Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Marriage License 101

You’ve got the dress, invitations are sent, and the honeymoon is planned. Your wedding checklist is practically complete, and now you can sit back and enjoy your wedding celebration. Wait! Not so fast. Do you have your marriage license? This week we our topic is marriage license requirements for the DMV area. The importance of obtaining your marriage license often gets over-shadowed by all of
the other more exciting wedding details like floral arrangements and gift registries. Although it may seem like a bit of a pain, it may be the most important pre-wedding task there is! Without it, you won’t be legally married.

Where do you go? When do you need it? How much does it cost? Let’s say that your wedding ceremony is in Maryland, the reception is in DC, but you live in Virginia. What do you do? I’ll tell you. You and/or your lucky fiancé will need to head on down to the MD Circuit Court to apply. You must obtain a marriage license for the jurisdiction in which you will be getting married.

Long gone are the days of blood tests and witnesses, but it’s important to note that requirements for acquiring a marriage license differ from state to state. Keep reading for a break down of the requirements and fees for obtaining a marriage license in our area.

District of Columbia
• Applications for marriage must be made at the Marriage Bureau Office located in Room 4555 of the Moultrie Courthouse at 500 Indiana Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001.
• Cost: $45.00
($35.00 Application Fee, $10.00 Certificate of Marriage Fee - CASH or MONEY ORDER ONLY)
• Only one of the two parties needs to complete the application, but identification in the form of driver’s license, passport, or government issued ID for both parties is required
• 3 full days must pass between the application process and the marriage license being issued. The paid receipt for the application fee is required to pick up the marriage license!
• The marriage license does not expire. Click on this link for office hours and to print a copy of the marriage license application.

• Application should be made through the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office for the county in which you plan on holding your wedding ceremony.
• Fees and office hours differ from county to county, so you must contact the clerk’s office directly. Most clerks’ offices accept CASH ONLY.
• Only one of the two parties needs to complete the application, but identification in the form of driver’s license, passport, or government issued ID for both parties is required.
• The marriage license will be issued at the time of application; however, it is not effective until 6:00AM of the second calendar day after the license has been issued.
• The marriage must take place within 6 months of the effective date.

• Applications for marriage can be made with any Clerk of the Circuit Court in any city or county within the Commonwealth of Virginia for a ceremony performed anywhere in the state.
• Cost: $30.00
 (many county clerks’ offices accept Cash or Credit Card, but it’s always best to confirm prior to applying)
• Both applicants must be present to obtain the marriage license, and both must provide proper identification in the form of driver’s license, passport, or government issued ID.
• No waiting period between the marriage license application and the marriage license being issued. A couple can marry immediately after obtaining the marriage license.
• The marriage ceremony must take place within 60 days of the marriage license being issued.

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