Overview: Applying for a Marriage License

Getting married is an exciting time in a couple’s life. However, before you can tie the knot, you must obtain a marriage license. A marriage license is a legal document that allows you to get married in the eyes of the law. Without it, your marriage is not recognized as legal. Applying for a marriage license can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s everything you need to know about how to apply for a marriage license.

Eligibility Requirements for a Marriage License

Before you apply for a marriage license, you must ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. In most states, you must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license. If you are under 18, you will need to have parental consent and may be required to meet additional requirements. You and your partner must also not be closely related by blood. Some states also require that you are not currently married or in a domestic partnership.

Gather Your Required Documents

Before you apply for a marriage license, you will need to gather your required documents. This typically includes a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, and your social security number. You may also be required to provide proof of your age and residency.

Where to Apply for a Marriage License

You can apply for a marriage license at your local county clerk’s office. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to apply at a city or town hall. It’s best to check with your local government to find out where you can apply.

Filling Out the Marriage License Application

Once you have your required documents, you will need to fill out the marriage license application. The application will ask for basic information about you and your partner, such as your names, addresses, and dates of birth. You will also need to provide information about your parents, such as their full names and birthplaces.

Paying for the Marriage License

There is usually a fee to obtain a marriage license. The fee varies by state and county and can range from around $30 to $100. Some states may also require that you pay in cash, so it is best to check with your local government to find out what payment methods are accepted.

Waiting Period for the Marriage License

Some states have a waiting period before you can use your marriage license. The waiting period can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the state. During this time, you will not be able to get married. It’s important to find out what the waiting period is in your state so that you can plan accordingly.

Obtaining the Marriage License

Once you have completed the application and paid the fee, you will receive your marriage license. It’s important to keep the license in a safe place until the day of your wedding. On the day of your wedding, you will need to bring the license with you to the ceremony.

Who Can Perform Marriage Ceremonies?

In most states, a licensed minister, judge, or justice of the peace can perform a marriage ceremony. Some states also allow notaries public, family court judges, and other officials to perform marriage ceremonies. It’s important to check with your local government to find out who is authorized to perform marriages in your state.

Getting Married Outside of Your Home State

If you plan to get married outside of your home state, you will need to follow the marriage laws of that state. This may include additional requirements, such as blood tests or residency requirements. It’s important to research the marriage laws of the state where you plan to get married well in advance.

Changing Your Name After Marriage

If you plan to change your name after marriage, you will need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage license. You can use this document to update your name on your driver’s license, social security card, and other important documents.

Conclusion: Obtaining Your Marriage License

Obtaining a marriage license may seem like a complicated process, but with the right information, it can be a simple and straightforward process. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you are prepared to apply for your marriage license and get one step closer to your happily ever after.

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