Dress. Veil. Tuxedoes. Invitations. Cake. Flowers. Your wedding day is rapidly approaching and it appears that you have everything under control. In all your planning, don’t forget to check into the requirements for your marriage license. Every state has different requirements for the license and where you can get it varies. Getting a marriage license isn’t as simple as Hollywood portrays it to be and the last thing you want is a delay in your plans because you waited too long to check into the requirements.
The location for obtaining a marriage license varies from state to state but generally it’s the Municipal Office, Office of Vital Statistics, Town, City or County Clerks’ Office. MarriageLicense.com offers information on obtaining marriage licenses for all the states, including the location on where to get the license. Call before going to verify the office hours and determine exactly what information you need to bring.
Both applicants have to be present to fill out the application, although certain exceptions are allowed. Some states, like New Jersey, requires a witness be present when the license is applied for.
In all states, applicants must be a certain age to be able to marry without parental consent. There is also a minimum age for marriage with parental consent. Certain states will allow for marriage below the minimum age limit with certain exceptions.
Some states require certain medical tests. Washington state doesn’t require an exam, but does require a signed affidavit stating the applicants are free from venereal diseases. New York requires a test for Sickle Cell Anemia.
Identification and Proof
Applicants are required to bring proof of identification. In some states, it is a driver’s license, while other states require a state-issued birth certificate or both. If you are getting married outside of the state you reside in, you might have to fulfill special requirements; in New Jersey, if you are from out of state, you can only get married in the city where you applied for the license. If one or both applicants have been married before, they need to bring proof that the marriage was dissolved, either through divorce or annulment.
All states charge for marriage licenses. However, some states, like Tennessee or Florida, will waive the fee or offer reduced amounts if the couple offers proof that they have gone through premarital counseling or classes. Check to determine whether how this fee is to be paid; some states, like New Jersey, take cash only.
In some states, there is no waiting period once the application for the license has been filled out. Florida has a 3-day waiting period for residents, but none for non-residents. The application is good for a limited time; in Texas, for instance, it is good for 30 days.