Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Marriage License

Getting Your Marriage License. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! If you’re planning a wedding, the first step is getting your marriage license. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the paperwork and requirements for getting married, but don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Read on for 6 things you need to know about how to get a marriage license.

Getting Your Marriage License: Start Early

It can take anywhere from one day to three months for a marriage license application to be processed, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time. Some states require an advance wait period after applying for a marriage license before it will be issued, so start early and check with your local county clerk’s office for more information.

Getting Your Marriage License: Gather Required Documents

In order to complete the application process, both parties must present valid identification such as a driver’s license or passport along with proof of residency (utility bills, etc.). Additionally, many states require couples to provide their Social Security numbers and/or birth certificates. Ensure you have all these documents before heading down to the county clerk’s office—it will save you time and hassle in the long run!

Getting Your Marriage License: Fill Out Your Application Together

Marriage licenses are issued jointly; both parties will need to fill out the application together at the same time in front of two witnesses and sign it in front of a Notary Public or other designated official at the county clerk’s office. Make sure you bring two witnesses who are 18 years or older with photo IDs such as driver’s licenses or passports. In addition to all the necessary documents mentioned above, there may be additional items required depending on where you live—such as witness signatures or blood tests (ew). Do your due diligence and find out what else is needed before stepping foot in the office!

Make Sure You Go To The Right Place

Some states allow you to mail or fax in your application; others require an in-person visit at the local courthouse or county clerk’s office. Again, do your research so you know where exactly you need to go!

Bring Cash

While some counties accept payment by credit card, many still only accept cash payments for marriage licenses so make sure you bring enough money with you for the fee which can range from $10 – $100 depending on what state and county you live in.

Wait For A Confirmation Number Before Moving On With Planning

Once approved by the county clerk’s office (or whatever entity is responsible for issuing marriage licenses in your area), they should provide a confirmation number which is proof that your license has been officially issued and can be used at any point between now and its expiration date (which varies by state). Keep this confirmation number handy and use it when booking vendors or making other wedding plans that require proof of marriage license ownership.

Don’t Forget Your License!

After completing all necessary paperwork and paying the fee, your marriage license will be issued immediately (some states may have additional waiting periods). Make sure you keep your original copy safe; it will serve as proof that you are legally married when filing taxes or filling out other forms that ask for marital status information.

Check Local Requirements

Every state has its own set of laws regarding legal marriages so make sure you do some research ahead of time if there are any special requirements in your area such as blood tests or counseling sessions that must be completed before applying for a marriage license in order to become legally wed in that state or county.


Congratulations again on taking this important step toward becoming married! By following these simple steps and doing some research beforehand, getting your marriage license should be quick and painless; remember – to start early and bring cash! Good luck!