6 Things You Need to Know About Getting Your Marriage License

Planning your wedding can be time consuming and overwhelming. From the moment you decide to get married there is a lot to think about and do. Even if you decide to have a small wedding there are certain aspects of getting married which are neccesary. 


As a wedding officiant I get the opportunity to speak with many couples regarding their wedding plans. We talk in detail about what they envision for their ceremony. I instruct them on everything from sharing their love story to the way they stand as I am performing the ceremony. 


While far from romantic, the most important information the I share is the things they need to know about getting a marriage license. All fifty states require a marriage license. (This information is general please check your state of residence for specifics). 


Determine where you are getting married

License requirements vary depending on where you get married. If you are both residents of one state and decide to get married in another the general rule is that you must obtain you license in the locality where the marriage ceremony will be held. 


If one of you is a resident in the state  where the marriage will take place and the other is not the license must be obtained in the locality where the in-state person  resides. 



You must present identification at the clerks office when applying for your marriage license. A drivers license, state or local identification or passport are all acceptable forms of identification.



A person over the age of 18 must be present to sign the license application as a witness. With everything that you have to handle, make sure that your witness is a responsible  and timely person. You don't want nor should you have to worry about whether a person will show up during any part of your wedding planning.


Application Fee

Application fees can range from $28 to $100 dollars depending on the municipality. 


Waiting Period

There are states that require a waiting period after a couple has applied for their marriage license. In new Jersey the time is 72 hours, other states may differ. The time is to give couples an opportunity to think about what they intend to do and to be certain that they are doing the right thing. No Vegas weddings here!


Expiration Date

The times vary by state as to when your marriage license is no longer valid. New Jersey allows six months. If you miss the expiration date the license is void and a new application is neccesary. 


Peace of mind is the most important part of planning a wedding. Take a few minutes and write your wedding to do list. Don't forget to include a trip to your local clerk's office in order to apply for your license. There is no legally binding ceremony without it.


If you think this information may help another engaged couples please feel free to share. I would love to hear from you contact me for a FREE  consultation.


Learn more about my services. 




Dr. Lesly













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