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Groom 101

Marriage License Laws by State

Chris Easter

These days, it seems that you need a license to do just about anything. And getting married is no different. Every state in the United States requires a marriage license for a couple to wed. A few states also require a blood test (see detailed list below). To apply for a marriage license, go to your local county clerk’s office. This is usually located at your county courthouse. Often, both the bride and groom must be present to apply. You’ll both be asked a series of questions regarding your personal information and background. If everything checks out, a license will be issued. In most states, you receive your license the same day you apply. Some states, however, have a short waiting period. Each state also has different rules regarding the length of time that the marriage license is valid and how soon you can marry after receiving i

Once you’ve purchased your marriage license, don’t forget to bring it to the Church or wedding venue on the big day. Without it, you can’t legally get married. After the ceremony, the married couple and the wedding officiant must sign the license for it to be valid. You’ll also need witnesses (best man and maid of honor) to sign it. The final step is for the couple to file for a certified copy of the certificate to receive a marriage certificate from the government.

The following table shows each state’s specific information regarding marriage licenses.

STATEBLOOD TEST REQUIRED?WAITING PERIODHOW SOON CAN YOU MARRY?WHEN DOES LICENSE EXPIRE?
AlabamaNoNoneImmediately30 Days
AlaskaNo3 DaysImmediately3 Months
ArizonaNoNoneImmediately1 Year
ArkansasNoNoneImmediatelyNever
CaliforniaNoNoneImmediately90 Days
ColoradoNoNoneImmediately30 Days
ConnecticutYesNoneImmediately65 Days
DelawareNoNone24 Hours30 Days
DCYes3 DaysImmediatelyNever
FloridaNo3 DaysImmediately60 Days
GeorgiaNoNoneImmediatelyNever
HawaiiNoNoneImmediately30 Days
IdahoNoNoneImmediatelyNever
IllinoisNoNone1 Day60 Days
IndianaYesNoneImmediately60 Days
IowaNo3 DaysImmediatelyNever
KansasNo3 DaysImmediately6 Months
KentuckyNoNoneImmediately30 Days
LouisianaNoNone3 Days30 Days
MaineNo3 DaysImmediately90 Days
MarylandNoNone2 Days6 Months
MassachusettsNo3 DaysImmediately60 Days
MichiganNo3 DaysImmediately33 Days
MinnesotaNo5 DaysImmediately6 Months
MississippiYes3 DaysImmediatelyNever
MissouriNo3 DaysImmediately30 Days
MontanaYesNoneImmediately180 Days
NebraskaNoNoneImmediately1 Year
NevadaNoNoneImmediately1 Year
New HampshireNo3 DaysImmediately90 Days
New JerseyNo72 HoursImmediately30 Days
New MexicoNoNoneImmediatelyNever
New YorkNoNone24 Hours60 Days
North CarolinaNoNoneImmediately60 Days
North DakotaNoNoneImmediately60 Days
OhioNoNoneImmediately60 Days
OklahomaNoNoneImmediately30 Days
OregonNo3 DaysImmediately60 Days
PennsylvaniaNo3 DaysImmediately60 Days
Rhode IslandNoNoneImmediately3 Months
South CarolinaNo24 HoursImmediatelyNever
South DakotaNoNoneImmediately20 Days
TennesseeNoNoneImmediately30 Days
TexasNoNone3 Days31 Days
UtahNoNoneImmediately30 Days
VermontNoNoneImmediately60 Days
VirginiaNoNoneImmediately60 Days
VirginiaNoNoneImmediately60 Days
WashingtonNo3 DaysImmediately60 Days
West VirginiaNoNoneImmediately60 Days
WisconsinNo5 DaysImmediately30 Days
WyomingNoNoneImmediatelyNever

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