How to Get Married in Virginia

Virginia Marriage License Information

virginia illustration

Illustration: The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Don't let the marriage license laws of Virginia put a dent in your wedding plans. Be prepared and learn what documents you need to bring to the county clerk office before you go.

It's best to complete the legalities about a month before your wedding date to ensure everything's ready for the big day. Also, note that each county may have its own requirements, so check with your local office before you head out.

Residency and ID Requirement

You do not have to be a resident of Virginia to get married in the state.

You will need to present valid photo identification such as your driver's license, military ID, state ID, or passport and a certified copy of your birth certificate. Both of you must be present in order to obtain a marriage license.

Previous Marriages

Some Virginia counties may require documentation to prove a previous marriage has been dissolved either through death or divorce.

Covenant Marriage

Covenant marriages are not viable in Virginia.

Waiting Period

There's no waiting period in Virginia.


Expect to pay approximately $30 to get married in Virginia, but no more than $50. It's payable by cash only in some counties, while other locales may accept credit cards but charge a 4 percent processing fee. Call the county clerk's office to make sure what forms of payment are accepted where you want to get married.

Other Tests

In Virginia, you do not need a blood test or any other test to apply for a marriage license.

Proxy Marriages

Proxy marriages are not allowed in Virginia.

Cousin Marriages

First cousin marriages are allowed in Virginia. However, you may not marry a sibling, uncle, and aunt, no matter if it is by half-blood or adoption.

Common-Law Marriages

The state of Virginia does not recognize common-law marriages. The only exceptions are if it was entered into within a state that does allow them.

Same-Sex Marriages

Immediately following the U.S. Supreme Court's denial to review Virginia's same-sex marriage case in October 2014, same-sex marriages began. This was backed up by the June 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges, which effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide.

Under 18

If either spouse is 16 or 17 years of age, you must have consent from a parent or legal guardian. It may be done in person or in writing, as long as it is notarized.


Any ordained minister who can show proof of ordination can perform the wedding ceremony. Marriage commissioners and judges in Virginia may also perform civil weddings. Each county will have a list of people available to do so.


A Virginia marriage license must be returned to the Court Clerk for recording no more than 60 days from the date of its issuance. This means that you have 60 days to get married and have your marriage license officially recorded. If you wait past that time frame, you can't get married without applying and paying for another marriage license.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage

You can get a certified copy of a marriage license from the clerk of the court that issued the license. Alternatively, you can contact the Virginia Division of Vital Records, though you will also need to know where the marriage took place and the circuit court that issued it.

Verifying Information

The requirements and laws regarding marriage change often, both at the state and county levels. Use this information for guidance only. It should not be considered as legal advice and you should contact an attorney with any questions. Also, be sure to verify all information with the local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.