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Marriage Laws  »  State Laws on Marriage


State Laws Age of Consent

In the United States, all but one state requires that a couple be 18 in order to marry without parental permission. Nebraska sets the age of majority at 19. Although a few states will waive this requirement if there is a pregnancy, the couple may still have to have court approval.

Delware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, and Oklahoma: Allow pregnant teens or teens who have already had a child to get married without parental consent. However in Florida, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, the young couple must have authorization from a court. Maryland requires that the minor be at least 16. Even with parental approval, many states will require court approval when a person is 16 years of age or less.

  • Alabama: If either of you are under eighteen (18), you will need a certified copy of your birth certificate. Both parents must be present with identification, or if you have a legal guardian they must be present with a court order and identification. The state requires a $200 bond to be executed, payable to the State of Alabama. If one or both parents are deceased, proper evidence of such must be provided.


  • Alaska: If either of you are under eighteen (18), you will need certified copy of birth certificate, both parents must be present with identification, or if you have a legal guardian they must be present with a court order and identification.


  • Arizona: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have the notarized consent of your parents or legal guardian.

    If you are under sixteen (16), you must have the notarized consent of your parents or legal guardian as well as a court order.


  • Arkansas: Parental consent is needed if under eighteen (18) years of age. You need to present a state certified copy of your birth certificate, an active Military ID card, or a valid passport. Your parent must be present to sign the marriage book with the applicants when the license is issued. If a parent is unable to sign, due to death, separation, divorce or other circumstances, you must produce certified papers for verification of those circumstances. Males under the age of seventeen (17) and females under (16) cannot marry without a court order. This is usually given only in extreme circumstances, such as if the female teen is pregnant or the teenage couple already has a child together.


  • California: If either of you is under eighteen (18) years of age, you will need to make an appointment with a counselor, appear before a superior court judge, show certified copies of your birth certificates, and have one parent appear with you when you apply for the marriage license.


  • Colorado: If you are sixteen (16) or seventeen (17), you need consent of both parents (or parent having legal custody), or guardian, or seek judicial approval. If you are under sixteen (16), a Judicial Court Order along with parental consent is necessary.


  • Connecticut: If under sixteen (16) years of age, a written consent of the judge of probate for the district where the minor teen resides must be obtained. Written parental consent is needed if under eighteen (18) years of age.


  • Delaware: You need signed parental consent forms provided by the Clerk of the Peace office if you are under eighteen (18) years of age.


  • District of Columbia: You need signed parental or guardian consent forms if you are under eighteen (18) years of age. If you are under sixteen (16) years of age, you cannot marry in the District of Columbia..


  • Florida: If a teen is under eighteen (18) years of age, but older than sixteen (16) years of age, a marriage license can be obtained with parental consent. If a parent has sole custody or the other parent is dead, the permission of one parent is sufficient. If a person is under the age of 16, the marriage license has to be issued by a county judge, with or without parental permission. If a minor’s parents are both deceased and there is not an appointed guardian, he/she may apply for a marriage license. A minor teen who has been previously married may apply for a license. A minor who swears that they have a child or are expecting a baby, can apply for a license if the pregnancy has been verfied by a written statement from a licensed physician. A county court judge may at his/her discretion issue or not issue a license for them to marry.


  • Georgia: Georgia changed the laws in 2006 concerning the minimum age to get married and the minimum age to get married in Georgia is 16. Most Georgia county websites are stating that in order to apply for a marriage license, both of you have to be 18 years of age. Some of the county websites are stating that if either of you are 16 or 17 years of age, both parents (either biological or adoptive) or legal guardians must give their consent to your marriage in person and provide a certifified copy of your birth certificate along with valid identification. In some counties, a probate judge also has to approve the marriage license application of individuals who are 16 or 17 years old. Anyone under the age of 16 cannot obtain a marriage license in Georgia.


  • Hawaii: f you are 16 or 17 years of age, you must have the written consent of both of your parents, legal guardian, or the family court. If you are 15 years old, you will not only need the written consent of both of your parents or legal guardian, but also the written approval of a judge of the family court. You can obtain the necessary consent forms from a marriage license agent.


  • Idaho: If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you will need to have a certified copy or your original birth certificate, or a passport, or a driver’s license or state I.D. card. You must be accompanied by one of your parents or your legal guardian and have written parental consent on the Affidavit of Consent to Marriage of Minor. If you are under 16 years of age, you will also need a court order.


