Gone are the days of waiting in long lines at the county clerk's office to apply for a marriage license. With the rise of online services, applying for a marriage license can now be done from the comfort of your own home. In fact, many states now offer online marriage license applications, making the process faster, more convenient, and more accessible than ever before. However, the thought of applying for a marriage license online can be intimidating, especially if you're not familiar with the process.
In this article, we'll guide you through everything you need to know to apply for an online marriage license, including which documents you'll need to provide, and how to navigate the online application process. Read on to learn how to apply for an online marriage license and make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
As with in-person weddings, the process of obtaining a marriage license varies from state to state. Some require that you and your partner get tested for certain communicable diseases before applying, while others don't. Some states allow couples who are not local to apply at an office other than where they plan on holding their ceremony, while others don't.
The next step is to make sure you're legal. In most states, applying for a marriage license can be done online. Better yet, in some cases it can be completed without making an appointment. (In Alaska and Indiana, for example, you have the option of going to the county clerk's office in person or filling out an online application.) You'll need your full names, birthdates and places of birth
A few states require an appointment to apply for a marriage license: Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut are among these. In these states, you are also required to have at least one witness present at the wedding ceremony.
Once you've set the date, there are a few crucial items that you'll need to gather before getting started. While the exact procedure will vary depending on your state, most states will require:
Choosing when and where you're going to tie the knot is probably the biggest factor in determining how much you'll spend on your wedding ceremony. And, if you're doing it virtually, it's also one of the most fun parts!
You can choose a location that means something to you as a couple or make sure everyone feels included by having certain family members officiate from their homes. You'll want to keep in mind the length of time your ceremony will take place and whether it will be hosted indoors or outdoors. If possible, opt for an outdoor ceremony; this way, even if someone in your home forgets to mute themselves during the ceremony no one will be able to hear them over the open air. Additionally, sunshine and flowers make for beautiful photos! If you do decide on an outdoor venue, though, consider whether it might rain or snow that day and plan accordingly. In addition to looking at weather forecasts, make sure there's enough light out so that guests are able to see what's going on around them.
Prepare to pay the state fee. If you live in New York, that’s $40. In California, it’s $35. In Texas, it’s $71. They can be paid by cash, check or credit card—and some states have a 72-hour waiting period for newlyweds and waive the fee if you take a premarital counseling course (but since we don’t believe in those, I would say just pay the money).
To apply for a marriage license, you’ll need to make an appointment with the county clerk’s office. This can be done online with some counties, but if it isn't possible, then you will need to call them up. Select a date and time that works for you—just make sure it falls within their office hours! Additionally, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many offices have restrictions in place that could affect your appointment. For example, most are requesting only one person go into the office for their appointment and are not allowing anyone under 18 years old inside.
Once you've secured your spot at the county clerk's office, make sure you gather any documentation they might require before leaving home:
You need to start by applying for a marriage license. The fee is usually around $25, but this varies by state. For example, in Washington, the fee is $67, while in New Mexico it's only $25 (and additional counties may have their own fees). You can apply online or in person with your partner at a county office. If you're planning an elopement-style wedding with just yourself and your partner present, then you can apply online and complete the process virtually or in person at your local court house.
Now that you've gotten all the legal details out of the way, it's time to start planning your celebration.
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Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.Get Married
Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online.Learn More