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Getting a Marriage License

It’s easy for things to get overlooked when planning a wedding. The most important thing you will not want to overlook when planning your wedding is making it official with a marriage license. You’ll need to apply for a marriage license with your fiancé in advance prior to your wedding day. You’ll also have to bring a few important things with you when you fill out your application. Read below for some of our can’t miss details for getting a marriage license.

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Requirements vary by State, so be sure to check with your County Clerk for specifics when applying for your license. You’ll need to apply for a license in the State you will be getting married in. If you live in Florida, but are getting married in New York, then you’ll need to apply for a marriage license from the State of New York. Many County Clerk’s offices allow you to make an appointment for a marriage license application. Check with the one you’ll be going to in advance so you can avoid waiting for an hour or two in the office.

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  1. Identification

You’ll need to bring a few forms of identification with you:

  • Photo ID
  • Birth certificate or passport
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of divorce (if you’ve been married prior)
  • Death certificate (if you’ve been married prior and you’re widowed)
  1. Blood Test

Most States do not require couples to get bloodwork done before they can apply for a license anymore. However, if you’re getting married in District of Columbia, Mississippi or Montana, you’ll need to bring blood test results with you when you apply.

  1. Waiting Period

Several States require a 1-6 day waiting period before you can get married after you apply for a marriage license. Check with your State’s County Clerk to ensure you apply for a marriage license far enough in advance before your wedding day. Marriage license applications do have an expiration date, most being between 30-90 days. You’ll also want to keep this in mind and not apply for your marriage license too far in advance before your big day.

  1. Legal Officiant

You will be required to be married by a certified wedding officiant for your marriage to be legal. Make sure the person marrying you is recognized as a wedding officiant in the State you’ll be getting married in.

  1. Signatures

The officiant, one to two witnesses, the bride and the groom will all need to sign the license after the wedding ceremony.

  1. Put it in the Mail

Usually your officiant will mail your license back to the County Clerk’s office for you to complete the application process. You should receive your official marriage license in the mail a few weeks later.

For more wedding tips and advice, take a look at our other blog posts.