Marriage License Guide

You've got everything you need for the perfect wedding, but it feel like there's something missing? Don't forget that essential piece of paper.

marriage license guideGetting married is a legal act, and you'll require a marriage license to make your union official. License requirements vary by state, and sometimes by county within a state, so be sure to call the marriage license bureau in the county where your wedding will be held to verify the details. Most licenses expire after a certain period and some states have a waiting period of one to several days, so make sure you plan ahead!

Marriage license bureaus generally require you to pay in cash, and in most places both bride and groom must apply together, in person. You'll need specific identification - in many states a photo ID (like a driver's license) and Social Security card will suffice, but other places may require a certified birth certificate. (Also bring your divorce decree if you're divorced, or a death certificate if you're widowed.) The majority of states have dropped the blood test requirement, but some do retain it or another medical requirement, as listed below.

Once you have your marriage license, don't lose it! You'll give it to your officiant before the ceremony, where you two and the officiant (and in some states your witnesses) will sign it. Then he or she will mail it in to the license bureau and generally you'll get a certified marriage certificate by mail after a few weeks. Hold on to that in case you need to show proof of marriage in the future. Getting your license may not be the most romantic part of planning your wedding, but it is an essential one.

License Application Questions

Most marriage license bureaus have informational recordings to tell you everything you need to know, but make sure you get answers to the following questions before you head to the courthouse:

  • Do we need an appointment or can we walk in to the license bureau?
  • Exactly what identification do we need? (e.g., Birth certificate, driver's license, Social Security card, other)
  • What is the fee and must we pay cash?
  • Do we both need to apply in person?
  • How long is the license valid?
  • Is there a waiting period?
  • Is there a residency requirement (if your wedding will be held in a county you don't live in)?
  • Do we need blood tests or other medical certification?

 

General requirements by state

 Updated January 2012

Where possible, we've included a link to the state's informational site, but many states don't yet post their marriage license requirements online. All of this information is subject to change so please do call your local marriage license bureau to confirm the facts - and please let us know if you spot any outdated information.

Note that many states will let a bride or groom below the stated minimum age marry with parental and/or court consent; call your local marriage bureau for specifics.

AL | AK | AZ | AR | CA | CO | CT | DE | DC | FL | GA | HI | ID | IL | IN | IA | KS | KY | LA | ME | MD | MA | MI | MN | MS | MO | MT | NE | NV | NH | NJ | NM | NY | NC | ND | OH | OK | OR | PA | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VT | VA | WA | WV | WI | WY

 

Alabama

Minimum Age: Age: 16 Requirements For Persons 16 or 17 years of age: At least one parent must be a legal resident of Montgomery County (proof  of residency is required).

  • Once residency is established, both parents must be present, or the custodial parent must provide a certified copy of the divorce or legal document that grants care, custody, and control to the custodial parent (subject to review and decision by Licensing Authority).
  • An original certified copy of the state issued birth certificate for the minor.
  • Official picture identification for minor and each parent or legal guardian.

Cost: $40
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.mc-ala.org/ElectedOfficials/ProbateJudge/ProbateDivisions/Lic...

 

 

Alaska


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: $25
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: 90 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://hss.state.ak.us/dph/bvs/marriagel/default.htm

 

 

Arizona


Minimum Age: 15, must also have a court order. To obtain a court order you must contact Conciliation Court at (602) 506-3296.
Cost: $72
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 1 Year
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/marlic.asp (for contact information by county)

 

 

Arkansas


Minimum Age: Males age 17 or females ages 16 or 17, may only be married with parental consent.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.arkansas.com/weddings/legality.aspx

 

 

California


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: $65 (may vary by location)
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 90 days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.dhs.ca.gov/chs/OVR/Marriage/GeneralInfo.htm

 

 

Colorado


Minimum Age: 15.  Ages 16 and 17 require parental consent from both parents. If one parent is sole custodian of the minor; a divorce decree stating custody rights or a death certificate must be presented at the time of applying for the license. If one or both of the parents cannot appear at the time of applying for the license, an absentee application may be completed and notarized ahead of time. This is to be presented when the marriage license is issued. If these do not apply, judicial approval is then required. Applicants 15 years of age or younger, must obtain a court order granting judicial approval as well as complying with the above requirements. The court order must be obtained in the county where judicial approval has been granted.
Cost: $30
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.co.arapahoe.co.us/departments/cr/recording/marlicreq.asp

 

 

Connecticut


Minimum Age: 16.  Those under 18 years of age must have written consent to marry from a parent, guardian, or in the absence of such parent or guardian, a probate court judge.  Those under
16 years of age must have written consent to marry from a probate court judge.
Cost: $30-$35
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 65 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3132&q=390672

 

 

Delaware


Minimum Age: 18. Minors must petition Family Court for authorization to marry
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: 24 hours
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ss/vitalstats.html

 

 

District of Columbia


Minimum Age: 16. 16 year olds require the consent of a parent or guardian.
Cost: $35 (fee will be waived if the applicants’ original Domestic Partnership Certificate registered under D.C. Code §32-702 is presented at the time of application).
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: No Expiration
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/superior/family/marriage.jsp

