Kentucky Marriage License

If you're getting married in Kentucky, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $35.50 to $37.50, and you'll have to use it within 30 days.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Kentucky marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the County Clerk Office, by the County Clerk.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can be used throughout the commonwealth, regardless of which County Clerk Office you get it from.

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

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Kentucky?

A marriage license costs approximately $35.50 to 37.50 USD. The cost can vary between each County Clerk Office, as each county is allowed to set its own price.

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

County Clerk Offices will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Attendance

Must we both be present when applying?

Both parties to the marriage must appear together 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 Kentucky 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?

Your Kentucky marriage license will expire 30 days after it's been issued. If you don't get married before time runs out, you'll have to start over and apply for a brand new license.

I need more time; can I get an extension on my license?

Extensions are not provided for expired (or near expiring) marriage licenses. If your license completely expires you must reapply and repay the same $35.50-37.50 application fee, wherein you'll be given 30 more days.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

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

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

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

17 years old and below

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.

You must obtain a court order from a District Judge—in Kentucky—which will authorize the County Clerk to issue a marriage license.

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 County Clerk Office. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • State-issued Identification
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy
  • Social Security Card
    • Issued by the SSA
  • Permanent Resident Card
    • Issued by USCIS
    • Also referred to as an Alien Registration Card, Green Card, and Permanent Visa
  • Temporary Resident Card

17 years old and below

Provide the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the commonwealth of Kentucky (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 KY MVL directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, Kentucky 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?

You are not required to provide any documentation, dates, or knowledge of any previous marriage, annulment, or dissolution. Having said that, if you are divorced, it must be final (or absolute).

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

Kentucky 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?

You will not be asked to provide details (e.g., date, location, proof) of your prior spouse's death.

Solemnization

Who's allowed to marry me?

Kentucky 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
    • Current
  • County Judge
    • Current
  • County Executive
    • Current
  • Justice of the Peace
    • Current
  • Fiscal Court Commissioner
    • Current
  • Judge of the Court of Justice
    • Retired
  • Justice of the Court of Justice
    • Retired

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

Kentucky statutes require at least two (2) witnesses be present at your marriage ceremony. Both witnesses must be at least 18 years old.

Whomever officiates your marriage must log the contact information (typically name and address) and signature of each witness.

Note: The officiant does not count as a valid witness.

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