When you want to get married in the state of Utah, you will need to go to your local county clerk's office to apply for a marriage license. While each county may have their own requirements, there are a few laws that apply throughout the state.
To make sure you get this legal aspect out of the way, it's best to take care of this about a month before your wedding date. However, the license is only valid for 30 days, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Residency and ID Requirements
You do not have to be a resident of Utah in order to get a marriage license. Both of you will need to show at least one form of identification, such as a driver's license, birth certificate, or passport. You will need to provide your Social Security numbers as well.
For the application, you will need to know the names, birthplaces, and maiden names of your parents.
If previously married, the date of divorce or date of spouse's death must be supplied.
Utah does not have a waiting period after you receive the marriage license.
The marriage license will cost you approximately $40 to $50, depending on the county. In some counties, it is only payable with cash.
No other tests are required in Utah.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Utah, so both partners must be present. However, a few counties in Utah may allow only one of you to appear to apply for a license. The other partner can take the application form to be filled out and signed by the applicant before a notary.
Under certain circumstances, Utah may recognize a marriage between a couple who has not had a marriage ceremony. However, the state court is quick to point out that "Utah does not have common law marriage."
In order for your marriage to be recognized, you must petition the court and show evidence that you have been living together as a married couple. This can be done so your relationship is retroactively seen as a marriage from the date you entered the relationship. It gives you the same rights as legally married couples for purposes such as division of property, inheritance, or death.
Cousin marriages are allowed with limitations. In general, it is illegal to marry a first cousin or any other relative who is closer than that.
However, first cousins who are 65 years of age or older can marry without consent. First cousins who are 55 or older will need to provide the district court with proof that they are incapable of reproduction before receiving consent to marry.
Utah has a history of vacillating between denying and allowing same-sex marriages. Some people credit the state's debate over this issue as one factor that led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June 2015 that ruled bans on gay marriage unconstitutional nationwide.
The controversy began in November 2004 when voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. A federal judge overturned the ban in December 2013. Although on December 20, 2013, the first gay couple in Utah was married, state officials were pushing for an emergency stay of the ruling.
On January 6, 2014, in a two-sentence order, the U.S. Supreme Court paused gay couples from getting married in Utah. Same-sex couples previously married in Utah were apparently still legally married but their marriages wouldn't be recognized by the state. When the Supreme Court denied reviewing Utah's same-sex marriage case in October 2014, gay marriages were allowed to begin there immediately.
As of 2018, however, the Utah statute which voids same-sex marriages is still on the books. Because of this, the Utah Courts website that explains marriage license laws continues to recommend that you seek the advice of an attorney with any questions.
Anyone who is 16 or 17 years of age will need to have a parent or guardian present to sign the consent form when applying for a license. There is an exception if the person has previously been married and are still under 18. In that case, consent is not required.
Those who are 15 years old need to have an authorization by a juvenile judge of the county where they reside. They will also need to attend premarital counseling and follow any other requirements placed by the court.
Those under 14 years of age cannot get married in Utah.
In Utah, a variety of officiants may perform a wedding ceremony. The list includes any ordained ministers, priests, rabbis, and Native American spiritual advisors. It can also be performed by the Governor, mayors, justices of the peace, judges or commissioners, county clerks, president of the Senate or the House of Representatives, retired judges or magistrates, and U.S. judges or magistrates.
A Utah marriage license is valid for 30 days. You must have the ceremony and the marriage license must be returned to the Court Clerk for recording no more than 30 days from the date of its issuance. If you wait longer than this, you can't get married without applying for and paying for another marriage license.
Marriage Certificate Copies
If you need a copy of a marriage certificate, you will need to contact the appropriate office that handles such requests depending on the year the marriage took place. For marriages between 1978 and 2010, contact the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics. If you were married outside of that time frame, check with the county clerk in the county where the marriage was performed.
State and county marriage license requirements change often. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.
It is important that you verify all information before making any wedding or travel plans. Check with the Utah county clerk to verify the current cost and requirements of the marriage license.