Marriage License Laws in Washington, D.C.

Wedding Couple near Jefferson Memorial
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If you are planning on getting married in the District of Columbia, make sure that you understand the marriage license requirements of Washington, D.C.

ID Requirements

You will need to show proof of age by providing your driver's license, birth certificate, or passport. Additionally, you must both provide your social security number, address, date of birth, and home and work telephone numbers.

Residency Requirement

You do not have to be a resident of the District of Columbia.

Previous Marriages

Although it may not be required, it is recommended that you have with you the original or a certified copy of your divorce decree or the death certificate of a deceased spouse. The marriage application only requires the city and state where the marriage ended.

Premarital Education

There is no required premarital education component before getting married in Washington DC.

Waiting Period

Although the official wording is "By law, three full days must pass between the day of application to the day that the license can be issued," give yourself five days before the actual date of your wedding ceremony. You have to have your receipt with you to pick up your license.

Fees

$35 plus $10 for the certificate of marriage. This may change. Check with the marriage office to verify fees charged. The Marriage Bureau in D.C. only accepts cash or money orders (made out to Clerk, D.C. Superior Court.)

Proxy Marriage

No.

Cousin Marriage

Yes. It is legal to marry your first cousin in D.C.

Common Law Marriage

Yes. "The elements of common-law marriage in the District of Columbia are an express mutual agreement, which must be in words of the present tense, followed by cohabitation as husband and wife."

Same-Sex Marriages

Yes. "Pursuant to the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, A18-248, effective March 3, 2010, same-sex couples may apply for marriage licenses in the District of Columbia."

Under-18 Marriages

You will need signed parental or guardian consent forms if you are under 18 years of age. If you are under 16 years of age, you cannot marry in the District of Columbia.

Officiants

Any ordained minister, and justices of the peace. There is an application fee of $35 in cash for authorization to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage

Before 1980: Marriage Bureau & Special Services
500 Indiana Ave. NW, Rm4335
Washington, DC 20001
202-879-4840

After 1980: Vital Records Department
825 North Capitol Street NE
1st Floor, Room 1312
Washington, DC 20002
202-442-9009
202-783-1809 for credit card orders
Fax: 202-783-0136

Please Note

Please note that we make every effort to offer you common-sense marriage advice and helpful information about marriage on this website, but we are not attorneys and the articles on the site are not to be construed as legal advice.

The information in this article was accurate when it was published. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

The site has a world-wide audience and marriage laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. When in doubt, seek legal counsel.