Friday, June 26, 2009

License to Wed -- No Relation to the Movie

When getting married in the United States it’s very important to learn what your state’s laws are regarding a marriage license. And when I write your state, I mean the state that you are getting married in. If you live in Chicago, IL but are getting married in your hometown in Wyoming, you need to get a marriage license in Wyoming.

Every state has their only rules and regulations. Some states have age requirements, others want the bride and groom to take blood tests and there are some states that have waiting periods between the date you apply for the license and the date you actually say “I do.”

The easiest way to find out what you need to do is to search your state’s government Web site or just Google your state and “marriage license” and the information should pop up in the results page. You can ask your wedding planner or officiant if he or she knows what you need to do.

It’s also important to check marriage license requirements if you’re getting married abroad. Some countries have residency requirements. I think a friend who married in the Caribbean had to be there for a few days before the license was valid, while some European countries want a minimum of 30-days residency before a license is legal.

If you are marrying abroad you may want to get hitched legally in the U.S. before flying off to your destination. This way you won’t have to worry about license requirements there.

And when you do apply for a license, make sure that both you and your fiancé are there with the appropriate identification. You may need several forms of ID before the state will give you the necessary paperwork.

One more thing: Check with your officiant if he or she will mail in the license for you or if you are supposed to do that. The last part of the process is having the officaint complete the form and then someone mails it back to the state. Then you’ll receive a marriage license in the mail.


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