A Guide For Getting A Marriage License In 2023

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Getting your marriage license is one of the most important things to do when planning a wedding. This is what enables you to get married at any recognized marriage institution, the world over. A license to marry is what it is. It’s not a wedding certificate and doesn’t in any way mean you are yet married. It is well issued by the government as proof that you can get married to your partner. Find all the steps to get one and its importance in this post.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Marriage License?

Is a Marriage License Necessary?

How Long Is A Marriage License Valid?


What Do You Need To Have To Get A Marriage License?

There are certain things you need to apply for a marriage license. But before that, let us set some facts straight. If you’re thinking of getting married in some places, you should know this. You may not be easily granted a marriage if you’re underage. There can’t be a marriage if you are not legally divorced.

If it’s a place where same-sex marriage isn’t allowed, you won’t get a license. Lastly, you won’t be easily granted a license in most places, if you’re related by blood.

The best place to do that is the location where you’re getting married. For instance, a marriage license in NYC is best gotten from the county clerk’s office. Other places are the town hall or City Hall. You can also call the local government office or browse the website for information.

Many states have the option of filling their application online. They can go pick it in person after they submit their documentation.

The things you need include:

  1. Photo ID: Driver’s license or passports will do.
  2. Proof of residency or citizenship of the country.
  3. Birth certificate to find out that you are eligible marriage age.
  4. Death certificate if widowed.
  5. Divorce decree if divorced.
  6. The court or parental consent in some countries, if underage.


Steps Of Procuring A Marriage License

You cannot get married until 24 hours after the license gets issued. You can only upturn this if you get a waiver from the court. Again, a wedding license lasts for only 60 days, which begins to count, a day after it’s approved. For the military, they have up to 180 days, due to deployments.

You can only marry in the state where you have rightly issued a license. The waiting time before you to get a license is 1-6 days. A non-impediment certificate is well required for a destination wedding. This is proof that you have no legal issues from your country. It is valid for 6 months.

Now, the steps:

Go to the town clerk’s office to fill out an application. You and your spouse must be present with the following documents.

  • Name.
  • Resident address
  • State, city, and zip code.
  • Country of birth and birth certificate
  • Name and country of parents
  • Social security number.
  • Presentation of Gonorrhea, HIV, and other STI-free certificates. This is as against blood tests initially asked for in the United States. You can also fill it online but you will complete the process at the office. This is after presenting your documents.

Pay the marriage application fee of $35. This is how much it costs to get a license in NY. In other places, it goes up to $115. The city clerk only receives either money order or credit card.

Receive a marriage license when the application is complete.

Apply for a judicial waiver. This is optional.

Turn it in and register after the wedding.


Can I Have A Wedding Without A Marriage License?

This and more questions are always asked. Questions like “what happens if a marriage license is never turned in?”
Well, your marriage is valid, and in the eyes of the law too. But your privileges are quite limited. Failure of having a license or turning it in will hamper you from the following…

  • Buying a home together with your spouse.
  • Getting immigration benefits by spousal virtue.
  • Change of the last name
  • Spousal health benefits, and more. Quickly change your last name.


The Difference Between a Marriage License And Marriage Certificate

Marriage license vs. marriage certificate is one distinction lots of intending couples can’t make. The license is government-issued documentation you fill out in the application for marriage. When approved, you are eligible to marry your spouse.

The marriage certificate is actually issued some weeks after the wedding. It is government and public proof that you’re married and it’s legal.

Can You Get Married Online?

Absolutely! You can get married online, as long as you have your marriage license. The reason why it’s being quite frowned upon is to avoid mishaps. Mishaps like getting ensnared into marriage or taking advantage of status to gain residency. The government also wants to be sure that the couple getting married are willing. But the truth is that you don’t have to travel the world to get married.

Below are the steps to get married online, and legally.

  • Complete a proxy form on platforms like WedWeb or Simpleproxymarriage. Tender all documents requested like in procurement of marriage license.
  • Pay the form and license fee.
  • They will mail you the marriage form.
  • Complete the forms and return them.
  • They will file the paperwork for you at the courts.
  • You will receive your marriage license.
  • Choose your officiant from their pool of ordained celebrants.
  • Get married!

Although a marriage license is not necessary to get married, it is important. The license bureau is easy and quick to access in any state. The waiting time is short these days, and you can pick it up the same day. As your wedding preparation is important, so is your license to marry. You want to have your happily ever after, knowing that it’s all documented!