There's a lot to love about the idea of a wedding in Hawaii. Whether you're a resident or going to the islands for a destination wedding, an important part of your planning process is getting the marriage license. The process is unique and it's a good idea to understand how the system works early on so you're prepared for your wedding date.
Marriage License Agents
Hawaii is a little different than other states. You will need to go through a licensed agent to apply for the marriage license, rather than a county clerk. The state offers a directory of license agents on the Department of Health website.
It is recommended that you begin the license application online. Use Hawaii's Electronic Marriage and Civil Union Registration System to complete and pay for your application as well as check on its status.
The person who officiates your wedding needs to be registered with the state as well. In Hawaii, they are officially called "marriage performers." Couples should ask to see an officiant's license prior to the wedding to ensure your marriage will be valid.
After the ceremony, the officiant needs to register your license with the Department of Health. You will then receive an official marriage certificate in the mail.
Residency and ID Requirements for a Hawaiian Wedding
You do not have to be a resident of Hawaii, but you must show proof of your age to get married in the state. If you are 19 years old or older, a valid identification card or driver's license is sufficient. Anyone who is 18 years of age or younger needs to present a certified copy of a birth certificate.
If previously married, the date of divorce or of a spouse's death must be supplied. If it occurred within the last 30 days, you will need an official divorce decree or death certificate as well.
Covenant marriages are not an option in Hawaii.
There is no waiting period to get married in Hawaii. You can get married as soon as you get the license.
It will cost $60 to get a marriage license in Hawaii. If you apply online, you will be charged an additional $5 portal administration fee. All fees are payable on the online application system, or when you meet with the marriage agent in person.
Blood and other tests are not required.
Proxy marriages are not allowed and both of you must meet with the marriage agent in person.
Hawaii is one of 20 states where it's legal for first cousins to get married.
Hawaii does not recognize common-law marriages. However, they will recognize those formed in other states.
As of December 2, 2013, same-sex marriages are allowed in Hawaii. This state law preceded the federal legalization which was a result of a June 2015 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. That decision stated that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.
If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you must have the written consent of both of your parents, your legal guardian, or the family court. Marriage agents can provide the appropriate consent forms.
The minimum age for minors is 15 years old. In this case, you will not only need the written consent of both of your parents or legal guardian, but also the written approval of a judge of the family court.
The person officiating the marriage must be commissioned by the State of Hawaii Department of Health. This includes religious officials as well as judges, some of whom can perform both marriages and civil unions.
You can find a directory of licensed performers on the department's website. It's a good resource for verifying someone's license as well.
The marriage license is valid for 30 days in Hawaii. Your wedding ceremony needs to take place in that amount of time or you will have to apply and pay the fee again.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage
One official marriage certificate is included with your marriage license. You will receive this by mail two to three months after your performer files it with the state. If you need additional copies or require one faster than that, you can submit a request with Hawaii's Vital Records Office.
Marriage license requirements can and do change frequently. The information given here is intended to be guidance that will help you get started and should not be regarded as legal advice. Before making your wedding or travel plans, it's best to verify all information and requirements with the State of Hawaii and a licensed marriage agent.