How To Obtain A Marriage License
How to obtain a marriage license varies from state to state, so it is important to look up the specific requirements for your state before beginning the process. There are some overarching guidelines for marriage licenses in the United States. It is also important to know if there is a waiting period to receive the license, in many states this is two or three days after the application is submitted.
- Find out where to go. In most states, this means going to the county clerk's office. Many times, it can be any county in the state where you plan to get married. In some states, you will need to go to the specific county where you plan to marry. Look up the location of the county clerk's office and their hours.
- Have the right paperwork. You will need to bring with you your state-issued ID card or driver's license and your social security card. A passport can be used as well. Generally, you want the same identification that you would bring to take care of any official business. If you or your partner has been previously married, you will want to have the paperwork that ended the marriage, be it divorce paperwork or the proof of a previous spouse's death.
- Meet all the requirements. In most states, you are required to both be over the age of 18. You also must be sure that any previous marriages have been legally ended. Most states will have you take an oath that you are not closely related to each other, being coerced into marriage, or under the influence.
- Pay for the license. There is typically a fee for a marriage license. Be sure to bring cash or a checkbook to your appointment at the county clerk's office. Typically the marriage license will be presented to you during the appointment, mailed to you during the following week, or you will need to come back to pick it up after the waiting period.