Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
Where can I get a marriage license in Kentucky?
Before getting married in Kentucky, you must apply for a marriage license at any county clerk's office.
Are there any residency conditions?
There are no residency requirements to get a marriage license.
What's the marriage license fee?
A Kentucky marriage license costs $50 throughout the Commonwealth. The fee is nonrefundable.
Note: Effective January 1, 2020, the marriage license fee increased from $35.50 to $50.00.
Does the fee include a certified certificate?
The marriage license fee includes a certified copy of your marriage certificate, which will be mailed to you after marriage.
Where can I use my marriage license?
Your Kentucky marriage license can be used anywhere in the Commonwealth. It's only valid in Kentucky.
Can my out-of-state license be used in Kentucky?
Only Kentucky marriage licenses are valid for use in Kentucky.
What personal details will I have to share?
The marriage license application will ask for your name, date of birth, place of birth, residence, gender, race, occupation, social security number, parents' names, prior marriage count, and marital status (e.g., single, divorced, widowed).
Do I have to apply in person?
You must apply for your marriage license in person alongside your future spouse.
How old must I be to get married?
Aged 18 and over?
If you're 18 years old or older, you can marry without parental consent.
If you're 17 years old, you can marry someone no more than four years your senior with permission from the family court and your custodial parents or guardian. Petition the court in your county of residence.
Aged 16 and under?
Minors below the age of 17 can no longer marry in Kentucky, regardless of parental consent or pregnancy.
What's required of consenting parents?
Consenting parents must live in Kentucky. The clerk's office provides the consent form. If divorced, bring proof of custody.
What changed in the minimum age requirements?
On March 29, 2018, Governor Matt Bevin signed SB48 into law, which prohibits marriage below the age of 17 and requires 17-year olds to petition the family court to marry someone no more than four years their senior.
How soon will I get my marriage license?
You'll receive your marriage license the same day you apply for it. You can get married the same day.
How long will my marriage license remain usable?
Your marriage license will remain valid for 30 days after issuance, which includes the day it's issued.
What are the ID requirements?
Bring government-issued photo ID to confirm your age, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID card, or passport.
Note: Some county clerks do not accept military ID.
Do I need to bring my birth certificate?
Only minors below the age of 18 are required to bring a certified copy of their birth certificate.
Do I need to bring my social security card?
Some county clerks will ask to see your social security card.
Is a blood test necessary?
The premarital blood test requirement was repealed effective July 15, 1982.
Will I need to bring proof of divorce?
If divorced, you do not need to bring a copy of your divorce records.
Will I need to prove my prior spouse's death?
If widowed, your late spouse's death certificate will not be requested.
Can I change my name because of marriage?
You can use an online name change kit to change your name after marriage, as the process isn't automatic. Your marriage certificate will be the authorizing document. Start with your social security card before moving onto other documents.
Must witnesses be present?
There must be at least two witnesses present at your marriage ceremony. Their names will be recorded on your certificate of marriage.
Who can officiate my marriage?
Your marriage can be solemnized by a judge, justice of the peace, county executive, minister of any religious denomination, or religious society's customs.
Can I get married in a civil ceremony?
County clerk offices do not conduct civil ceremonies. However, they're usually able to direct you to an available judge.
When must the marriage license go back?
Your marriage license should be returned to the county clerk that issued it within a month after marriage.
How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
Your marriage license purchase includes a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Go to the same county clerk for extra copies, which are $10.50. The Kentucky's office of vital statistics also sells them for $6.
Can I get married by proxy?
You cannot get married by proxy. No stand-ins or surrogates allowed at the ceremony. You must be present.
Can I marry a cousin?
You can't marry your first cousin. Second cousins and beyond are allowed.
Can I marry a family member?
You can't marry anyone in your family who's closer to you than a second cousin.
Can I establish a common-law marriage?
Kentucky hasn't recognized the validity of common-law marriage since 1852.