How to Get Married in South Carolina

South Carolina Marriage License Information

Illustration of wedding rings and South Carolina state landmarks and symbols

Illustration: The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

If you've just set a date for your wedding, this can be an exciting time for the two of you! But don't let the marriage license laws of South Carolina 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 South Carolina marriage license. It is best to get this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your wedding date.

A couple can obtain a marriage license by going to their local County Clerk's office. Use this interactive South Carolina county map to locate the address of the County Clerk near you. Keep in mind that requirements may vary as each county in South Carolina could have their own regulations. And congratulations and much happiness as you begin your lifetime journey together!

The ID Requirement

In order to obtain a marriage license, you will need to show proof of identification. Accepted forms are a drivers license, voter registration card, birth certificate, or passport. You will also need your social security card.

What Isn't Required or Permitted

Although there are several things you may need for your marriage license, there are a few things that are not required. First of all, you do not have to be a resident of South Carolina to obtain a marriage license from the state. And if you have been previously married, proof of divorce is not needed. You also do not need a blood test.

Also, keep in mind the covenant marriage option is not available in South Carolina if you and your spouse are considering it. A proxy marriage—where one or both of the individuals being married are not present at the ceremony—is also not permitted.

Waiting Period in South Carolina

In some South Carolina counties, there is a 24-hour waiting period. If you want to get married on a weekend in one of these counties, make sure you apply for your license by Thursday.

Fees in South Carolina

The fees charged to get married in South Carolina vary from county to county. In Charleston (Charleston County) the cost of a marriage license is $70. In Myrtle Beach (Horry County) it's $50 for Horry County residents, $75 for North Carolina state residents and $115 for out of state residents. Check with the County Clerk where you want to have your wedding to see what forms of payment they accept. Keep in mind that some counties only accept cash.

Types of Marriages Allowed

In the state of South Carolina, same-sex marriages, as well as common law marriages, are permitted. Cousin marriages, including first cousins, are also allowed in the state. 

Any ordained or licensed clergymen and justices of the peace can perform the ceremony.

Under 18 Years of Age

If you are under 18, you will need a certified copy of your birth certificate and a notarized statement of parental consent. The parent or legal guardian has to also appear with the minor to show their identification and to sign the parental consent form. The minimum age for a female is 14 and for a male 16.

Marriage Certificate Details

Although an S.C. marriage license does not expire, state and county marriage license requirements often change. 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 above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

To obtain a copy of a South Carolina marriage license, contact:

Office of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 898-3630