Marriage License Info for
all 50 States

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As an adventure elopement photographer, I know a thing or two about what it takes to get married. For my book, “Elope Your Life“, I’ve compiled with my editor all the latest info (for real, some counties we legit called) on each state so you’re not left cross-referencing outdated info across the web.

Hover/click on any state below to view information and start your marriage license search

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Alabama

Beginning in 2019, Alabama courts no longer issued marriage licenses. Instead, couples submit notarized forms to probate judges. The marriage becomes legal once the probate court records the completed form. Please visit the Alabama Public Health website for more information and to obtain a certificate.

https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/news/2019/08/20.html

Alaska

Alaska requires two witnesses at the ceremony according to the state’s health website (though I’ve recently seen licenses with only one witness signature line). There is a three-day waiting period before you can pick up your application (time begins from when they receive your application), and the marriage license expires after three months. Good news! You can apply for an Alaska marriage license online, but you’ll still have to go into the Vital Records office or a courthouse to pick up your license that you’ll sign after your ceremony.

NOTE: If you’re applying and sending the marriage license application in from outside Alaska, the application may read like it must be notarized in Alaska before being sent in. This is NOT the case. Sign and get it notarized wherever you are, and send it in!

http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/marriagel/default.aspx

elopement couple dressed in black in under a glacier ice arch in Alaska

Your Guide to Eloping in Alaska

You’ve got me in your corner when it comes to eloping in Alaska. Click below for permit information, location inspiration and more!

Arizona

There is no waiting period in Arizona. Two witnesses of the signing of the license are required and the marriage license is valid for one year. 

https://azcourthelp.org/topics/marriage/marriage-license

Arkansas

In Arkansas, there is no waiting period for people over 18 years of age; for those under 18, there is a five-day waiting period. Witnesses are not required, and the marriage license is valid for 60 days. 

https://static.ark.org/eeuploads/pulaski/MLInfoSheet.pdf

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California

There is no waiting period in California and one witness is required. The license is valid for 90 days.

https://sfgov.org/countyclerk/marriage-general-information

How to Elope in the Redwoods

If we’re being honest, I’m one of the closest and most established photographers for Redwoods elopements, and if you want locations, permit resources, and want to make sure you’re LNT-friendly among these giants, click below.

Colorado

In Colorado, there is no waiting period. While no witnesses are required, some judges, clergy, and other officials may request them. Couples can “self-solemnize” (get married without an officiant). The marriage license is valid for 35 days.

https://www.arapahoegov.com/318/Marriage-License

Connecticut

There is no waiting period in Connecticut, and no witnesses are required. The marriage license is valid for 65 days.

https://www.bridgeportct.gov/content/341307/341407/342080/342093.aspx (witness requirement) 

http://www.hartford.gov/marriage-licenses (65 days)

Delaware

Delaware has a 24-hour waiting period. Delaware also requires two witnesses for the wedding ceremony. The marriage license expires after 30 days. 

https://sussexcountyde.gov/applying-marriage-license (waiting period and 30 days)

https://sussexcountyde.gov/filling-out-marriage-licenses (two witnesses for the ceremony)

District of Columbia 

In Washington, D.C., there is no waiting period, no requirement for witnesses, and the marriage license does not expire. 

https://www.dccourts.gov/services/marriage-matters (no waiting period)

Florida

In Florida, there is a three-day day waiting period. However, residents who can provide documentation showing they completed a state-approved marriage preparation course within the year do not have to wait the three days. For non-residents of the State of Florida, there isn’t a waiting period. However, all couples who apply for a marriage license must read the Family Law Handbook. Though not required by law, having witnesses is recommended. The marriage license expires after 60 days.

https://www.stateofflorida.com/getting-married-in-florida/ (for residents)

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Georgia

In Georgia, you must apply in the same county where the marriage is being performed if you are a non-resident of the state. There is no waiting period and the marriage license is valid for six months. Witnesses are required in some cases (please check with your county registrar). 

https://www.athensclarkecounty.com/229/Marriage-Licenses

Hawaii

There is no waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Hawaii. You must go online and register to apply for a marriage license in Hawaii. You can mail your paperwork back, and officiants can turn in the paperwork to have it expedited. Officiants have to register their status separately in this state.

