Delaware Marriage License

If you're getting married in Delaware, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $50.00 to $120.00 (based on residency), and you'll have to use it within 30 days.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

How do I get married in Delaware?

To get married in Delaware, first apply for a marriage license at any clerk of the peace office.

Residency

Does where I live matter?

If neither of you live in Delaware, you must pay $50 extra. There are no other residency conditions.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to marry in Delaware?

Non-U.S. citizens are free to marry in Delaware.

Costs

How much is a marriage license?

A Delaware marriage license costs $50 to $70 for residents and $100 to $120 for nonresidents.

How much is a marriage certificate?

A certified copy of your marriage certificate costs $25 per copy.

How much is a civil marriage ceremony?

A civil ceremony held within the clerk of the peace office costs $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents.

Do both of us need to be residents to pay the lower fees?

Only one of you must live in Delaware to pay the lower marriage license or civil ceremony fee.

Usage

Where can I use my marriage license?

Your Delaware marriage license is valid in all three counties. You may only use it in Delaware.

Can I use another state's marriage license in Delaware?

You must use a Delaware marriage license to get married in Delaware.

Application

What information must I fill out?

The marriage license application will ask you the following under oath or affirmation:

  • Name
    • First, middle, last, suffix
  • Birth surname
  • Age and date of birth
  • State or foreign country of birth
  • Sex
  • Race
    • Optional
  • Residence
    • Street, city, state, county, zip, country
  • Occupation
  • Phone number
  • Social security number
  • Highest education completed
    • Elementary school to college
  • Father's name
  • Father's residence
    • If alive
    • State or foreign country
  • Father's place of birth
    • State or foreign country
  • Mother's full maiden name
  • Mother's residence
    • If alive
    • State or foreign country
  • Mother's place of birth
    • State or foreign country
  • Probation or parole status
    • Show Department of Corrections consent
  • Marriage and civil union history
    • Which marriage or civil union this represents
    • Include domestic partnerships and alike
    • Every start date and place
    • Last end date
    • Last end place and court
    • Last end reason (e.g., death, divorce)

How long will it take to complete my application?

It takes 15 to 20 minutes to process your marriage license application.

Attendance

What if I can't apply in person?

If you're sick and near death, your attending physician may apply as your proxy.

Can we both apply by proxy?

Even if you're both critically ill, only one may apply by proxy.

Age Requirements

How old must I be to lawfully marry?

You must be at least 18 years old to marry. Delaware became the first state to ban child marriage, effective May 9, 2018.

Waiting Period

When will I get my marriage license?

You will get your marriage license at once, but must wait 24 hours to use it.

Can the 24-hour waiting period be waived?

The clerk of the peace may waive the 24-hour waiting period for good cause.

Expiration

How long will my marriage license stay valid?

Your marriage license will expire 30 days after issuance.

What if my marriage license expires?

If your marriage license expires, you must apply for a new one. No refunds or discounts.

Identification

Do I have to show my ID?

You must show valid photo ID, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID card, military ID card, or passport.

Do I have to show my birth certificate?

The clerk of the peace may ask to see a certified copy of your birth certificate. This is rare.

Do I have to show my social security card?

Although the clerk of the peace may ask to see your social security card, it's uncommon.

Do I have to show proof of Delaware residence?

If you claim residence in Delaware, prove it with ID or other valid document.

Can I show non-English documents?

Documents not written in English must come with a certified translation. This includes birth, death, and divorce papers.

Blood Test

Do I have to get a blood test or exam?

The premarital blood test and physical exam requirement ended on July 23, 1982.

Divorced

Must I show proof of divorce?

If you're divorced, you must bring a certified copy of your last divorce decree.

How soon can I get married after a divorce?

You do not have to wait to remarry after your divorce is final.

Widowed

Must I show proof of being widowed?

If you're a widow or widower, bring a certified copy of your late spouse's death certificate.

How soon can I get married after a spouse's death?

You do not have to wait to remarry after your prior spouse died.

Name Change

How do I change my name after marriage?

Use a certified copy of your Delaware or out-of-state marriage certificate to change your name after marriage.

Can I keep my name?

Changing your last name after marriage is optional. There is no time limit to decide.

Can I change my first name?

You must file a petition in the court of common pleas to change your first name.

Can I change my middle name?

You may replace your maiden name with your middle name.

What are my last name change choices?

You may take your spouse's last name or hyphenate surnames.

When can I begin the name change process?

You may work on the marriage name change forms before or after you're married.

Which documents should I update?

Update your social security card, then driver's license, passport, voter registration, and the USPS for a change of address.

Should I update my social security card or driver's license first?

Refresh your social security card and then wait 72 hours before notifying the Delaware DMV. This allows times for databases to sync.

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend?

Two credible witnesses aged 18 or over must be at your marriage ceremony. Afterward, they must sign your marriage license.

The Ceremony

Who may conduct our marriage?

A clerk of the peace, judge, magistrate, justice of the peace, or member of the clergy may solemnize your marriage.

How old must someone be to officiate?

Whoever officiates your marriage must be at least 18 years old.

Can an out-of-state officiant conduct our marriage?

Only out-of-state judges and magistrates must get written permission from the clerk of the peace to conduct a marriage.

Can we, as a couple, conduct our own marriage ceremony?

You may not self-solemnize your marriage ceremony. Someone else must take the helm.

Can I get married through a civil ceremony?

The clerk of the peace may conduct your civil ceremony by appointment. The fee is $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents.

License Return

When must my marriage license be sent back?

Your officiant must return the marriage license to the clerk of the peace who issued it within four days after marriage.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?

Ordering from the clerk of the peace?

Order a certified copy of your marriage certificate for $25 from the clerk of the peace that issued you your marriage license.

Ordering from Delaware's Office of Vital Statistics?

Delaware's Office of Vital Statistics sells certified birth, death, and marriage certificates for $25.

Should I order from the clerk of the peace or state vital records?

Each clerk of the peace office only has marriage records for their county. The state has vital records for every county.

Proxy Marriage

Can I get married through a proxy?

You cannot get married by proxy, phone, or video. You must be in physical attendance.

Prohibited Marriage

Can I marry a first cousin?

You cannot marry a first cousin in Delaware.

Can I marry a family member?

You cannot marry an ascendant, descendant, sibling, half-sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or first cousin.

Will my out-of-state marriage be legal in Delaware?

If you live in Delaware, your out-of-state marriage will be recognized if it could have lawfully taken place in Delaware.

Common-law Marriage

Can I establish a common-law marriage?

You cannot enter into a common-law marriage in Delaware. The state has never allowed it.

Is my out-of-state common-law marriage legal in Delaware?

Delaware will recognize a valid common-law marriage set up out-of-state.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?

Comments

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2 Comments

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  1. After getting the marriage license application done, how long does it take to get a date for the clerk of the peace and do your services handle pictures as well.

    1. Hi Nichele. It could take as little as one day. Normally, you wouldn't be able to schedule your civil ceremony the same day you get your marriage license due to the 24-hour waiting period.

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