Wedding2point0: Marriage License Regulations State x State

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Marriage License Regulations State x State

Marriage law regulations change State by State. There are many websites that give State regulations - but be careful, don't follow out-of-date information.

Here is a link to the Findlaw list of marriage license info for each state:  Here is a chart from Cornell University Law School on the age requirements to obtain a license: Age Requirements for marriage.  Here is a wikipedia article on age of consent around the world, and also a list of US states. Here is an article on same-sex marriages in Massachusetts, including a discussion of residency requirements.  It also discusses same-sex marriage in Canada. (I am also licensed to marry same-sex couples in Canada. See

The best thing is to check with your local City Clerk, (sometimes called Marriage Bureau clerk) in your municipality or county, to see what documents you need to bring.  For instance, in North Carolina and New Mexico, you have to bring your Social Security ID, but not in New York. Some big cities (like New York City) have further regulations than smaller towns in the same state, such as requiring registration of marriage officiants with the city before performing marriages.

Some states will allow you to download the license form first, fill it out and bring it in. But in all cases, the couple will have to go to the license borough in person, together. You will most certainly have to prove who you are, where you were born, how old you are, probably the names and birthplace of your parents, and whether you have any previous marriages.

If you have been divorced, each state has different regulations for the information you will need to bring, which may include the disposition of the divorce, the location of the former spouse (living or dead), etc.

There are various rules for age of majority (how old you need to be to get married without parental permission), for the waiting period between filing a license and being married, etc. BE SURE TO CHECK THE STATE MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS and check again with your local city clerk.  You can also try this site which lists all the counties, state by state.  BE SURE TO CHECK THAT THIS INFORMATION IS TILL CURRENT.

See our other post on When to Sign the Marriage License, which may depend on the waiting period in your state.

This article by Mary Beaty, Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

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