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?
Before getting married in Louisiana, you must first apply for a marriage license at any parish-level clerk of court office. However, in Orleans Parish it's handled by the state registrar of vital records or any city court judge.
Does my residency affect the application process?
Your residency doesn't have any impact on getting a marriage license.
How much will a marriage license cost me?
The Louisiana marriage license fee is between $25 and $40. It differs from parish to parish.
Where can I use my marriage license?
Your marriage license can be used anywhere in Louisiana. It can only be used in Louisiana.
What information will the application require?
The application will request your name, birth name, birthdate, birthplace, residence, race, sex, marital history, highest education completed, social security number, parents' birth names and birthplaces, and if this is a covenant marriage.
What if I can't apply in person?
If you're a member of the armed forces, your co-applicant can complete the application on your behalf. A photocopy of your military ID must be presented. Everyone else can apply absentee with a notarized application. However, at least one must apply in person.
How old do I have to be to get married?
Aged 18 and over?
Eighteen year olds and older can marry without parental consent.
Aged 16 and 17?
If you're 16 or 17 years old, you can marry with the written consent of your custodial parents, a guardian, or a juvenile court judge.
Aged 15 and under?
If you're 15 years old or younger, you can marry with authorization from a juvenile court judge, assuming your custodial parents or guardian agrees. The judge must be from your parish of residence or the parish where the ceremony will occur.
How can parents grant consent?
The parents or guardians consenting to their child's marriage must sign a consent form in the presence of the clerk of court.
Might 18 become the new minimum age to marry?
On March 14, 2018, Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter Peterson introduced Senate Bill 463, which would outlaw marriage below age 18. However, it's not expected to progress any further for consideration.
When will I get my license?
You'll get your marriage license immediately, but you'll have to wait 72 hours to use it.
Can the waiting period be waived?
The 72-hour waiting period can be waived by a judge or justice of the peace. In Orleans Parish, anyone authorized to solemnize marriages can waive it for nonresidents of Louisiana who opt to marry in Orleans Parish.
How long will my license remain valid?
Your marriage license will expire 30 days after issuance at midnight.
What forms of ID must I show?
You'll need to bring your birth certificate and photo identification.
Birth certificate requirements?
Bring a certified copy of your birth certificate with a stamp or raised seal. A short-form certification card is okay for Louisiana residents. Non-English certificates must have a sworn translation that's notarized.
Photo ID requirements?
Bring unexpired photo ID, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID card, federal-issued ID card, passport, or visa with form I-94.
Do I need to get a blood test?
The premarital blood test and medical certificate requirement hasn't been in effect since July 18, 1988.
What if I'm divorced?
If your last marriage ended in divorce, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
What if my previous spouse died?
If your last marriage ended with the death of your spouse, bring a certified copy of their death certificate.
What are my marriage name change options?
Name change after marriage isn't automatic. You can use a marriage name change kit to help get it done. You can take your spouse's last name, hyphenate, or return to any previous surname. You can also replace your middle name with your maiden name.
Are witnesses required?
Two competent witnesses aged 18 or over must attend your marriage ceremony. Afterward, they'll sign the certificate portion of your license.
Who can preside over my marriage?
Your marriage can be solemnized by a judge, justice of the peace, or parish-registered clergyperson of any religious sect or society, including Quakers.
When must my license be returned?
Your marriage license must be returned to the office that issued it for recording no later than 10 days after marriage.
Where can I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
You can buy a certified copy of your marriage certificate (a.k.a. marriage record) from the office where you got your marriage license. It'll cost about $5.
Will I automatically get a certified copy?
In some parishes, the marriage license fee includes one complimentary certified copy of your marriage certificate. It's up to you to inquire.
Can I married by proxy?
You can't get married by proxy, which is when you have a surrogate take your place at the marriage ceremony.
Can I marry my first cousin?
Louisiana law does not permit marriage between first cousins.
Can I marry any family relation?
Louisiana law forbids marriage among blood relations within the fourth degree, which casts a very wide net of exclusion, all the way to great aunts and uncles.
Can I get married if I'm already married?
If your spouse has abandoned you the previous five years and their whereabouts is unknown, you can actually remarry without first divorcing.
Is common-law marriage recognized?
Louisiana does not and has never legally recognized common-law marriage.