Applying for a Marriage License in Louisiana

Couple getting married
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If you've just set a date for your wedding, this can be an exciting time for the two of you! Don't let the marriage license laws of Louisiana put a dent in your wedding plans.

Here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a Louisiana marriage license. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your wedding date.

Requirements may vary as each parish in Louisiana could have their own requirements. For example, in New Orleans (Orleans Parish) and Baton Rouge, (East Baton Rouge Parish), you can apply online for a marriage license. Cost of a marriage license in both these Parishes is $27.50, plus $5 for a certified copy. The waiting period between getting your marriage license and having your wedding ceremony is 24 hours.

ID Requirement in Louisiana

Louisiana requires that you provide a picture ID such as a driver's license along with a certified copy of your birth certificates. You should know your Social Security numbers.

You should both also know your parent's full name, mother's maiden name, and the states in which you were born.

Residency Requirement

You do not have to be a resident of Louisiana.

Previous Marriages

If previously married, you will need to show proof of how the marriage ended, such as with a divorce judgment or a death certificate. These must be certified copies.

Louisiana Covenant Marriage Option

Louisiana has a covenant marriage option, which makes it harder to obtain a divorce. Both of you must apply in person for this license, attend premarital counseling, and you both must sign a declaration of intent witnessed by a notary.

Waiting Period in Louisiana

Louisiana requires you wait 24 hours before getting married. The waiting period for state residents can be waived by a judge. Out-of-state couples can get married in New Orleans without the 72-hour wait required for locals.

The license is good for 30 days anywhere in Louisiana.

Fees in Louisiana

The fees vary from parish to parish in Louisiana. Some locales will only take cash, so don't leave home without it.

Other Tests

Louisiana does not have a blood test requirement.

Proxy Marriages

Proxy marriages, in which one or both members of the couple are not physically present, are not allowed. However, when applying for the license, both parties need not be present unless they want to sign up for a covenant marriage. Either the bride or groom must be present to apply for a marriage license. A certified birth certificate must be presented for the absent partner.

Cousin Marriages

Marriages between first cousins are not allowed.

Common Law Marriages

Common law marriages are not allowed.

Same-Sex Marriages

Louisiana has issued marriage licenses for same-sex marriages since July 2, 2015, in accordance with the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that applies nationwide. This overturned the state constitutional amendment of September 18, 2004 that banned same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Under 18

If either party to the marriage is between the ages of 16 and 18, the presence and signatures of both parents are required. If a parent has legal custody in a divorce, a certified copy of the judgment must be presented. If either party is under the age of 16, a court order is required in order to obtain a license.

Officiants in Louisiana

Any ordained or licensed clergymen who have registered with the clerk of the district court of the parish or with the health department if in New Orleans, and justices of the peace.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage

Vital Records Registry
1450 Poydras, #400
New Orleans, LA 70012
Ofc phone: (504) 593-5100

State and parish 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 parish clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.