Idaho

Idaho requires no waiting period and no witnesses. The marriage license does not expire.

https://www.idaho.gov/family-records/marriage/

Illinois

In Illinois, no witnesses are required but there is a one-day waiting period. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

https://www.co.madison.il.us/departments/county_clerk/vital_records/marriage_licenses.php (60 days, one-day waiting period)

Indiana

There is no waiting period in Indiana and witnesses are not required. The marriage license is valid for 60 days. 

https://www.in.gov/judiciary/2605.htm (no waiting period, 60 days)

Iowa

There is a three-day waiting period in Iowa. You must have one witness present with you when applying, and the marriage license is valid for six months.

https://www.dmcounty.com/421/Marriage-Information (three-day waiting period, one witness)

Kansas

Kansas requires a three-day waiting period and two witnesses at the ceremony. The marriage license is valid for six months.

https://www.8thjd.com/197/Marriage-License-Information (three-day waiting period)

Kentucky

While there is no waiting period in Kentucky, you are required to have two witnesses at the ceremony. The marriage license is valid for 30 days.

https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/vsb/Pages/marriage-divorce.aspx (no waiting period)

Louisiana

Louisiana has a 24-hour waiting period but that can be waived under special circumstances. Two witnesses are required at the ceremony and the marriage license is valid for 30 days.

https://www.jpclerkofcourt.us/marriage-licenses-passports/marriage-licenses/ (24-hour waiting period) 

Maine

There is no waiting period but two witnesses are required at the ceremony. It’s a good idea to check with the municipality for other requirements. The marriage license is valid for 90 days.

https://www.maine.gov/portal/residents/marriage.html (no waiting period, 90 days)

Maryland

In Maryland, there is a two-day waiting period. The license must be applied for and picked up in the same county the ceremony is taking place. No witnesses are required and the marriage license is valid for six months.

https://www.courts.state.md.us/clerks/kent/marriage (two-day waiting period, same county, six months) 

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Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a three-day waiting period; no witnesses are required. The marriage license expires after 60 days.

https://www.mass.gov/guides/getting-married-in-massachusetts-before-the-wedding (three-day waiting period, 60 days)

Michigan

Michigan requires a three-day waiting period (which can be waived in some circumstances) and two witnesses at the ceremony. The marriage license expires after 33 days.

https://www.miottawa.org/Departments/CountyClerk/VitalRecord/marriage.htm (3-day waiting period, can be waived, 33 days)

Minnesota

In Minnesota, there is no waiting period and two witnesses are required at the ceremony. The marriage license is valid for six months.

https://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/prl/vitalrecords/Pages/MarriageLicense.aspx (6 months) 

Mississippi

For a couple to obtain a marriage license in Mississippi, both applicants must be 21 years of age or parental consent is required. No witnesses are required and the marriage license does not expire. 

https://www.co.jackson.ms.us/300/Marriage-Licenses (21 years of age)

https://statelaws.findlaw.com/mississippi-law/mississippi-marriage-license-and-blood-test-requirements.html (more info on age requirement) 

Missouri

Missouri does not require a waiting period or witnesses. The marriage license is valid for 30 days.

https://www.mo.gov/home-family/marriage-divorce/ (30 days)

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Montana

Montana has no waiting period and you do not need witnesses. The marriage license expires after 180 days. 

http://www.cascadecountymt.gov/departments/clerk-of-court/marriage-information (180 days)

http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0203W$BSRV.ActionQuery?P_SESS=20191&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=&P_BILL_NO=&P_BILL_DFT_NO=LC1673&P_CHPT_NO=&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SBJT_SBJ_CD=&P_ENTY_ID_SEQ=  (Requirement for women to submit to a blood test abolished)

Elope in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is one of the most desired destinations for couples who want to elope in Montana, and for good reason! There are several activities you can incorporate into your day, and with the right guidance you’ll be able to find a private spot for your ceremony!

Nebraska

In Nebraska, there is no waiting period but two witnesses are required at the ceremony. The marriage license is valid for one year.

https://www.hallcountyne.gov/content.lasso?page=6072 (one year)

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Nevada

Nevada has no waiting period but one witness is required at the ceremony. The marriage license is valid for one year.

https://www.washoecounty.us/clerks/mlb/index.php (one year)

New Hampshire

There is no waiting period in New Hampshire and witnesses are not required. The marriage license expires after 90 days.

https://www.visitnh.gov/weddings/getting-married-in-new-hampshire (90 days)

New Jersey

New Jersey requires a three-day waiting period and one witness at the signing of the marriage license who knows both of the parties. The marriage license expires after six months.

https://www.state.nj.us/health/vital/registration-vital/marriage-licenses/ (witness) 

https://www.nj.gov/health/vital/registration-vital/marriage-licenses/ (three-day waiting period)

New Mexico

New Mexico has no waiting period but requires two witnesses at the ceremony. The marriage license does not expire. 

https://www.co.chaves.nm.us/160/Marriage-Licenses (must be returned within 90 days of the ceremony)

https://www.donaanacounty.org/clerk/marriage (but does not expire) 

New York

New York requires a one-day waiting period (though it may be waived) and one witness at the wedding ceremony. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

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North Carolina

There is no waiting period in North Carolina, but two witnesses are required at the ceremony. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

https://www.mecknc.gov/ROD/Pages/Marriage.aspx (60 days)

