Whereas it might not be the romantic or alluring part of wedding planning, acquiring a marriage license is required in every state in the US. Each state has their own requirements that must be met before a marriage license can be issued. This post contains a helpful summarization of the most general requirements for marriage licenses. Like always, verify with your state’s laws, as the requirements may differ.
Marriage License Requirements: Blood Tests
Just one state, Montana, still requires blood tests for a marriage license; other states have terminated the requirement that couples get tested for specific diseases prior to them marrying. In Montana, female candidates between eighteen and fifty years of age are required to take a blood test to establish if they have immunity from German measles (also known as 3-day measles), unless each of the partners sign an informed-approval form renouncing the blood test requirement.
Marriage License Requirements: Waiting Periods
A lot of states necessitate a waiting period following applying for a marriage license to guarantee that partners have time to sit and think about things and be sure that they’re making the right decision. There’s no impromptu, weddings for couples in these states, as you must wait a particular number of days before you can get married. Below are some instances of waiting periods.
- One day: Illinois, Delaware, South Carolina, Louisiana, New York,
- Two days: Maryland
- Three days: Alaska, DC, Florida, Kansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington, New Jersey
- Five days: Wisconsin
Alternative Step: Marriage Preparedness Courses
For promoting healthy marriages, several states are going to discount the marriage license cost should a couple complete a premarital preparation program that instill skills like effective communication and conflict resolution. For example, Minnesota decreases their fee by $75 for going to twelve hours of marriage education courses, and Texas gives a $60 discount for eight hours.
Marriage License Expirations
After you’ve obtained your marriage license, it’s only valid for a specific amount of time, which differs by state. If your license expires before the date of your marriage, another general requirement for a genuine marriage, then you are going to likely have to go through the licensing process once more, unless you’re allowed to renew the initial license. The following is a list of the expiration dates for all fifty states, including the District of Columbia.
- Ten days: Oklahoma
- Thirty days: Hawaii, Missouri, Utah, Delaware, Louisiana, Wisconsin Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama
- Thirty-Five days: Colorado
- Sixty days: Illinois, New York, North Dakota, West Virginia, Arkansas, Indiana, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, North Carolina, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Washington
- Ninety days: Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Alaska, California, Maine, Texas
- Six months: New Jersey Minnesota, Maryland, Montana, Iowa, Kansas
- 1 year: Wyoming, Nebraska, Arizona, Nevada
- Other: Michigan (Thirty-Three days), Connecticut (Sixty-Five days), South Dakota (Twenty days)
- No expiration: District of Columbia, South Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, Georgia, Idaho
Getting Legal Assistance Completing Your Marriage License Requirements
When thinking about the big day, couples might have legal questions associated to any range of matters, because getting married has broad legal and financial results. If so, it might be a good idea to speak with a family law attorney near you that can guide you through the legal factors of your upcoming nuptials.
Marriage license requirements. Findlaw. (2018, October 5). Retrieved August 3, 2022, from https://www.findlaw.com/family/marriage/marriage-license-requirements.html
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