get married in accordance with state law. Often, many think that obtaining a marriage license means they are married but this is not the case. To be officially married, you must get your marriage license, have your wedding ceremony, get it signed by you and your officiant, and return it to your county to receive a marriage certificate.
How Much Is A Marriage License?
There is no set price to pay for a marriage license application. In the United States, it varies depending on the state, county, and/or city you are in. Marriage license fees can range in price from $10 to $115, with the average cost being about $40 – $50.
How To Get A Marriage License
Step 1: Determine Where and When You Will Get Married
Before applying for a marriage license, you must have a set marriage date and location. You will need this in order to request a license in the county or state you’re getting married in. This request must be made within a certain number of days (varies by state) before your wedding day.
Step 2: Go To Your Local County Clerk Office
To get your marriage license, you must visit your local county clerk. At this visit, you must bring the following:
- Proof of Identity: Driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport.
- A witness you’ve known for about six months. This may not be needed depending on your state.
- For those who were previously married, their divorce certificate or spouse’s death certificate is required.
- Marriage license payment.
- Any name changes that will occur after marriage, such as taking your partner’s last name.
When applying for a license, make sure to familiarize yourself with local marriage license regulations such as marriage age restrictions and how many days from the date you get your license you must get married.
Step 3: Getting Married
Next, you will have to get married while your license is still valid. This is usually 60-90 days after the license has been issued. Before or after the wedding, the license must be signed by the married couple, a witness, and a certified officiant.
Step 4: Officiant Takes The License To The County Clerk
After the wedding, the officiant must take the marriage license to the county clerk. After it is processed, the newlyweds will receive a marriage certificate either in-person or in the mail
How To Do A Marriage License Lookup
Option 1: Visit The County Clerk’s Website or Office
To get a certified copy of your marriage license and certificate, you can visit your county clerk in-person and request a copy, or look it up on their local website. Depending on your local clerk, you may have to pay a small fee to receive a copy.
Option 2: Do A Marriage Record Search Online
Many people and information search websites, including Kiwi Searches, allow users to search for a person’s marriage history. Any marriage documents that are available as public records will be accessible.
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View our other Glossary Terms here.
*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.