Applying for your Marriage License

The first thing to know about obtaining a marriage license is that the process is different in each state so dependent on where you’re getting married, you should certainly research the process in that state. A great website to refer to is We’ve included helpful answers to some of the most asked questions while applying for a marriage license below!

Photo Courtesy: Homiak Photography


What items do we need to have to apply?

In the state of Pennsylvania, there are a few items that you are required to have in order to even apply. This includes a current photo I.D. such as your Driver’s License or passport, your birth certificate, social security number, your visa if you are a citizen of another country, parental consent if you happen to be underage at the time of applying, and a death certificate if you are widowed or divorce decree if you are divorced.


When do we need to apply for a marriage license?

Each state’s laws are different for this. Typically, marriage license’ have an expiration date anywhere from 30-90 days after it’s issued. In the state of Pennsylvania, couples should apply for their license any where from 2 to 3 weeks prior to their wedding day. In Luzerne County, a marriage license is valid for 60 days after it’s issued.


How do we fill out an application?

After you’ve gathered all the required items that may apply to you and your spouse, your next step will be to complete an application for a marriage license. In most states you can find the application online for your county, but others may require you both to be present at the courthouse to fill out the actual application. Either way, you both must be present at a courthouse, city hall or town office and sign the application with a presence of a clerk. You will also be required to pay a fee for the license itself, which differs based on the state laws.


Are there any fees we have to pay?

Yes. Most states will charge an application fee. In Luzerne County, PA there is a marriage license fee of $50. Please refer to the website for any updated pricing/information.


Do we receive our license the day we apply for it?

No. In Pennsylvania, there is a three-day waiting period from the time you completed and submitted your application. Your marriage license cannot be used until your license is issued after the waiting period.


Do we have to get married in the same county as our license is issued?

No. The marriage license is valid in any county in Pennsylvania.


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