A frequently missed little but oh so important pre-wedding task, that you can’t afford to miss, is obtaining your marriage licence. We know that getting your marriage licence isn’t as much fun as choosing your flowers, cake, or wedding invitations! But you can get married without a wedding invitation, you can’t without your marriage licence, so don’t let this task be forgotten, or overlooked.
So, if you are wondering what do you need to get your marriage licence, and how do you go about getting it? We’ve got you covered.
Here’s what you’ll need to bring to get your marriage licence
Where can you get a marriage license
To get your marriage licence, you’ll need to visit the county clerk’s office, in the state that you are getting married in. So if you live in one state but are marrying in a totally different state, you cannot obtain your marriage licence in your home state.
Most couples will add a few extra days onto their trip to the state that they will marry in, to obtain their marriage licence.
What identification do I need to bring to get a marriage license
Before making the trip to your county clerk’s office, it’s worth calling first, or checking online to find out what specifically your particular county clerk’s office needs.
You will need the following though:
- Birth certificate (or some photographic proof of citizenship like a passport)
- A photo ID (like a driver’s license)
- Proof of any legal changes (such as name change or divorce)
- If you’re under 18, you need proof of consent by a parent
How much does it cost to get a marriage license?
The price of a marriage license varies from state to state. Starting from $35 and reaching as high as $115. To find out exactly what your fee will be, just check out the relevant county clerk’s office online, or call and they’ll tell you the costs.
It’s also important to note that some states, will only take cash, so pay attention to the ‘how to pay’ section when you are researching your marriage licence fee. So that you don’t have to queue twice.
The waiting time – requesting your marriage licence to receiving it
When you visit your county clerk’s office to organise your marriage licence you won’t receive your licence immediately, there is a turnaround time which differs according to which state you are in. The time to wait is usually up to three days which is usually not really a problem if you are marrying in the state you live in, but if you are not, and need to travel, this is where you’ll need to make additional plans to make sure that you have your marriage licence in your hand at the time of your marriage. Again, checking the time frame with your county clerk’s office (and adding in a contingency, just in case they become suddenly busy) will ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Marriage licences expire
Sounds crazy but they do. Who knows the reason behind this, maybe it’s not relevant but what you do need to know is that marriage licences do expire. Now there are some, from some states that have an indefinite expiry date, others might last sixty to ninety days and most, are good for thirty days. So if you are extra organized, this is one thing not to do too far in advance!
Blood tests and marriage licences
Most states no longer require mandatory blood tests, for two people who want to get married. It’s worth checking with your county office in advance, just to make sure. It’s better to check than make assumptions and then become delayed with your wedding plans.
Checklist to get your marriage licence with ease
Step 1: Call the county clerk office in the state you will marry (or check their website) and find out the following:
- Clarify what you need to bring to get your marriage licence.
- Check the cost of the licence.
- Find out what payment type they will take.
- Find out if you need a blood test.
- Find out how long a licence will last before it expires.
- Check the turnaround times, and ask if there is any possibility that it might. change (if it could make sure to plan to re-check closer to the time).
Step 2: Schedule a plan to collect your marriage licence. Which may seem easy if you are marrying in your home state but if not, you’ll need to plan effectively to make sure you have everything handled.
Step 3: Execute your plan, making sure you have all of the required paperwork to get your marriage licence.
Step 4: Get married and have a fabulous life together.