Are Online Marriages Legal in the US?

Thinking about tying the knot online? You’re not the only one – lots of couples are checking out this new approach to getting hitched. But is it legit in the US? Here’s all you need to know. Get the scoop now!


Online marriages are becoming popular in the era of social distancing and virtual communication. But, can they be legally binding in the US? It depends on the state. Some states recognize online marriages, while others do not. It’s important to know the laws before you tie the knot.

The enforcement of online marriage depends on the state’s regulations. Both partners must agree to the union and meet the necessary requirements. You must also get the legal documentation needed for a valid marriage. Couples must check their state’s laws to make sure their online marriage is lawful.

Overview of US Marriage Laws

Online marriages are not legally recognized in the US. To be valid, certain legal requirements must be met according to state law. Here’s an overview of some common marriage laws.

  • Age Requirement: Most states require individuals to be at least 18. However, some states allow minors to marry with parental consent.
  • License Requirement: Couples must get a marriage license before getting married. They must appear in person and provide proof of identity and age.
  • Officiant Requirement: An authorized person must perform the wedding ceremony to make it legal. This could be a religious minister, judge, or other authorized person.
  • Witness Requirement: Some states require witnesses to sign the marriage license. This makes the marriage legal.

Therefore, online marriages where couples don’t meet in person are not valid in the US.

Requirements for a Legal Marriage in the US

In the US, online or virtual marriages are not accepted legally. To be legally married, certain conditions must be completed. These are:

  1. Being of a minimum age, usually 18 or 16-17 with parents’ consent, as per the state’s law.
  2. Getting marriage license from an administrative body like county clerk or registrar.
  3. Filling a marriage license application with personal info like names, birth dates & SSN numbers.
  4. Waiting for a certain time period, as fixed by the state, before the ceremony takes place.
  5. Having the ceremony done by an approver, like a religious head or judge.

When the ceremony is done and the license is signed, the couple is legally married. Tip: Find out what the local marriage laws are before proceeding.

Online Marriage Ceremonies

Since the pandemic began, many couples have chosen to have online wedding ceremonies, instead of traditional in-person ones. But, the legality of these marriages has been questioned.

Yes, online marriages are legal in the US. However, the laws around them differ by state. Some states require couples to get a marriage license in person, before having an online ceremony. Others allow the entire process to be done remotely.

It’s important to remember that the legality of the marriage may depend on where the officiant is located, not where the couple is. Therefore, it’s essential to follow the proper procedures and laws set forth by the state in which you plan to get married. Research the laws in your state and speak to a legal professional to guarantee your online marriage is legally binding.

Recognition of Online Marriages in the US

In the US, online marriages are a legal option – as long as certain conditions are met. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The ceremony must be held on a video platform with everyone present in real-time.
  • The officiant must be licensed by the state and sign and file the marriage license afterwards.
  • A marriage license must be obtained from the state of residence and all laws regarding age, ID, and witnesses must be followed.
  • Research your state’s laws to make sure your online marriage is valid.

Potential Risks of Online Marriages

In the US, online marriages are not legally recognized. This means they come with several potential risks.

Though an officiant ordained online may perform a ceremony, the marriage is only valid if the correct legal paperwork has been filed according to state and local laws.

Without this, couples may have problems getting certain rights, like joint taxes, health benefits, and inheritance. Moreover, because of the lack of legal oversight and anonymity of online interactions, there is a chance of fraud or marrying for immigration or financial gain.

It’s important to talk to legal experts and be aware of the risks before entering an online marriage.

Pro tip: When it comes to marriage, it’s always best to be cautious and make sure all legal requirements are in place.


Thus, internet weddings are legit in the US, as long as the twosome satisfies the laws for matrimony in their state. It is essential to remember that online weddings, similar to those held in person, necessitate suitable paperwork and witness signatures to be officially binding. Additionally, couples getting married online should make sure that the platform they use is trustworthy and secure to dodge any potential frauds.

Pro tip: Before organizing an online wedding, look into it and converse with your state’s marriage laws and demands to guarantee that you’re fulfilling all necessary legal responsibilities.


Online marriages aren’t legally binding in the U.S. But, if each party involved meets the marriage requirements in their states, a legal ceremony and marriage license can be gained. The online part of the marriage, such as virtual ceremony or exchanging vows over video chat, would be only symbolic.

Before an online marriage, it is essential to research legal requirements for marriage in your state. Think about if the ceremony or legal status is more important.

Pro Tip: Talk to a licensed attorney in your state to understand the legal results of any unconventional marriage plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are online marriages legal in the US?

Yes, online marriages are legal in the US. However, the specific requirements for a valid marriage vary by state.

2. Can I get married online without ever meeting my partner in person?

It depends on the state. Some states require that both parties be physically present for the marriage ceremony. Other states allow for virtual ceremonies, but may still require some form of physical presence, like a witness or notary public.

3. Do I need a marriage license to get married online?

Yes, in order for an online marriage to be legally recognized, you will need a valid marriage license. The process for obtaining a marriage license may vary by state.

4. How do I find an officiant who can perform an online wedding ceremony?

Many officiants are now offering virtual wedding ceremonies. You can search online for officiants in your area who offer virtual ceremonies, or you can consider working with a wedding planning service that specializes in online weddings.

5. Are there any downsides to getting married online?

One potential downside is that some states may not recognize an online marriage if it was not performed in accordance with specific requirements. Additionally, some people may feel that an online wedding ceremony lacks the same sense of intimacy and connection as an in-person ceremony.

6. Can I have a traditional wedding ceremony after getting married online?

Yes, many couples choose to have two ceremonies – one online and one in-person – to celebrate their marriage with friends and family. However, you will still need to ensure that your online marriage is legally recognized before having a traditional ceremony.