District of Columbia Marriage License

If you're getting married in District of Columbia, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $35.00, plus you'll have an unlimited amount of time to use it, as it won't expire.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

District of Columbia marriage licenses are issued on the capital level, at the Superior Court, by the Clerk of the Superior Court.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can be used throughout the capital, regardless of which Superior Court you get it from.

Your license is only valid within the borders of District of Columbia. For instance, you can't get a marriage license from the neighboring state of Maryland, then use it here—and vice versa.

Costs

How much is a marriage license in District of Columbia?

A marriage license costs exactly $35.00 USD. This price is established by capital law and doesn't change no matter where you buy your license.

I've changed my mind; can I get my money back?

Superior Courts will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Attendance

Must we both be present when applying?

Only one party to the marriage must be present when applying for a marriage license.

Waiting periods

Is there a waiting period to get a marriage license?

There is no waiting period to get a District of Columbia marriage license. You'll get your license the same day you apply for it.

How soon can I get married after getting a license?

You can get married immediately after you receive your marriage license. There is no post-issuance waiting period to abide by before you can have your marriage ceremony.

Expiration dates

When will my marriage license expire?

Surprisingly, District of Columbia marriage licenses do not expire after they've been handed out. District of Columbia's one of the few places that won't invalidate an unused marriage license after a certain period of time has passed.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

Whether you're a resident or non-resident of District of Columbia, the rules are the same; you can apply for a marriage license anywhere in the capital. You can then get married anywhere within the capital.

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

You must be 18 years old (or above) to get married in District of Columbia without parental consent.

16 to 17 years old

You must obtain the consent of at least one parent or legal guardian. Even if one parent/guardian objects, you can still obtain a marriage license (over their objection) as long as the other provides consent.

Identification requirements

What forms of ID must I bring?

There are multiple types of identification to consider bringing when applying for a marriage license at your local Superior Court. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • Non-Driver Identification Card
  • Passport
    • Issued by any U.S. or foreign government body
  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Provide the following:

  • Social Security Number
    • Issued by the SSA
    • You don't need to bring you card; just know your number
    • It's understood that non-U.S. citizens are unlikely to have a SSN
    • Submitted to child support enforcement agencies; within District of Columbia and out-of-state

Name Change

How do I go about changing my name due to marriage?

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the capital of District of Columbia (or any other state) involves notifying various government and non-government institutions. You'll typically start with updating your Social Security Card, driver's license, passport, and other federal/state/non-governmental institutions.

Keep in mind, your name does not automatically and legally change just because you get married or obtain a marriage license or marriage certificate; you must go through the steps of updating your identification documents, whether it's through an online name change service, or contacting the SSA, State Dept. and DC DMV directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, District of Columbia does not require you, nor your partner, to get a blood test as a condition for getting a marriage license.

Divorced

What if I've been previously divorced?

If you've been previously divorced, or have had an annulment or dissolution, there are extra bits of information that you must provide the Clerk of the Superior Court when applying.

For your last divorce, annulment, or dissolution, provide the following:

Things you must know

You must know where your divorce was finalized; this is the location (city/town, state or country) where your divorce papers were filed.

What if I'm separated from my spouse, but not yet divorced?

District of Columbia law forbids a marriage license be granted to anyone who is currently married or separated from their spouse. You must have your divorce finalized, or marriage annulled, before getting married again.

Widowed

What if I'm currently a widow or widower?

If your previous marriage left you as a widow or widower, the Superior Court will need to solicit basic information regarding the death of your spouse. You only need to provide information for your last spouse who passed away.

Things you must know

You must specify where the death took place.

Things you must bring

You don't need to bring any documentation to substantiate the death of your spouse. Simply providing rudimentary details regarding your spouse's death is sufficient when filling out your application.

Solemnization

Who's allowed to marry me?

District of Columbia law recognizes several types of officiants who may legally officiate (i.e., preside over) your marriage. They are as follows:

Religious officiants

  • Minister
  • Priest
  • Rabbi

Nonreligious officiants

  • Judge
  • Clerk of Court
  • Civil Celebrant
  • Temporary Officiant
  • Council Members
  • Mayor
  • Parties to the Marriage

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