License Directions

 

These directions to obtain a marriage license should not be regarded as legal advice. It’s best to consult an attorney who specializes in family law with any questions.

NEW YORK

Before the big day arrives, know the intricacies specific to obtaining a marriage license in New York State so when the time comes to finally say “I do,” its official by law, too. It’s a fairly straightforward process that can be taken care of easily in an afternoon as long as you’re prepared. Here’s what you need to know about getting a marriage license in New York.

Time restrictions

There are two layers of time limits to keep in mind as you plan when to go and apply. A New York State license is valid for 60 days—so you’re wedding date needs to be two months away or sooner—but at least two days from when you go, as there’s a 24-hour waiting period before you can get married.

Apply anywhere in the state—together

No matter where you’re getting married in New York, the same license applies so go to the most convenient local town or city clerk’s office, even if it’s in a different town (or city) from where you’re getting married. Both of you need to be there to sign the application in front of the clerk at the same time, so plan your trip together.

Pay a fee

You’ll need to pay $35 in New York City, $40 everywhere else at the time of your application. Bring your checkbook just in case, as some clerk’s offices have different payment policies.

No exams

You don’t need to worry about blood tests or premarital exams, as New York is not one of the states that requires these

The right documents

To obtain a marriage license, you need to show proof of identity and age (not unlike getting a passport). You must bring two separate documents, one for each.

·         Proof of identity documents include: Driver’s license, passport, employment picture ID or immigration record.

·         Proof of age documents include: Birth certificate, driver’s license (if you also have a passport) or naturalization record.

Once you’ve obtained your marriage license, hold onto it (in a safe place!) until the big day—and be sure to bring it with you. It’s common to ask your parents or wedding party to be responsible for it, so it’s one less thing for you to keep track of that day.

Wedding day signatures

The person who officiates your wedding needs to sign the marriage license following the ceremony in order for it to be validated.

After the wedding: Mail (or bring) it back

Make sure to return the signed marriage license to the town or city clerk who issued it so they can complete the process and make it official. You’ll receive your marriage license in the mail once it’s been validated. For more information, visit health.state.ny.us.

OHIO

Getting a marriage license for a wedding in Ohio is not a difficult process. There are a number of requirements you will need to follow, however, so it’s good to be prepared before you apply for your license.

In Ohio, marriage licenses are issued through each county’s Probate Court Office. Here is a list of all the county courts in Ohio. The cost of a marriage license varies by county. In Fulton County, a marriage license costs $50; in Cuyahoga County, it’s $60. In addition, some counties offer online marriage license applications. Check your local county’s Probate Court info.

Once received, your license is valid for 60 days, so make sure to get it well in advance of your wedding date to ensure everything’s in order.

You have that amount of time to have your wedding ceremony. Failing to do so means you will have to apply for a new license and pay the same fee.

Residency and ID Requirements

You do not have to be a resident of Ohio to get married in the state. Residents need to apply for the license in the county where one or the other lives. You may get married anywhere in the state. If you are not a resident, then you must apply in the county where the wedding will take place.

The requirements for each county can vary, so check with your local probate court. In some counties, you may be able to begin the marriage application online, however, you must both appear in person to complete it and obtain the license.

When applying, you will be asked to prove your identity and age. This can be done with valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, visa, passport, or state-issued ID. You will also be asked for your Social Security numbers, place of birth, and occupation. Additionally, be prepared with your parents’ birth names and the name of the person who will marry you.

Previous Marriages

If one of you was previously married and the union ended in a divorce or annulment, you will need to show proof of that. Bring a certified copy of the court’s decree along with the case number, date, and location. Some counties require only your most recent divorce decree, others will ask for information on all previous marriages. The court may also want to know about any children who are minors.

In the case of a spouse’s death, some counties will require a death certificate while others will not.

Covenant Marriage Option

Ohio does not have a covenant marriage option.

Waiting Period

There is no longer a waiting period in Ohio. Once you receive the marriage license, you can have the ceremony.

Fees

The fee for a marriage license varies by county. Some counties charge around $40 while others will require $70 or more. Call the probate court where you want to get married to verify the cost and how to pay for it as some will only accept cash.

Other Tests

Blood and other tests are not required to get a license.

Proxy Marriage

Proxy marriages are not allowed in Ohio. Both of you will have to apply for the license and be present at the ceremony.

Cousin Marriages

It is not legal to marry a first cousin or any relative closer than that in Ohio.

Common-Law Marriages

If you entered into a common-law marriage before October 10, 1991, it is still valid. However, the state no longer allows them to be formed.

Same-Sex Marriages

In November 2004, voters passed a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This banned same-sex marriages in the state. However, in June of 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Obergefell vs. Hodges that it is unconstitutional to deny gay couples the right to marry. This legalized same-sex marriage everywhere in the country, including the state of Ohio.

Ohio’s marriage code (Chapter 3101) states:

“The recognition or extension by the state of the specific statutory benefits of a legal marriage to nonmarital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is against the strong public policy of this state.”

Under 18

If either of you is 16 or 17, you can only marry under certain circumstances. Each probate court has different requirements and it may make a difference if you’re male or female.

For instance, some counties specifically state that minor girls need the consent of both parents (or the sole parent with legal custody) as well as a “Minister’s Statement.” The boy, on the other hand, must have parental consent and permission from the judge.

Other counties do not explicitly state that a girl of 16 needs permission or they require that both minors have parental consent. Some judges will only grant the marriage license if you’re pregnant and premarital counseling is typically required.

In Mahoning County, if the male is under age 18 or the female is under age 16, the County Juvenile Court must consent to the marriage. In addition, the minors are required to provide a letter from their minister or marriage counselor stating that they have previously received marriage counseling. check with your local county’s Probate Court for more information.

Officiants

You can be married by an ordained or licensed member of the clergy who has presented their ordination credentials to the county probate judge. A judge of a municipal or probate court and mayors can officiate weddings as well. Each county should be able to provide you with officiants available for civil ceremonies.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage

You can receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate by requesting one through the county court where your license was issued. In Ohio, it is officially called a “certified marriage abstract.” The fee is minimal and a copy can be requested in person or by mail, though some counties offer online ordering as well.

PENNSYLVANIA

The process of getting a marriage license in Pennsylvania is fairly simple.  To obtain a marriage license, both applicants must appear at a county courthouse in person with the following:

  • Driver’s License or photo I.D. which shows your date of birth.
  • Your social security number (your social secuirty card is preferred, but if unavailable, please provide in written form).
  • You will need to know your mother’s maiden names, your parent’s current address, the state where your parents were born, and your parent’s occupations.
  • $45.00 filing fee (cash only).

If either applicant is divorced, or divorced more than once, you must bring in your latest divorce decree. If the femle has resumed her maiden name after the divorce, she must submit proof of resuming her maiden name.

If your prior marriage was terminated by death, you must provide the death certificate, or at least a copy of the death certificate, as to your former spouse.

There is a three-day waiting period between the application and the issuance of license and either applicant can pick up the license after the three-day waiting period.

Your license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance and it can only be used in Pennsylvania.

Non-Pennsylvania residents may also secure a license in our office, but the license can only be use in Pennsylvania.

If either applicant is under 18 years of age, the consent of the custodial parent or Guardian is necessary. The applicant’s original birth certificate is required. There will be an additional $10.00 fee for each underage applicant.

If either applicant is under the age of 16, the consent of the Court must be obtained.

You can obtain a marriage license through any county courthouse.  To locate a courthouse visit https://www.statelibrary.pa.gov/GeneralPublic/Learn/Genealogy-and-Local-History/Pages/Count-Courthouse-in-Pennsylvania.aspx