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
|Identification||Required of each, i.e. Drivers License and certified copy of Birth Certificate.|
|Residency Requirement||Do 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.|
|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 Period||No waiting period.|
|Blood Tests||No tests.|
|Marriage Ceremony||Marriage ceremonies may be either religious or civil.|
There must be two witnesses at any marriage ceremony, whether it is civil or religious.
|Common Law Marriage||Common 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 Marriage||Yes. 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 Marriage||YES.|
|Officiants||Any 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.|
|Valid||Your 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
|Alexander County||Taylorsville, NC||828.632.3152|
|Bladen||Elizabeth Town, NC||910.862.6710|
|Craven||New Bern, NC||252.636.6617|
|Greene||Snow Hill, NC||252.747.3620|
|Mc Dowell||Marion, NC||828.652.4727|
|New Hanover||Wilmington, NC||910.341.4531|
|Pasquotank||Elizabeth City, NC||252.335.4367|
|Stokes||Dan Bury, NC||336.593.2811|
|Swain||Bryson City, NC||828.488.9273|