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Do you need a Birth Certificate to Get Married?

Do you need a Birth Certificate to Get Married?

Two gold wedding bands photographed together during engagement photo.

If you're planning to apply for a marriage license, you probably haven't considered what critical documents and vital records you'll need to provide. Stay tuned; State Vital Records provides all the information you need to stay prepared. Keep reading to find out more!

What Do You Need to Apply for a Marriage License?

Although US marriage license laws vary by state, you'll most likely need to supply the following documents:

  • Certified copy of US birth certificate
  • Government-issued photo ID including a driver's license, State ID card, military ID, or passport
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of citizenship and/or residence
  • If under 18: Parental consent —certain states may also require court consent
  • If divorced: Divorce decree
  • If widowed: Death certificate

Important Tip: Depending on the state where you were born, the processing time can vary, so keep that in mind while planning the wedding - the sooner you order your birth certificate, the better.

How Soon Do You Need to Apply for a Marriage License?

All states require couples to apply for marriage licenses in person. Several factors will determine how soon to apply, including the marriage processing time, waiting period, and marriage license validity.

Some states, such as South Carolina, only have a 1-day processing time. At the same time, Minnesota requires couples to wait five days to process their marriage license.

Where can I get a marriage license in the United States?

In most states, you can obtain a marriage license from one of the following agencies, depending on where you plan to get married:

  • The city hall
  • The marriage license bureau
  • The registrar’s or recorder’s office
  • The county, city, or town clerk's office

What is the cost of a US marriage license?

The cost of a legal marriage certificate ranges from $5 to $26. A marriage certificate's fee varies based on the county, city, or municipality and the residence. Please contact or visit the bureau where you intend to apply for a marriage license for more detailed information.

The Difference Between a Marriage License vs. Marriage Certificate

A marriage license is a legal document you obtain before getting married, which declares that two citizens are eligible to get married. Alternatively, a marriage certificate is a document issued after the marriage that certifies that two citizens are married.

Contact State Vital Records and Get a Copy of Your Certified Birth Certificate!

If you are applying for a marriage license soon and need a copy of your birth certificate, head online to State Vital Records! Our quick, efficient process makes replacing your birth certificate easy and affordable. Just fill out an online application, and as soon as it's received, we'll get to work expediting the entire ordering process. Not only that, we provide tracking so you can stay up-to-date on your order's whereabouts to ensure your birth certificate securely gets delivered and in the right hands.

Order online to get a certified copy of your birth certificate today or to hear more about the other types of vital records we provide, including death certificates and passports. Contact us today!