If you’re planning to get married, ordering a marriage license is one of the first steps to doing so. This legal document verifies your age, identity, and that both persons wishing to marry legally qualify in the state. Once you have a certified marriage license, you can take it to any officiate or church to be legally wed. You may also need an affidavit showing that you don’t have a previous marriage certificate and there is no record of current marriage for either party.
While you can begin to apply for your marriage license online, you will have to complete the application and sign paperwork in person. In addition, the requirements for qualifying for a marriage license vary from state to state, so it is important to check local requirements and restrictions for applying for your marriage license online. Many states such as Indiana and Michigan use an e-filing program, where you can e-file your application, and then simply verify it by visiting the local county clerk with all required identification and proof of identity.
What You Need to Apply for a Marriage License Online
Most states will require that you submit a certain amount of data upfront. In most cases, this will be either filling out a form online and submitting it to the local office or filing it out and bringing it into your appointment with you.
You will need:
- A certified copy of the birth certificate for each party (not required in all states) or valid passport and full names of both parents plus the name of state of birth
- A current valid state photo ID to prove residency for each party showing current address
- Proof of residence if applying to be married in a county out of state
- Social security numbers for each party (not required in all states)
- Fee (Typically $20-$50 depending on state)
- Full (maiden) name of each party
- Age of each party
- Birthplace of each party
- Full name and birthplace of each parent
If either party is a minor in that state, they will require their parents’ presence and proof of relationship to proceed.
In most cases, you can apply for your marriage license online and pick it up in person. Most states issue marriage licenses for 30-60 days. If you apply for your marriage license online, you will have to bring photo copies of all identification and listed requirements to the pickup office.
Who Can Get a Marriage License?
In most states, you have to be 18 or older or have written permission from both parents and/or guardians. You should also be legally not married, you will have to visit the county clerk and verify that there are no existing marriage certificates issued in your name, and provide identification including photo ID and a certified copy of your birth certificate. If you’ve been married previously, you’ll also need a divorce or death certificate. However, rules vary a great deal from state to state so it is important to check actual regulations for your state.
How to Replace Vital Records to Get a Marriage License
If you’ve lost or do not have copies of certified vital records such as your birth certificate, a previous marriage certificate, or death certificates, it may impede your ability to acquire a marriage license. However, you can order replacement documents at VitalRecordsOnline. If you are over the age of 21, you typically need your photo ID and the full name, location and date on each of the documents you are requesting. For example, if you need a replacement marriage certificate, you must provide the full names of each spouse, the marriage date, and location. This will prevent you from having to return to the vital records office in a state where the records were filed and will ensure that you get replacement records more quickly, so you can file and qualify for your marriage license.