  • Illinois: If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you will have to provide a copy of your birth certificate along with some other sort of identification showing your date of birth. You will also need to have the sworn consent from each parent, each legal guardian or a judge – in person – before the county clerk at the time of application. Your parents or guardians will need to provide identification like a driver’s license, state identification card, Illinois Department of Public Aid card, or passport. If your parent is deceased, you will need to show a death certificate or proof of guardianship, or a court order waiving consent. A legal guardian will also need to show a certified copy of the guardianship papers. If you are under sixteen (16) years of age, you cannot get married in Illinois.


  • Indiana: A certified copy of your birth certificate is required. If you are 17 years old you must apply for the license with both parents (or the person with legal custody). They will need to sign the consent portion of the application. If you are 16 or 15 years old, you must petition the Circuit Court via a “Permission to Marry” form. The cost for filing this petition is $120.00 even if the Judge refuses to allow the couple to marry.


  • Iowa: Under 18 applicants (16 or 17 years of age) need to have parental consent.


  • Kansas: The minimum age to get married is 15 in Kansas. This legislation can be waived only by a district court judge who thinks that getting married at such a young age would be in that individual’s best interest.

    • Teens who are 16 or 17 years old need to obtain one of the following in order to get married in Kansas:

      • Obtain parental or legal guardian permission and judicial consent.

      • Receive permission from both parents or legal guardian.

      • If the minor’s parents are dead, or if there is no legal guardian, permission must be received from a judge.


  • Kentucky: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have the consent of your parents or legal guardian. Custody papers are required if your parents are divorced. The form that you need to have completed is the Consent to Marriage Form (84-FCC-501). It has to be witnessed by two witnesses who are at least 18 years old, signed by your parent or legal guardian, and sworn by the deputy clerk. If you are a pregnant minor you may apply to a district court judge for permission to marry without parental consent.

  • If you are under 16, you must get approval to marry from the District Court. Minors cannot get married in Kentucky if parents or guardians are not residents of Kentucky.


  • Louisiana: Applicants aged 16 and 17 will need the appearance of their parents at the clerk’s office at the time of the marriage application. If your parents were divorced, you will need to have them show a certified copy of the custody judgment. A court order is necessary for anyone under the age of 16 to receive a marriage license.


  • Maine: Those who are 16 or 17 years old will need parental consent. Anyone under the age of 16 needs written parental consent and the written approval of a judge.


  • Maryland: Parental consent is needed if under 18 years of age. If you are between 16-18 years of age, one of your parents or guardian must be with you and provide written consent. If you are under 16 years of age, you will need both the written consent of your custodial parent or guardian and the written approval of a judge of the Orphans’ Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas. If you are under 18, pregnant or have a child, and show a certificate from a licensed physician stating you are pregnant or have had a child, the parental consent requirement may be waived.


  • Massachusetts: If you are under 18 years old, you will need a court order from either a probate court or district court in the locale where you live in order to apply for a marriage license.


  • Michigan: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can get married with written parental consent. If you are 15 or younger, you will need both parental consent and the approval of the probate court.


  • Minnesota: Applicants who are 16 and 17 years old need parental consent or court approval.

    Minnesota Statute 517.02


  • Mississippi: If you are under the age of 21, you will need parental consent. If your parents aren’t with you when you apply for the license, they will be notified via certified mail. Brides under 15 years old, and males under 17 years old, cannot marry in Mississippi.


  • Missouri: If you are under 18 years old, you must have parental consent. Anyone under the age of 15 must have the approval of a county judge to receive a marriage license.


  • Montana: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have the consent of both parents unless only one parent has legal custody of you. Proof of age must be in the form of a certified copy of your birth certificate. Both of you, as a couple, will also have to attend at least two counseling sessions that are at least 10 days apart. This has to be done with a designated counselor who will then have to provide a letter that states the names of the couple, their ages, the dates of the counseling sessions, and what the counselor thinks about their possible marriage. Then judicial consent signed by a district court judge must be given for the Clerk of court’s office to issue a marriage license. No one 15 years of age or younger may marry in Montana.


  • Nebraska: No one may marry in Nebraska if they are under 17 years of age. Any one under 19 years old will need a notarized parental consent form in order to apply for a marriage license.


  • Nevada: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have one parent or legal guardian present. A notarized written permission is also acceptable. It must be written in English and needs to state the name, birth date, age of the minor child, along with the relationship of the person giving consent. The notary must note that the parent or guardian personally appeared before or was subscribed and sworn to. If you are under 16, marriage can be authorized only by court order when the request has been filed by either parent or legal guardian.


