April 17, 2024
Discover where to get a marriage license, the legal requirements to meet, top places for marriage license, and how to obtain it during COVID-19 restrictions. Learn also about the renewal process of a marriage license.

I. Introduction

Getting married is an exciting time in your life, but before you can exchange vows and say “I do,” you need to obtain a marriage license. This document is essential, as it not only legalizes your marriage but also ensures that your union is recognized by the government. In this article, we will walk you through the steps to get a marriage license, the legal requirements you need to meet, and answer some FAQs about the process.

II. A Step-by-Step Guide on Obtaining a Marriage License

Obtaining a marriage license is an easy process that is broken down into a series of steps. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Do Your Research

Before you apply for a marriage license, it’s essential to research the requirements in your state. Each state has different laws and procedures for getting a marriage license, so you want to ensure you have all the correct information. You can typically find this information on your state’s government website or by contacting your local clerk’s office.

2. Gather Your Documents

Once you know what is required, you’ll need to gather the necessary documents. You’ll typically need to provide your birth certificate, photo ID (e.g., a driver’s license), and social security number. Additionally, you may need to bring proof of any previous marriages and, in some states, a blood test.

3. Fill Out the Application

After collecting your documents, it’s time to fill out the application. You’ll need to provide basic information such as your name, address, and date of birth, as well as the name and address of your fiancĂ©(e). Make sure you fill out the application completely and accurately to avoid any delays in processing it.

4. Pay the Fee

Marriage licenses are not free and typically cost around $30 to $100, depending on your state. You’ll need to pay the fee when you submit your application, so make sure to bring cash or a card with you.

5. Wait for Approval

Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the fee, you’ll need to wait for approval. This process typically takes a few days, but it may take longer in some states.

6. Pick Up Your Marriage License

After your application is approved, you can pick up your marriage license. You’ll want to do this well in advance of your wedding day, as some states may have a waiting period (usually around 24-72 hours) before you can use it.

III. Exploring the Legal Requirements for Obtaining a Marriage License

In addition to the steps outlined above, there are legal requirements that couples must meet to obtain a marriage license. These requirements can vary depending on the state, but some of the most common requirements include:

Age Requirements

In general, couples must be at least 18 years old to obtain a marriage license. Some states may allow minors to get married with parental consent, a court order, or both.

Residency Requirements

Many states require couples to be residents of the state in which they are getting married. However, some states do offer exceptions to this rule.

Waiting Periods

Some states have a waiting period before you can use your marriage license. This waiting period can be as short as 24 hours or as long as a few days.

IV. Top Locations to Obtain a Marriage License in the US

While you can get a marriage license in any state, some locations are more popular than others. Here are some of the top wedding destinations in the US:

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is the “Wedding Capital of the World”. You can get married at any time of day or night, as the county clerk’s office is open 24/7. Plus, there are numerous wedding chapels throughout the city, offering a variety of wedding packages to fit any budget.


Hawaii is another popular wedding destination due to its picturesque beaches and stunning scenery. In Hawaii, you don’t need to be a resident to get a marriage license, and there is no waiting period.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is known for its beautiful architecture, delicious food, and vibrant culture. Getting married here is a breeze, as there is no waiting period, and you don’t need to be a resident to get a marriage license.

V. Frequently Asked Questions about Obtaining a Marriage License

Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about obtaining a marriage license:

How much does a marriage license cost?

The cost of a marriage license varies depending on your state. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $100.

How long does it take to get a marriage license?

The process for obtaining a marriage license can vary depending on your state and how busy the clerk’s office is. In general, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Do I need to take a blood test to get a marriage license?

In most states, you don’t need to take a blood test to get a marriage license. However, some states still require it, so be sure to check your state’s requirements.

VI. How to Obtain a Marriage License During COVID-19 Restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many states to change their procedures for obtaining a marriage license. Here are some tips on how to get your marriage license during these challenging times:

Check Your State’s Guidelines

Each state has different guidelines for obtaining a marriage license during the pandemic. Make sure to check your state’s government website or contact the clerk’s office for more information on their current procedures.

Consider a Virtual Ceremony

Some states now allow couples to obtain a marriage license and get married virtually, eliminating the need to physically go to the clerk’s office. This option may be a good choice if you’re concerned about exposure to the virus.

VII. Understanding the Expiration Date and Renewal Process for a Marriage License

A marriage license is typically valid for a set period, usually around 30 to 90 days. If you don’t get married within this period, the license will expire, and you’ll need to get a new one. Some states allow you to renew your marriage license if you don’t get married in time, while others require you to go through the application process again.

VIII. Conclusion

Obtaining a marriage license is an important step in getting married. It ensures that you have a legal union and that your marriage is recognized by the government. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to obtaining your marriage license and starting your new life together.

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