Are you confused as to the process of obtaining a marriage license in North Carolina? Well, you are not alone. Most couples have questions about the process. We are pleased to be able to help you through the process. Below are some typical questions and answers to help you better understand the process of obtaining your marriage license.

The rules for getting a marriage license depend upon the state you will be married in. For states other than North Carolina the please click here.

In order to get married, you need to apply and receive a marriage license. This is the document in North Carolina that allows you to officially marry under the law. The rules for acquiring your marriage license may vary. Below is an overview of the North Carolina’s marriage laws. You should check with your city’s marriage bureau at your clerk of court’s office to find out what your local rules are.

In North Carolina, your marriage license is good for sixty days from the day you apply for it. This means that you must be married within this sixty day period, otherwise your license will expire. You may apply in any county in the state and bring the license with you to the ceremony. This means if you live in North Carolina you may obtain your license in your home county and bring it with you. If you are from out of state, then you can call the clerk of court in the area were you wish to be married and ask or you may look online for marriage license information in your state.

When you apply for your license, you’ll need Driver’s License and social security card. If you have been divorced and it was finalized within 60 days of application for a marriage license, the applicant must provide a copy of the final divorce decree. If the divorce was finalized earlier than cited above, the applicant must provide the month and year of their last divorce.

Once you have your marriage license you need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman sign the document. On your wedding day, you’ll give your celebrant your marriage license, then after the ceremony, he or she will sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.

The fee for the license is $60.00. Cash or personal checks are accepted.

Before you go to your local Clerk’s office we suggest that you call them to find out what they require.

North Carolina Requirements for obtaining a Marriage License

IdentificationRequired of each, i.e. Drivers License. certified copy of Birth Certificate and Social Security Card
Residency RequirementDo not have to be a resident of North Carolina.
Divorced?If the bride or groom has been divorced, he or she must know the month and year of the last divorce. If there has been a divorce within the last 60 days, the state requires a copy of the divorce decree signed by the judge.
Application Requirement
  • Both parties to a marriage should appear in person to obtain the license. If one of the parties is unable to appear, the other party to the marriage must appear in person and present a sworn and notarized affidavit from the other member of the party, prior to the issuance of the license. Affidavit forms are available in the Register of Deeds Office.
  • North Carolina law requires all applicants to show proof of a Social Security number, or documentary proof of their Social Security number, i.e. W-2 form, payroll stub, or a statement from the Social Security Office stating their Social Security number.
  • If a Social Security number has never been issued or the applicant is not eligible for a Social Security number, the applicant will be required to present a completed affidavit, signed and notarized, at the time of applying for the marriage license. The affidavit form is available in the Register of Deeds Office.
Under 18?
  • All applicants, including those not present, must provide a form of identification.
  • Applicants 21 and over may use a valid driver’s license, valid Military I.D, State ID, passport or certified birth certificate.
  • Applicants 18 to 20 must present a certified copy of their birth certificate.
  • Applicants 16 and 17 must present a consent form signed by the parent, individual, agency or institution having legal custody or serving as the legal guardian of the underage party. A certified copy of the birth certificate is also required. The consent form must be notarized.
  • Applicants 14 and 15 must provide a certified copy of the court order authorizing the marriage. A certified copy of the birth certificate is also required.
  • A marriage license may not be issued to applicants under 14 years of age.
Fees$60 – Cash Only.($20.00 of which will be used for domestic violence programs). There is an additional $10.00 fee to obtain a certified copy of the marriage certificate. This is well worth doing as it would be needed for things like changing your name, or social security records.
Waiting PeriodNo waiting period.
Blood TestsNo tests.
Marriage CeremonyMarriage ceremonies may be either religious or civil.

  • A religious ceremony is performed by an ordained minister.
  • A civil ceremony is conducted by a magistrate, the only civil officer authorized to perform marriages.

There must be two witnesses at any marriage ceremony, whether it is civil or religious.

Common Law MarriageCommon law marriage, which is recognized in some states, involves a couple living together and holding themselves out to everyone as man and wife. Even though there is no marriage ceremony or certificate, this marriage is considered valid in those states that recognize common law marriage. North Carolina is not one of those states, and no amount of living together in this state can result in a valid marriage, without a valid marriage ceremony.
Cousin MarriageYes. First cousins may marry, but double first cousins may not. Double first cousins are very rare, as the couple have to be related as cousins through both parents.
Same Sex MarriageYES.
OfficiantsAny ordained minister of any faith who is authorized to perform marriages by his church may do so. Ministers must complete the marriage license and return it to the register of deeds who issued it.
ValidYour License is valid for 60 days after that you must re-apply. The license can only be used within the State of North Carolina.

Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

If you find anything that needs correction or additions send an email via our contact page.

North Carolina Clerk’s Office

AlamanceGraham, NC336.570.6565
Alexander CountyTaylorsville, NC828.632.3152
AlleghanySparta, NC336.372.4342
AnsonWadesboro, NC704.694.3212
AsheJefferson, NC336.246.1841
AveryNewland, NC828.733.8260
BeaufortWashington, NC252.946.2323
BertieWindsor, NC252.794.5309
BladenElizabeth Town, NC910.862.6710
BrunswickBolivia, NC910.253.4429
BuncombeAshville, NC828.255.5642
BurkeMorganton, NC828.438.5450
CabarrusConcord, NC704.788.8112
CaldwellLenoir, NC828.757.1310
CamdenCamden, NC252.335.4077
CarteretBeaufort, NC252.728.8474
CaswellYanceville, NC336.694.4193
CatawbaNewton, NC828.465.1573
ChathamPittsboro, NC919.542.8235
CherokeeMurphy, NC828.837.2613
ChowanEdenton, NC252.482.2619
ClayHayesville, NC828.389.0087
ClevelandShelby, NC704.484.4834
ColumbusWhiteville, NC910.640.6625
CravenNew Bern, NC252.636.6617
CumberlandFayetteville, NC910.678.7775
CurrituckCurrituck, NC252.232.3297
DareManteo, NC252.473.3438
DavidsonLexington, NC336.474.2643
DavieMocksville, NC704.634.2513
DuplinKenansville, NC910.296.2108
DurhamDurham, NC919.560.0480
EdgecombeTarboro, NC252.641.7924
ForsythWinston-Salem, NC336.727.2259
FranklinLouisburg, NC919.496.3500
GastonGastonia, NC704.866.3181
GatesGatesville, NC252.357.0850
GrahamRobbinsville, NC828.479.7971
GranvilleOxford, NC919.693.6314
GreeneSnow Hill, NC252.747.3620
GuilfordGreensboro, NC336.373.7556
HalifaxHalifax, NC252.583.2101
HarnettLillington, NC910.893.7540
HaywoodWaynesville, NC828.452.6635
HendersonHendersonville, NC828.697.4901
HertfordWinton, NC252.358.7850
HydeSwanquarter, NC252.926.3011
IredellStatesville, NC704.872.7468
JacksonSylva, NC828.586.7532
JohnstonSmithfield, NC919.989.5160
JonesTrenton, NC252.448.2551
LeeSanford, NC919.774.4821
LeniorKinston, NC252.559.6420
LincolnLincolnton, NC704.736.8530
MaconFranklin, NC828.349.2095
MadisonMarshall, NC828.649.3131
MartinWilliamston, NC252.792.1683
Mc DowellMarion, NC828.652.4727
MecklenburgCharlotte, NC704.336.2443
MitchellBakersville, NC828.688.2139
MontgomeryTroy, NC910.576.4271
MooreCarthage, NC910.947.-6370
NashNashville, NC252.459.9836
New HanoverWilmington, NC910.341.4531
NorthamptonJackson, NC252.534.2511
OnslowJacksonville, NC910.347.3451
OrangeHillsborough, NC919.732.8181
PamlicoBayboro, NC252.745.4421
PasquotankElizabeth City, NC252.335.4367
PenderBurgaw, NC910.259.1225
PerquimansHertford, NC252.426.5660
PersonRoxboro, NC336.597.7221
PittGreenville, NC252.830.4130
PolkColumbus, NC828.894.8450
RandolphAsheboro, NC336.318.6960
RichmondRockingham, NC910.997.8250
RobesonLumberton, NC910.671.3045
RockinghamWentworth, NC336.342.8820
RowanSalisbury, NC704.638.3102
RutherfordRutherfordton, NC828.287.6155
SampsonClinton, NC910.592.8026
ScotlandLaurinburg, NC910.277.2575
StanlyAlbemarle, NC704.983.7235
StokesDan Bury, NC336.593.2811
SurryDobson, NC336.366.8150
SwainBryson City, NC828.488.9273
TransylvaniaBrevard, NC828.884.3162
TyrellColumbia, NC252.796.2901
UnionMonroe, NC704.283.3843
VanceHenderson, NC252.438.4155
WakeRaleigh, NC919.856.5460
WarrenWarrenton, NC252.257.3265
WashingtonPlymouth, NC252.793.2325
WataugaBoone, NC828.265.8052
WayneGoldsboro, NC919.731.1449
WilkesWilkesboro, NC336.838.2052
WilsonWilson, NC252.399.2935
YadkinYadkinville, NC336.679.4225
YanceyBurnsville, NC828.682.2174