3 Steps to Apply for a Marriage License
Planning a wedding is fun and romantic, but you have to file paperwork for your marriage to be legally valid. While it can seem daunting, it is not hard to apply for a marriage certificate!
If you’re not sure where to start to apply for a marriage license online, here are 3 steps to help you obtain your marriage license.
- Schedule an Appointment
You’ll want to apply for your marriage license anywhere between 4-6 weeks before your wedding day. You don’t want to wait until closer to the big day because there is a waiting period in most states after you obtain the marriage license for when you can get married. If you’re looking to get married during the pandemic, appointments are booked out further, meaning it may take even longer to get an appointment. Make sure you plan ahead of time and give you and your fiancé enough buffer on your time frame to schedule an appointment.
You can apply for a marriage license at almost any county clerk office, and they’re usually located in a government building or a courthouse. You can look up online which government buildings have services for obtaining a marriage license, and book an appointment at the closest one. Many counties are allowing you to book appointments directly on their website, or you can call.
Some county clerk offices are now allowing drive-by, online, or limited in-person appointments, so it’s important to check your local county’s website to see how they are handling COVID-19 regulation. Many offices still require you to bring in the documentation, so make sure you check the county’s website for information.
- Acquire Documentation
You and your fiancé will need to bring documents to the appointment, whether you decide to go in-person or mail them in. You can do whatever is comfortable to you and what your county allows. You’ll need: -Government-issued photo IDs, like driver’s licenses or passports. These are proof of identity. -Original birth certificate or certified copy. -Social Security card as more proof of identity.
Most states require these, but proofs of identity vary by state, so check your local county’s website to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
- Application Form
Some counties, like New York City, will let you fill out the marriage application online, even though you still have to bring in documents to complete the application. If not, it should be available to download from your county website to fill in and bring to your appointment. The application will ask you and your partner’s legal names, date of births, places of birth, marriage history, and marriage ceremony details.
Be prepared to pay a fee to file your marriage application. The charges vary by state, ranging from $10 to $115.
Get your marriage started right by applying for a marriage license online! If you plan ahead, get all the appropriate documents, and fill out the application form, you will be all set for your wedding day.