 

 

Florida


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: $93.50 but the fee will be reduced if the couple completes a licensed Florida pre-marital course
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=30

 

 

Georgia


Minimum Age: 16. If either or both parties are less than 18 years of age, but at least 16 years of age, the parties may apply only with parental consent of the underage party or parties. Both parents must give written consent unless his/her rights have been terminated by an Order of a court.
Cost: $61.00 (without certificate*) or $26.00 (with certificate*). The application fee is waived when the couple seeking the license has completed a qualifying premarital education program.
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: No Expiration
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.gaprobate.org/licenses.php

 

 

Hawaii


Minimum Age: 15. Males or females of 15 years of age who wish to marry require the written consent of both parents or legal guardian, and the written approval of a judge of the family court. The parents or legal guardian do not have to be residents of the state. Consent forms may be obtained from a marriage license agent.
Cost: $60
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/vital-records/marriage/index.html

 

 

Idaho


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: $28
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 1 Year
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/countylisting.htm

 

 

Illinois


Minimum Age: 16. 16 year olds require the order of the Magistrate Court. Plus all requirements for 16 & 17 year olds. (Consent, proof of age, etc.)
Cost: $28.00 during the week and $45.00 on Saturdays.
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: No Expiration
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/countylisting.htm (for contact information by county)

 

 

Indiana


Minimum Age: 17. If one or both applicants are younger than 17, they must have a court order granting permission them to obtain a marriage license
Cost: $18 if one or both parties are Indiana residents and $60.00 for out-of-state residents.
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/2605.htm

 

 

Iowa


Minimum Age: 16. Persons aged 16 and 17 may only marry with special permission from a judge and require At least one parent or guardian to sign the consent form.
Cost: $35
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: No Expiration
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Kansas


Minimum Age: 18. Minors must be accompanied by parent or guardian, and application must be approved by the Judge.
Cost: $50
Waiting Period: 3-5 Days
Valid For: 6 Months
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.kscourts.org/dstcts/2marrnfo.htm

 

 

Kentucky


Minimum Age: 16. Applicants 16 & 17 years old must have parental consent and the license issued in the county of residence of the under aged applicant. If applicants are under age, the application needs to be made in the bride's county of residence.
Cost: $35.50
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://countyclerk.meadecounty.ky.gov/records/misc/ml.htm

 

 

Louisiana


Minimum Age: 16. Those under age 16 must obtain a court order from a court with jurisdiction over juvenile matters.  Applicants under age 18 must be accompanied by both parents, who must provide current picture identification.  If either parent has sole legal custody of the applicant or is deceased, a certified copy of the judgment granting sole custody or a death certificate must accompany the application.  If both parents are deceased, the legal guardian(s) must give consent with proof of guardianship.  Parents of applicants under age 18 must bring with them an original or certified copy of an affidavit of parental consent, executed before a notary public.
Cost: $27.50
Waiting Period: 72 hours
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Maine


Minimum Age: 16. Written parental consent is required for an applicant under 18. Written parental consent and written consent of a judge are required for an applicant under 16.
Cost: $20
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 90 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.maine.gov/portal/family/marriage.html

 

 

Maryland


Minimum Age: 17. Applicants 17 and younger are required to call the License Department prior to applying.
Cost: $55
Waiting Period: 2 Days
Valid For: 6 Months
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Massachusetts

Minimum Age: 18. If either person is under (18) eighteen years old, a court order must be obtained from the probate court or district court where the minor resides.
Cost: $50
Waiting Period: 3 days
Valid For: 60 days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Michigan


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: $20.00 for Michigan residents; $30.00 for out-of-state residents.
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: 33 Days
Blood Test: Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Minnesota


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: $115.00. Possible reduced fees can be obtained by attending a 12 hour special premarital counseling.
Waiting Period: 5 Days
Valid For: 6 Months
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Mississippi


Minimum Age: 21
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: No Expiration
Blood Test: Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/31,0,175.html#Testing

 

 

Missouri


Minimum Age: 18 Applicants who are younger than 18 must have consent from a custodial parent or guardian. Applicants wishing to apply who are younger than 15 must obtain a circuit court order.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.mo.gov/living-in-missouri/marriagedivorce/#.TvJ7TkrXFsM

 

 

Montana


Minimum Age: 16. Applicants who are 16 years old must have judicial approval.
Cost: $53
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: No Expiration
Blood Test: Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://mt.gov/howdoi/worklive.mcpx

 

 

Nebraska


Minimum Age: 17. If either applicant is not of legal age (19), a notarized consent form must be signed by the person's legal guardian giving consent to the marriage of the minor.
Cost: $15
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 1 Year
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Nevada


Minimum Age: 16. Those who are 16 must have parental consent, given either in person or by notarized written permission.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 1 year
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/NRS-122.html#NRS122Sec060

 

 

New Hampshire


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: $45
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: 90 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

