Getting married in Kansas means that you need to apply for a marriage license through the county district court. To make the process easier, be sure that you know what documents to bring and the basic marriage laws and requirements in the state.
Kansas does have a waiting period before you get the license and can have the wedding. It's important that you not wait until the last minute, but you can get a license as early as six months in advance of your wedding date.
Residency and ID Requirements
You do not have to be a resident of Kansas to get married in the state. You will need to apply at a district court clerk's office. Each county may have different requirements, so be sure to check with the office.
In some counties, both of you do not have to be present when applying for the license. If only one of you is present, you will need to have all the documentation and know the information that would be required from your future spouse.
A driver's license or state-issued identification card is required. You will also need to know your social security number and the full birth names of your parents, as well as where they were born.
If either of you was previously married, you will need to know the date of the final divorce decree or death of a spouse. You may need to wait 30 days past the date of your final decree before you're allowed to get remarried.
Kansas does not require premarital education.
According to the Kansas Supreme Court Law Library, the covenant marriage option is not allowed in the state. In 2011, a bill authorizing covenant marriage was referred to the Committee on Judiciary, but it did not get any farther than that.
Fees for getting a marriage license in Kansas vary from county to county. The average fee is around $85. Cash and exact change are required in some counties and it is typically due when you pick up the license.
Marriage License Procedure
Marriage license applications can be picked up in person at the Clerk of the District Court office in each county in the state For example, in Shawnee County, applicants must go to the Shawnee County Courthouse, Room 209 to complete and submit their marriage license application. After a three day waiting period, the applicants pick up the license in person at the courthouse and pay a fee of $85.50, by cash or credit card. And in McPherson County, the procedure is the same, but the $85.50 fee must be paid in cash only -- no other form of payment will be accepted. Douglas County has information online, "How To Obtain A Marriage License," in a .pdf file and their $85.50 fee must be paid by exact change only. Check with your county courthouse for individual Kansas county rules and regulations.
Kansas has a three-day waiting period. After you apply for the license, one of you must return to the courthouse three days later to pick it up. Applications placed on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday are generally available on the following Monday.
The waiting period may be waived by the order of a judge only in extreme circumstances.
A Kansas marriage license is valid for six months. After receiving the license, you have that amount of time to have the wedding ceremony. The license must be returned to the county court that issued it to be recorded.
Blood tests or any other tests are not necessary to get married in Kansas.
Proxy marriages may not be allowed in Kansas, however, there is some debate about it. While there is no apparent documentation that explicitly bans or allows them, some people have stated that they were part of a marriage by a proxy wedding.
If it may be a challenge for either of you to be present at the wedding ceremony, it's best to check with the county where you want to get married about this matter.
Kansas does not allow cousin marriages. It's also illegal to marry a parent, grandparent, sibling, or an uncle or aunt.
Kansas does allow common-law marriages as long as the couple is over the age of 18.
Though the state never passed a same-sex marriage law, it is legal for gay couples to marry in Kansas. This came as a result of the June 2015 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell vs. Hodges. The Justices found that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, which effectively legalized it anywhere in the country.
The minimum age to get married is 15 in Kansas, but you will need a court order. Only a district court judge who thinks that getting married at such a young age would be in that individual's best interest can authorize it.
Teens who are 16 or 17 years old need to obtain one of the following to get married in Kansas:
- Get parental or legal guardian permission and judicial consent.
- Receive permission from both parents or a legal guardian.
- If the minor's parents are deceased, or if there is no legal guardian, permission must be received from a judge.
Judges of a court record or any ordained ministers may perform wedding ceremonies in Kansas. Most counties have a list of judges available for civil ceremonies.
According to Kansas law, "the two parties themselves, by mutual declarations, that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules, and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties belong, may be married without an authorized officiating person."
You will need two witnesses over the age of 18, no matter who officiates your ceremony.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage
You will not automatically receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Instead, you must order one from the county where you filed for the license. A small fee will apply for each copy.
As an alternative, you can order a copy from the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics. The cost is generally higher than the fees charged by the county and you will need to verify your identity when requesting the certificate.
Keep in mind that state laws and county marriage requirements can change. This information is intended as guidance to help you get started in the process and should not be regarded as legal advice. It's advised that you check with the county to verify all the information and consult an attorney with any legal questions.