GETTING MARRIED IN OHIO Q&A
Where can I get a marriage license?
The probate court in each of Ohio’s 88 counties is the only place in Ohio authorized to issue a marriage license. To apply for a license, both of you must go to the probate court of the county where one of you lives. If neither of you is an Ohio resident, you must apply in the county where the marriage will be performed. Please Google search "Ohio Probate Courts" to find yours.
Can we marry the day we obtain and submit our marriage license application?
Yes. Effective February 2001, there is no longer a five-day waiting period. As soon as you get your license you can have your marriage ceremony.
How long does the marriage license stay valid?
The marriage license is good for 60 days. If your marriage is not performed within that time, you must get a new license. You will have to reapply and pay the fees associated with the application process.
What identification will we need to provide the county clerk?
Both people must have valid picture I.D. with the name that is entered on the marriage license application in order to prove age and verify any of the items you will have to swear to under oath. Those things are your:
- Legal name
- Place of birth
- Father’s name and Mother’s maiden name
During the process you will likely need to provide your Social Security number.
The best document to bring with you is your birth certificate, followed by your valid passport. Other government issued IDs, such as driver’s licenses, visas, or other state-issued IDs should also be acceptable.
How much does it cost? Can I pay with a credit card?
The fee for a marriage license varies by county, but expect to pay between $40 - $70. Some counties will only accept cash, others will accept money orders and credit cards. Call before you go to obtain your license...
Do we both have to be present to receive a marriage license?
Yes. Whether you complete the license application online or in the probate court office, both parties must appear together in the probate court county office to sign the license at the time it is issued. Both parties must have a valid picture I.D. reflecting the name that is entered on the marriage license application.
If we were married in another state or country, can we get married in Ohio?
No. If you were legally married in another state or jurisdiction, congratulations! You are already legally married, and you do not need to get married in Ohio. Once the freedom to marry is won, Ohio will recognize legal marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Many couples may choose to renew their vows in Ohio, but a renewal of vows does not require a marriage license.
What if one of us was previously married?
If one, or both of you, has been married before, you must include in your application the names of the parties to that marriage and the names of any children under the age of 18. If either one of you has been divorced, you must provide the places, dates, and case numbers of the divorces. Also, you must present a certified copy of the most recent divorce decree at the time you apply.
We have a civil union or domestic partnership in another state. Do we need to get married in Ohio?
Yes. Ohio does not recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships. If you would like your relationship officially recognized by the state of Ohio, you must get married.
Do I have to be a resident of Ohio to get a marriage license in Ohio?
No. You do not have to be a resident of Ohio to receive a marriage license in Ohio. If neither of you are an Ohio resident, you must apply in the county where the marriage will be solemnized.
Who is qualified to officiate a ceremony?
- An ordained or licensed minister from any religious congregation located in the state who is licensed to perform marriages.
- A county court judge can perform the marriage anywhere in the state, not just in the county where they are a judge.
- A municipal court judge (can perform the marriage anywhere in the state, not just the municipality where they are a judge);
- A probate court judge (only in the county where the probate judge is judge).
- The mayor of a city (anywhere in the county where their city lies. If a city straddles two counties they could perform the marriage in either county).