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United States Marriage Laws

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State Laws marriage requirements to obtain and file a marriage license to receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate from clerk’s office upon request.

United States Marriage Laws

The Marriage License requirements for applicants to marry vary from state to state. Although there are differences between the requirements in the various states, a marriage between two spouses performed in one state must be recognized by every other state under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.



How to Obtain a Marriage License:

When applying for a marriage license current photo identification such as a driver's license or passport; proof of citizenship and/or residence; a birth certificate to show your age; proof of parental consent and/or court consent if underage; a death certificate if you are widowed or divorce decree if you are divorced; and sometimes blood test results.

 

Marriage License Application Procedures:

To complete an application for a marriage license, one or both spouses must appear in person at a courthouse, city hall, or town office and sign the marriage license application in the presence of the clerk (along with payment of a fee). The marriage license is either mailed or picked up by the couple.

 

Marriage ID Requirements:

Present proof of birth facts and identification in the following form:

 

Marriage Residency Requirements:

Most states in the U.S. do not require you to be a resident of the state in order to obtain a marriage license there. States that have marriage residency requirements:


 

Marriage Waiting Period after Application:

 

Marriage Waiting Period after Receiving Marriage License:

   

Proxy Marriages:

A proxy marriage, or marriage by proxy, is when one or both parties are not present at a proxy ceremony, but are represented by others. Only four states allow proxy marriages: California, Colorado, Montana, and Texas. With the exception of Montana, each of these states require one of the spouses to appear before the civil authorities. Montana, however, allows a “Double Proxy” marriage, where proxies may appear, in place of both parties.

 

Cousin Marriages:

 

Commom Law Marriages:

 

Wedding Officiants Requirements:

Performance of a marriage ceremony with witnesses and a person recognized by the state to have the authority to perform marriage ceremony (such as a priest, rabbi or a judge).

 

Marriage Witnesses Requirements:

Most states require both spouses, along with the person who officiated and one or two witnesses age 18 or older, to sign the marriage certificate.

 

Recording of Marriage License after Marriage Ceremony:

The person who performs the marriage ceremony has a duty to send a copy of the marriage certificate to the county or state agency that records marriage certificates. Failure to send the marriage certificate to the appropriate agency does not necessarily nullify the marriage, but it may make proof of the marriage more difficult.

 

Marriage Certificate after Marriage Ceremony:

Most recording agencies offer you the oportunity to purchase a certified copy of your marriage certificate at the time you buy your marriage license, and as soon a your marriage has been recorded it is picked-up or mailed to you. Others, you must request and pay an additional fee to receive an official (certified) copy of your marriage certificate.

 

Expiration Date of Marriage License:

 

Please Note: State and county marriage license Law requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office where you will be married for the most up-to-date information.

Marriage Laws State By State

Here’s a summary of each state’s marriage law procedure, including premarital blood tests and waiting periods before marriage, and the like.

State Marriage Law Procedures

Because state marriage laws in this area have been changing rapidly — many states have recently eliminated blood tests and or physical exams. You should check with your county marriage license bureau office, county clerk’s, city clerk’s, or town clerk’s office before making any wedding or travel plans.

State Law Marriage Requirements Can Include

Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk in the county where you will be married for the most up-to-date information.

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State Laws marriage requirements to obtain and file a marriage license to receive certified copy of your marriage certificate from clerk’s office upon request.

United States Marriage License Laws