What Do You Need For a US Marriage License?

Want to wed in the US? Before tying the knot, make sure you know the marriage license requirements. Documents and identification are needed. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into what’s needed for a US marriage license!


Gettin’ hitched in the US? Time to get a marriage license! State laws are the boss here. Requirements vary, but here’s some common ones:

  1. Age: You and your partner need to be 18+ most places.
  2. Identification: Got your driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate?
  3. Residency: Some states might need proof you live there or make you wait.
  4. Blood test: A few states need premarital tests for certain illnesses.

Research your state’s laws and follow ’em closely. And plan ahead! Don’t leave it ’til the last minute.

Overview of Requirements

To get married in the US, you need to meet certain requirements. These vary by state, but some are the same everywhere. Here’s what you should know:

  • Age: 18 is the minimum, but some states accept younger people with conditions.
  • ID: You must show a valid ID, like a driver’s license or passport.
  • Residency: Some states require you live there for a certain amount of time before applying.
  • Blood tests: A few states still require blood tests for diseases like syphilis and rubella.
  • Application fee: $15-115, depending on the state.
  • Waiting period: Usually 1-5 days between the license and the ceremony.
  • Witnesses: Usually one or two must be present and sign the license.
  • Marriage certificate: The officiant signs the license, which then needs to be recorded by the state.

Pro-tip: Check your state’s rules and get your documents ready ahead of time.

Identification Requirements

If you’re getting married in the U.S., you must meet certain ID requirements for a marriage license. Here’s what’s usually needed:

  • Age Requirement: Generally, you must be 18 or older. Some states let those under 18 marry with parental consent or court order.
  • Proof of Identity: Bring an accepted form of ID – like a driver’s license, state ID, or passport – to prove age and identity.
  • Proof of Residency: Some states require proof of residency – like a bill or lease agreement – for a marriage license.
  • Waiting Period: Many states have a waiting period between the license and ceremony – from a few hours to several days.
  • Blood Test: Some states need a blood test to check for diseases before issuing a license. Not so common nowadays.
  • Fees: There’s a fee associated with the license that varies by state/county. Research and prepare ahead of time to make sure the planning goes smoothly.

Residency Requirements

In the US, the residency requirements for obtaining a marriage license vary by state and county. For instance, some states may require residency in the county you plan to get married in, or in the state for a certain period of time.

Here’s a brief look at some popular wedding destinations:

  • Las Vegas, Nevada: No residency requirement for marriage license.
  • Hawaii: No waiting period or blood tests for non-residents. Application is easy.
  • New York City: No waiting period for non-residents. A representative must apply for the license.
  • California: No residency or waiting period, but some counties may need blood tests.

Before tying the knot, make sure you check the residency requirements for your chosen destination.

Age Requirements

Marriage license requirements in the US differ by state. One of the most usual is the age requirement.

In most states, the minimum age to get a marriage license is 18. But some states let minors marry with parental permission or a court order.

For example:

  • California: 18, or 16-17 with parental consent or a court order.
  • Texas: 18, or 16-17 with parental consent or a court order.
  • New York: 18, or 16-17 with parental consent and a court order.
  • Florida: 18, or 16-17 with parental consent.

If you’re unsure about the age requirement in your state, check your local county clerk’s office or consult with a lawyer.

Blood Test Requirements

No more blood tests are needed in the U.S. to get a marriage license – although some states may require one for certain illnesses, like syphilis. Here’s what’s generally required:

  • Both people must be of legal age (usually 18+). In some states, 16/17 year-olds can marry with parental permission.
  • ID documents, like a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate.
  • Both must apply in person at the local county clerk’s office or similar agency.
  • Application fees are usually between $20-$100.
  • A waiting period of 1-5 days before the ceremony takes place – to check the info on the application and make sure there’s no legal block.

Pro Tip: Check with your local county/government office for the exact requirements for your state.

Waiting Periods

Waiting periods are an ordinary demand to get a marriage license in the United States. Every state has its own waiting period, which could range from 0 to 10 days or more.

Below are some examples:

  • Florida has a 3-day wait after obtaining a license.
  • California has no waiting period if couples have done a premarital educational program. If not, the wait is 6 months.
  • New York has a 24-hour wait after obtaining a license.

Note that waiting periods could differ relying on factors such as age, residency status, and if the couple has been married before. It is vital to research the particular requirements in your state. Contact your county clerk’s office or visit their website.


To wrap it up, getting a US marriage license has different rules in each state. There are some common ones though. You’ll likely need ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Plus, you’ll need to show your birth certificate or other proof of age. Some states require blood tests or a waiting period. If you’ve been married before, you’ll need to prove the divorce or death of the previous spouse. It’s important to research your state’s requirements. That way, you can make sure you have all the documents ready for your wedding day.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What documents do I need to obtain a marriage license in the U.S.?

In general, couples will need to present proof of identity (such as a driver’s license or passport) and proof of age (such as a birth certificate or government-issued ID card) when applying for a marriage license. Some states may also require other documents, such as divorce decrees or a blood test certificate; it’s best to check with your local government office for specific requirements.

2. Can non-U.S. citizens obtain a marriage license in the U.S.?

Yes, non-U.S. citizens can obtain a marriage license in the U.S. as long as they provide the required documentation (proof of identity, age, etc.) and meet any additional requirements imposed by the state or jurisdiction where they are applying for the license.

3. How long does it take to get a marriage license in the U.S.?

The processing time for marriage licenses varies by state and may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Some states may offer expedited processing for an additional fee.

4. How much does a U.S. marriage license cost?

The cost of a marriage license also varies by state and can range from less than $10 to over $100. In addition to state fees, some counties or jurisdictions may also charge their own fees for processing and issuing marriage licenses.

5. Is there a waiting period before a U.S. marriage license becomes effective?

Many states impose a waiting period of a few days to several weeks before a marriage license becomes effective. This means you cannot get married until the waiting period has expired. Some states may offer expedited processing to waive or shorten the waiting period.

6. Can we get a marriage license anywhere in the U.S.?

No, couples must obtain a marriage license from the state or jurisdiction where they plan to get married. Each state has its own requirements and procedures for obtaining a marriage license.