North Dakota

In North Dakota, there is no waiting period, but two witnesses are required at the wedding ceremony. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

https://www.casscountynd.gov/our-county/finance-office/marriage-licenses-and-weddings/marriage-licenses (two witnesses at the ceremony) 

https://www.ulc.org/wedding-laws/north-dakota (see step 6) 

Ohio

Ohio has no waiting period and no witness requirement. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

https://www.mcohio.org/government/courts/common_pleas_court_-_probate_division/marriage_license.php (60 days)

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, there is no waiting period if the applicants are 18 years of age or older. Two witnesses are required at the wedding ceremony. The marriage license is valid for only 10 days.

https://www.oklahomacounty.org/Faq.aspx?QID=104 (discount for premarital counseling!)

https://theamm.org/marriage-laws/oklahoma (two witnesses at the ceremony)

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Oregon

Oregon has a three-day waiting period (which starts when you pay for your license in most cases), but many western counties will waive it with payment of $20 or so, depending on the county. Curry County, by Brookings, Oregon will not waive it. In Oregon, you can now apply online for your marriage license in most counties – though you’ll still have to appear in person. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

Popular counties and online applications:
Multnomah County (Portland)
Lane County (Eugene)
Douglas County (Roseburg)
Josephine County (Grants Pass)
Jackson County (Medford)
Deschutes County (Bend)
Curry County (Brookings – this county will not waive the waiting period, and there appears to be no online application form)

https://www.co.washington.or.us/AssessmentTaxation/MarriageLicenses/requirements.cfm

Your Ultimate Guide: How to Elope in Oregon

As a born and raised Oregonian, you’ll have access to locations even the most “Insta-famous” photographers don’t know about. And that means privacy 😉 .

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, two types of marriage licenses are issued: a traditional marriage license and a “self-uniting” marriage license, which “does not require an officiant to solemnize the marriage.” Pennsylvania has a three-day waiting period with no witnesses required. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

https://www.co.washington.or.us/AssessmentTaxation/MarriageLicenses/requirements.cfm (two types of licenses, three-day waiting period, 60 days) 

Rhode Island

There is no waiting period in Rhode Island, but two witnesses are required at the ceremony. The marriage license expires after 90 days.

http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE15/15-2/15-2-8.HTM (90 days) 

https://health.ri.gov/records/howto/getamarriagelicense/ (two witnesses) 

South Carolina

In South Carolina, witnesses are not required. There is a one-day waiting period. The marriage license does not expire. 

https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/probate/marriage-license.php#requirements

South Dakota

There is no waiting period in South Dakota. One witness is required at the ceremony. The marriage license expires after 20 days.

https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/probate/marriage-license.php#requirements (20 days) 

Tennessee

Tennessee does not have a waiting period. Witnesses are not required, but there is room on the license for one witness to sign. The marriage license expires after 30 days.

https://www.shelbycountytn.gov/574/Marriage-Licenses

Texas

Texas has a three-day waiting period. Witnesses are not required. The marriage license expires after 89 days. Texas marriage licenses can be used in other states.

https://www2.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/cs/8marriage.pdf

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Utah

While there is no waiting period in Utah, two witnesses of the ceremony are required. The marriage license expires after 30 days.

http://www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/ClerkAud/Marriage.html (30 days, no waiting period) 

http://www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/ClerkAud/Forms/InstructionsOfficiant-WalkIn.pdf (two witnesses of the ceremony) 

Vermont

Vermont has no waiting period and no witnesses are required. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

https://sos.vermont.gov/media/j51brzvr/getting_married_in_vermont_faq.pdf (no waiting, no witnesses, 60 days)

Virginia

Vermont has no waiting period and no witnesses are required. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/vital-records/marriage-requirements/ (60 days, no waiting period, no witnesses required) 

Washington

Washington has a three-day waiting period. You can apply online (for example, in King County, where Seattle is located) in order to expedite the process. The marriage license expires after 60 days. 

https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/faq.aspx?TID=93 (waiting period, 60 days)

https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/records-licensing/recorders-office/marriage-licensing.aspx (two witnesses at the ceremony) 

West Virginia

West Virginia has no waiting period and no witnesses are required. The marriage license is valid for 60 days.

http://www.wvlegislature.gov/wvcode/code.cfm?chap=48&art=2

Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, there is a six-day waiting period (though it can be waived) and two witnesses are required at the ceremony. The marriage license expires after 30 days. 

http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/765/08 (two witnesses at the ceremony)

http://www.co.grant.wi.gov/docview.asp?docid=5847 (six days)

Wyoming

Wyoming has no waiting period but two witnesses are required at the ceremony. The marriage license expires after one year.

http://www.tetonwyo.org/296/Marriage-Licenses