Marriage License: The Dirty Details About How to Actually Apply

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Close up of fountain pen on marriage certificate

Getting married is a blast; You get to spend the rest of your days with the person that you love and cherish the most. You get to stand in front of all your loved ones and God and vow to each other your commitment to each other. But  how does one actually get their marriage license to officially and lawfully get married? And what are the specifications? Waiting period? What do you need to bring with you?

Where Do You Need To Go

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You know who you need to contact for all your other needs, like the photographer, the caterer, and so on. But who do you contact for the most important part of the wedding? The piece of paper that binds you to your fiance for the rest of time, of course! For this you’ll go to your local clerks office; wherever legal matters such as this are taken care of, that’s the place to go! Also be aware, you may need to make an appointment. Call your clerks office to find out the details as each state is different!

What You Need To Bring With You

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For one, your fiance! And two, identification!!! Have some form of government issued ID with you. A passport, a birth certificate, anything similar. You need to prove that you’re a citizen. You also need a photo ID (a drivers license will do the trick just fine). You also need to bring proof of consent if you’re under age of 18 and proof of divorce if you’ve been married before. Make sure all your ducks are in a row for when you go to apply for your marriage license! And last but not least, CASH! There is a fee anywhere from $35 to $96, depending on your state or which state you’re applying in. (No, you don’t have to be a resident of the state you’re applying in, but you still need all the proper documentation to apply).

Waiting period? Expiration?

Be aware if you apply for your marriage license, you may have a waiting period! Depending on your state, this waiting period can be anywhere from a day to almost a week! This just means that whatever state you’re in, if there is a waiting period, you must wait that long to get married until all the documents are processed. So don’t go the day of to apply and hope to get your license and get married that day! Best time to go for your marriage license would probably be two to three weeks before your scheduled ceremony. This way you know, for a fact, that you will be able to legally get married on your big day! No one wants a pretend wedding after doing all that work to prepare!

Blood Test?

This is a very old and outdated test and for the most part, it has been done away with in most states. The only state you still need a blood test in is Montana. This is for any female under the age of 50. This is to test for Rubella, the German Measles, and you must consult a physician. If the physician says that it isn’t necessary to have a blood test done for this for whatever reason, you will need to provide this information when applying for your marriage license.

What Happens Next?

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So you have the license and your waiting period is over… What do you do next? Well you get married of course! Go and wed the love of your life and enjoy the day that you worked so hard for. Usually as a courtesy, your officiant will fill out your marriage license and send it back to the clerks office where the application was originally filled out; If that isn’t the case, you’ll need to either mail it back yourself, or take it directly to them. Now go and enjoy your honeymoon or whatever you may be doing to relieve you of your stress and enjoy your time as being the new Mr. and Mrs!

After the Wedding…

Ladies, this one is for you. Now that you’ve got your groom, you need to change your name. If you’ve already had your completed certificate sent in to the clerks office, whether you’ve mailed it prior to your honeymoon or dropped it off,  your certified copies will be ready to be purchased (yes, you have to purchase certified copies.) With these copies, you will need them to officially change your name. If you’re getting insurance through your spouse, or vice versa, you may need a copy of your marriage license to prove that you are indeed married. You will most certainly need a copy of your marriage license to obtain a new social security card with your new name on it. You will need your new social security card to obtain a new license.  You will then need your new social and your new license to change your name for your banking and maybe even credit cards. Just remember that wherever your name is posted, such as doctor’s offices or any place you pay bills, you will need to change your name.

Getting married is a blast, but those little technicalities are not fun. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row and contact your local clerks office for the info on everything that you need to make your big day happen. Make things easier for yourself and be sure you have everything you need when you go to apply for your marriage license. Remember what your big day is about and don’t stress, it will be here before you know it!

 

 

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