New Jersey


Minimum Age: 16. Applicants under the age of 16 must obtain parental consent and have the consent approved in writing by any judge of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family part.
Cost: $28
Waiting Period: 72 hours
Valid For: 6 months
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.state.nj.us/health/vital/marriage_apply.shtml

 

 

New Mexico


Minimum Age: 16. For individuals under the age of 16, a Court Order is required (no other alternative) along with a certified birth certificate from the State or Country in which they were born, a passport with a valid picture and showing date of birth, or other valid form of identification that includes a photo and date of birth.
Cost: $25
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: No Expiration
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

New York


Minimum Age: 14. Applicants who are 14-15 years of age, must present the written consent of both parents and a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge of the Family Court having jurisdiction over the town or city in which the application is made.  If either applicant is 16 or 17 years of age, such applicant(s) must present the written consent of both parents.
Cost: $40
Waiting Period: 24 hours
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.health.state.ny.us/vital_records/married.htm

 

 

North Carolina


Minimum Age: 14. Applicants 14 and 15 must provide a certified copy of the court order authorizing the marriage. Applicants 16 and 17 must present a consent form signed by the parent, individual, agency or institution having legal custody or serving as the legal guardian of the underage party. A certified copy of the birth certificate is also required. The consent form must be notarized. A certified copy of the birth certificate is also required.  Applicants 18 to 20 must present a certified copy of their birth certificate.
Cost: $40
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

North Dakota


Minimum Age: 18. If the applicant is between sixteen and eighteen years of age, a marriage license may not be issued without the notarized statement of consent by the parents or guardian.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Ohio


Minimum Age: 16. An applicant younger than 18 must first get the consent of his or her parents or guardian and also have proof that he or she has received marriage counseling.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Oklahoma


Minimum Age: 16. Applicant must obtain parental consent of either parent or legal guardian, birth certificate.
Cost: $50.00, or $5.00 if premarital counseling completed.
Waiting Period: None except for those under the age of 18.  If under age 18, there is a 72 hour waiting period.
Valid For: 10 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Oregon


Minimum Age: 18. Persons 17 years of age may obtain a marriage license with a signed consent form from either parent or a guardian.
Cost: $60
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://licenseinfo.oregon.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=license_seng&link_item_id=26364

 

 

Pennsylvania


Minimum Age: 15. If either of the applicants between the ages of sixteen and seventeen, the minor’s parent or legal guardian must appear at the time the application is made. If the minor is fifteen years of age or younger, the Court must authorize the issuance of the license.
Cost: $80
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Rhode Island


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: $24
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 3 Months
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.health.ri.gov/records/howto/getamarriagelicense/

 

 

South Carolina


Minimum Age: 16. Minor applicants must have parental consent and present a certified or original birth certificate. The parents of minor(s) must provide Identification.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: 24 hour wait
Valid For: None
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

South Dakota


Minimum Age: 16. Those 16 and 17 must have parental consent.
Cost: $40
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 20 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://doh.sd.gov/VitalRecords/marriage.aspx

 

 

Tennessee


Minimum Age: 16. If either party is under the age of 18, they must be accompanied by his/her parents. Tennessee law does not permit those under the age of 16 to marry without a court order.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Texas


Minimum Age: 16. Applicants under the age of 18 must have a certified copy of their (long form) birth certificate issued in the last 10 years as well as judicial approval or parental consent.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: 72 hours. However, there is a 30-day waiting period after a divorce is granted within this state.
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Utah


Minimum Age: 15. If you are 16 or 17, you need signed consent from a parent or guardian, which must be given in person to the county clerk before a marriage license will be issued.
If you are 15 years old, you need consent from a parent or guardian, and:
    •    The juvenile court must approve the marriage, and must conclude that the marriage is voluntary and in the best interests of the minor.
    •    The juvenile court may require premarital counseling.
    •    The juvenile court may impose other conditions, such as requiring the minor to continue to attend school.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/marriage/

 

 

Vermont


Minimum Age: 16. If the applicant is at least 16, but under 18, they will need the consent of a parent or guardian.  The parent or guardian needs to go to the town clerk’s office to sign an affidavit giving the applicant permission to marry.
Cost: $45
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.sec.state.vt.us/municipal/civil_mar.htm

 

Virginia


Minimum Age: 16. If either party is under eighteen, consent to the marriage must be given by the father, mother or legal guardian.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.vdh.state.va.us/vital_records/marry.htm

 

 

Washington


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: 3 Days
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://access.wa.gov/living/resources/marriage.aspx (for contact information by county)

 

 

West Virginia


Minimum Age: None. If the applicant is under 18 years of age, they must hve the consent (in person) of a parent or guardian.
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: 3 days
Valid For: 60 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information

 

 

Wisconsin


Minimum Age: 18
Cost: Varies by county
Waiting Period: 7 Days
Valid For: 30 Days
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: http://www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/wisconsin_counties.html (for contact information by county)

 

 

Wyoming


Minimum Age: 18.  Applicants who are 16 years old must obtain a court order.
Cost: $25
Waiting Period: None
Valid For: 1 year
Blood Test: Not Required
Residency: Not Required
More Information: Verified in December 2011. Contact your local county's office for more information