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DC Marriage License Information

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Marriage License Information

Marriage license Laws in the state of DC, here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a marriage license. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your ceremony date.

Requirements vary from county to county, so please call the DC Marriage License Dept. at your issuing county probate courthouse or recording office for fees and hours of operation.

In order to get married, you need to apply and receive a marriage license. This is the document in your state that allows you to officially tie the knot under the law. The rules for acquiring your marriage license varies from state to state, so you should check with your city's marriage bureau at your clerk of court's office to find out what your local rules are.

You'll typically need to apply for your marriage license at least one month before your wedding ceremony. You'll traditionally need to send in your birth certificates, tax information, and other official documents. You don't, however, want to apply for your marriage license too early. In some states, the licenses do expire, if you don't get married within a few months.

When you apply for your license, you'll not only need a proof of identification and age, will need to provide any information about previous marriages, and will need to pay a nominal fee. You will also need to have a witness when you sign the application, so plan on bringing your maid of honor or best man with you. The bride will need to know what her married name will be before she signs the marriage certificate. You'll have to write that name on the application.

And, believe it or not, just because you have your marriage license sent to you in the mail does not mean you are officially married. You need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman sign the document. On your wedding day, you'll give your chaplain your marriage license, then after the ceremony, he'll sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.

ID Requirement: Picture ID such as a driver's license.
You should know your Social Security numbers. You should
both also know the state and county in which you were born.

Residency Requirement: Do not have to be a resident of DC.

Application Requirement: Both the bride and groom must appear in person at the time of applying.

 Marriage license be obtained from the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county where the marriage is to take place.  If, however, it is not convenient for you to visit the Clerk's Office in that county, you may apply using a Non-Resident Affidavit. Affidavits are available online at the Calvert, Kent, and Queen Anne's Circuit Court Clerks' web sites. Or obtain one from either your county or from the county in which you plan to marry.

If Divorced: If previously married, you will need to show proof of how the marriage ended, I.E.; a divorce judgment or a death certificate. These must be certified copies.

Waiting Period: 2 days. The license is issued at the same time the application is taken; however, the license will reflect an effective date of forty-eight hours from the date of issue.

Fees: $35+ - Cash Only.

Other Tests: No blood test requirement.

Under 18: Applicants under the age of 15 may not marry.

 An applicant who is 15 years old may only marry with the consent of a parent or guardian and with a certificate from a licensed physician verifying that an examination of the woman to be married indicated that she is pregnant or has given birth to a child.

 Applicants 16 or 17 years old may only marry with the consent of a parent or guardian who confirms that individual's age or with a certificate from a licensed physician verifying that an examination of the woman to be married indicated that she is pregnant or has given birth to a child.

Common Law Marriages: No. However, the State does recognize common law marriages that are valid in other states.

Civil Marriages: DC no longer employs Justices of the Peace to perform civil ceremonies. Instead, Only a Clerk of the Circuit Court or an appointed, designated Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court may perform civil ceremonies. The hours, location and fees for a civil ceremony vary from county to county. Visit the circuit courts website to locate the Clerk of the Circuit Court in your county.

Officiants: Any minister of the gospel authorized by the rules and customs of their church may perform marriages. Minister must complete the marriage license and marriage certificate and give one certificate to the couple. Another certificate and the license must be returned to the clerk of the Court of Common Pleas within five days after the marriage.

Valid: License is valid for 6 months.
The license can only be used within the State of DC.

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