Apply For A Maryland Marriage License
Is a marriage license required to get married in Maryland?
Yes, all couples who wish to legally marry must first apply for and receive a marriage license from the state. Applications are filed in person at the County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in the county where the wedding will occur. For example, if you and your fiance live in Montgomery County but you are going to be married in Baltimore, you must apply for the license in Baltimore County. If you do not live in the county where the wedding will occur and traveling there to apply for the license would create an inconvenience, you can usually file a Non-Resident Marriage Application via the county Clerk’s Office where you do reside. Out of state residents should contact the Clerk’s Office where the wedding will occur to find out the best way to apply for the license.
Is the license process difficult?
No, the process itself for getting a marriage license is quite straightforward. You must appear in person at the Clerk’s Office and complete the application, which is estimated to take about fifteen minutes to complete. You must also present government-issued ID and pay the license fee. The application requires you to give certain information, such as your full names, dates of birth, social security numbers, places of residence, state or county of birth, and age. Additional information may be required depending on the county where you are applying. Also, if either party was previously married, you must give the exact date that the marriage ended due to divorce or death of the previous spouse. Depending on how recent that marriage ended, some counties may require that you present a certified copy of the final divorce decree or death certificate when you apply for the license.
Do both my fiance and I need to apply for the license together?
No, generally only one person must appear at the Clerk’s Office to file the application but they must have all the information for both parties or the license will not be issued. However, if you are applying for your license using the Non-Resident Marriage Application then both you and your fiance must apply together.
Is there a waiting period after the license is issued?
Yes, there is a mandatory waiting period of 48 hours after the license is issued and before it can actually be used. This waiting period can be waived by a judge if there are sufficient grounds. Examples of valid grounds for a waiver include illness in the family or military service.
Does the license expire?
The license is good for the county it was issued by for six months after it is issued. At the end of six months, the license expires. If you have to postpone your wedding and do not use the license in that time, then you will need to reapply for a new license following the same procedure used for the first application.
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