  • New Hampshire: The law is complicated in New Hampshire. Individuals under the age of 18 may not marry in New Hampshire without parental approval and a judicial waiver. Brides must be at least 13 years of age and grooms must be at least 14 years of age before their parents can apply for a judicial waiver.


  • New Jersey: If you are under 18 years of age, you will need both parents to give consent in front of two witnesses in order for you to receive a marriage license. Those under 16 need judicial approval. In the case of pregnancy or the birth of a child, special provisions may apply.


  • New Mexico: In order to get married, a court order is necessary for anyone under 16 years of age. If you are between 16 and 17 years old, you will need parental consent.


  • New York: If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you will need to have a completed parental consent form filled out by both parents. If you are either 14 or 15 years of age, you will need to show the written consent of both parents and a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the local Family Court. Applicants under 14 years of age cannot marry. Only one parent’s consent will be accepted if one parent is deceased or has been missing for over a year, or if one parent has full custody from a divorce proceeding. Your parents or guardians must give their consent in person before the town or city clerk or some other authorized official. If they are out of state, a notarized affidavit is acceptable but has to be accompanied by a certificate of authentication when the consent is filed in New York State.


  • North Carolina: Anyone under 20 years of age will need to show a certified copy of their birth certificate. If you are between 16 and 17 years old, you will have to show parental consent. Those who are 14 to 15 years old, you can’t get a marriage license without a court order. Anyone under 14 years of age cannot get married.


  • North Dakota: If you are between 16 and 18 years old, you will need the notarized consent of your parents.


  • Ohio: If you are 18 to 21 years of age, you will need to show your birth certificate. Persons aged 16-17 must have consent to marry from parents or legal guardians and may have to contact the Probate Court. Additionally, the Judge may require the minors to state that they have received marriage counseling that is satisfactory to the court. Section 3101.05 also mentions how the court will deal with a pregnant minor.


  • Oklahoma: If you are under 18, your parents must appear at the courthouse with you to sign a consent form. Minors must wait three days before the marriage license is valid.


  • Oregon: If you aren’t 17 years of age, you can’t get married in Oregon. Those 17 years of age will need parental consent.


  • Pennsylvania: If either of you are under 18 years of age, you must pay an additional $5.00, show your Birth Certificate, and have the written consent of a parent or guardian. Anyone under 16 years of age needs parental consent and the approval of a Judge of the Orphans Court.


  • Rhode Island: If the bride is either 16 or 17 years of age, she will need to have a Minor’s Permit to Marry Form (VS 10) signed and notarized by her parent or guardian at the City Clerk’s office. Females under the age of 16, and males under the age of 18 cannot get married without prior approval from the Family Court.


  • South Carolina: If you are under 18, you will need a certified copy of your birth certificate and a notarized statement of parental consent. The minimum age for a female is 14 and it is 16 for a male.


  • South Dakota: If you are at least 16 years of age, but not yet 18 years old, you will have to provide written notarized consent from your parents or guardian. You will also have to show proof of age.


  • Tennessee: If you are under 21 years of age, you will need to show your birth certificate. Applicants between 16 and 18 years of age, along with a 3-day waiting period, will need to have both parents with them at time of application to sign an approval affidavit. If either of you are under 16 years of age, you can’t get married without a waiver from the Juvenile Court.


  • Texas: If you are between 16 and 17 years old, you may apply for a marriage license only if you have written parental consent on an official form in the presence of the county clerk or if you have received an order from the Texas district court authorizing your marriage.


  • Utah: If you are 16-17 yearsof age, you will need parental consent to apply for a marriage license. If you are 15 years of age, you will need not only parental consent, but also the consent from the Juvenile Court.


  • Vermont: Applicants under the age of 18, but older than 16, need signed parental or guardian consent.


  • Virginia: If either of you are under 18 years of age, you must have written, notarized consent from a parent or your legal guardian.


  • Washington: If under the age of 18, proof of age is required (birth certificate or driver’s license). Additionally, the parent or guardian must be present to sign the application form. If under 17, written permission from the family court must be obtained.


  • West Virginia: If either of you are under 18 years of age, you must have the consent (in person or written) of a parent or guardian. If written, the consent must be notarized. There may be special provisions for an underaged bride who is pregnant.


  • Wisconsin: If you are under 18 years of age, you will need to have a notarized consent form signed by your parents or guardian at the county clerk’s office.


  • Wyoming: If one or both of your ages is 16-17, a parent or guardian must sign for you.

  • If either of you are between 16-17 years of age, you will need written parental/guardian approval. Under 15 years of age applicants will need permission from a court judge.