Louisiana Marriage License

If you're getting married in Louisiana, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you about $27.50, and you'll have to use it within 30 days.

See FAQ Offices

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.

Residency

Does my residency affect the application process?

Your residency doesn't have any impact on getting a marriage license.

Costs

How much will a marriage license cost me?

The Louisiana marriage license fee is between $25 and $40. It differs from parish to parish.

Usage

Where can I use my marriage license?

Your marriage license can be used anywhere in Louisiana. It can only be used in Louisiana.

Application

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.

Attendance

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.

Age Requirements

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.

Waiting Period

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.

Expiration

How long will my license remain valid?

Your marriage license will expire 30 days after issuance at midnight.

Identification

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.

Blood Test

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.

Divorced

What if I'm divorced?

If your last marriage ended in divorce, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.

Widowed

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.

Name Change

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.

Witnesses

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.

The Ceremony

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.

License Return

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.

Marriage Certificate

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.

Proxy Marriage

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.

Prohibited Marriage

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.

Common-law Marriage

Is common-law marriage recognized?

Louisiana does not and has never legally recognized common-law marriage.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?

Comments

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73 Comments

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    1. Hi Dominique. What are you asking? What problem are you facing?

  1. If I'm married in Texas can I go get married in Louisiana to a different man

    1. I'm married in Texas can I go get married in Louisiana to a different man

      The simple answer is no, because that's bigamy. However, your subsequent marriage wouldn't be considered bigamous if your Texas spouse has abandoned you for the past five years and his whereabouts are unknown. Or he's been presumed dead by a court of law.

  2. If I live in a different state and get a divorce from a spouse, is there a waiting period to get married to someone else?

    1. is there a waiting period to get married to someone else?

      Louisiana doesn't have a waiting period between divorce and remarriage. There's no need to wait. Even if you live in one of the few states that impose divorce waiting periods, those laws don't apply in Louisiana.

  3. Hi! I’m a US citizen looking to marry my Spanish boyfriend while on holiday in New Orleans. We both live in Spain and aren’t looking for a green card. What documents/procedural changes, if any, are there for him?

    1. Hi Emily. Both of you need to bring photo ID and your birth certificates. Nearly any government-issued photo ID is good, such as a passport. If your boyfriend's birth certificate is not in English, attach a certified and notarized translation.

  4. Hi! Where can I find information on a courthouse ceremony? I am having a wedding in another country and need to have a legal ceremony in Louisiana beforehand.

  5. My fiance lives in Akron, OH. She’s gonna travel to Louisiana to get married. We only have 2 day in a week to get the license and get married. Can we do that in two days?

    1. We only have 2 day in a week to get the license and get married. Can we do that in two days?

      You'll have to navigate around the 72-hour waiting period. You've got a few options:

      1. She may complete the application in Ohio, get it notarized, then mail it to you. Then you go in alone to apply. This will kick off the waiting period.
      2. Wait until she arrives, apply together, then get a justice of the peace to waive the waiting period.
  6. My boyfriend is on probation and technically we can't be together. If we marry in a different state can this be detected by the state we're in now? How does this waiting period thing work because I read above that there isn't a wait period then on a different comment there was a 72 hour waiting period mentioned.

    1. If we marry in a different state can this be detected by the state we're in now?

      No, there's no automatic alert. States don't notify or monitor other state's marriage occurrences.

      How does this waiting period thing work

      Let's say you apply on Monday. You'll get your marriage license Monday, but it'll contain wording to the officiant not to solemnize your marriage until Thursday. Consider it a cooling off period.

      I read above that there isn't a wait period

      The 72-hour wait time may be waived by a judge or justice of the peace. Some folks are able to kill two birds with one stone by getting married in a civil ceremony and having that same judge apply the waiver.

  7. I want to marry my fiance which is in the nursing home due to a stroke which caused him to be disabled,he's 70,and I'm 37.

    He's a Vietnam veteran,can I apply for both of us to get married without him being present?

    1. can I apply for both of us to get married without him being present?

      Yes, you may apply on his behalf. Bring his military ID card.

  8. Hi, I'm Jessica,

    I want to get married to my EVERYTHING!! In August of this year ,but he has an estranged wife that he has to deal with first and he doesn't where she is exactly.

    It's only been a year n a half since they split and they don't have any children together. What would be the steps he need to take in order to finally divorce her,so me n him can get married.

    What will (WE) need to get married once they are divorce? Any waiting period before we marry?

    1. Sorry for the typo. I meant he doesn't (know) where she is.

    2. What would be the steps he need to take in order to finally divorce her

      He'll have to serve his spouse with divorce papers. If he can't track her down, he'll have to ask the court to assign a lawyer to his missing spouse. The lawyer will act as a sort of proxy so that divorce proceedings can commence without the absent spouse.

      What will (WE) need to get married once they are divorce?

      Other than the typical requirements listed on this page, bring a certified copy of the divorce decree.

      Any waiting period before we marry?

      After you get your marriage license, you must wait 72 hours before getting married.

  9. I have friends coming in from the UK to visit and they wish to get married in the States, aka Louisiana, other than their birth certificate and passport what else do they need?

    1. other than their birth certificate and passport what else do they need?

      That's sufficient.

  10. I can’t find information on courthouse weddings. Can you give me a website or information on a courthouse wedding in Orleans Parish or St. Bernard parish?

  11. Me and my gf don't want some big ceremony we're just looking to get married we don't have the money to spend on anything like that but we just want it to be official how do we go about just getting married in the courthouse

  12. I got married in Mt. Hermon LA on June 8th, we pre-paid the mailing fee to get a marriage certificate mailed to us in TX. How long will that take?

    1. Hi Rodney. It could take 8 to 10 weeks for your Louisiana marriage certificate to arrive by mail. That's not necessarily the case for all parishes. You'll have to contact yours to find out for certain.

  13. How do I go about getting married in a courthouse? Is that the same thing as just applying for a marriage license?

    1. How do I go about getting married in a courthouse?

      Get in touch with a local justice of the peace.

      Is that the same thing as just applying for a marriage license?

      No, a courthouse marriage is optional, costs extra, and is typically by appointment only.

  14. Is there someone that can marry my fiancé and I at New Orleans City Hall?

    1. Hi Collette. The public justices of the peace listing doesn't show anyone for Orleans Parish, but there's nothing stopping you from hiring someone from any other parish. Justices can operate throughout Louisiana.

      If you're looking for another civil celebrant, you can contact Orleans Parish clerk of court office. They may be able to provide you with a referral.

  15. We’re getting married in NOLA soon. I Have dual Nationality with two passports (USA/UK) - was born in USA (American birth certificate) but have lived all my life in the UK. I don’t have a social security number. Is that going to cause problems? Thank you so much

    1. Sorry, more questions! My fiancé is English. What documents will he need to show for our Orleans marriage licence? Do they keep any of the documents? Can we have copies of the marriage certificate mailed to us in England? Many many thanks!

      1. What documents will he need to show for our Orleans marriage licence?

        Birth certificate (original or certified copy) and photo ID, such as a passport.

        Do they keep any of the documents?

        Your documents won't be kept, just inspected.

        Can we have copies of the marriage certificate mailed to us in England?

        Yes, you can order certified copies at the same time you apply and have them mailed to wherever you need.

    2. I don’t have a social security number. Is that going to cause problems?

      If you don't have a social security number, it's not required.

  16. Hi I’m getting married August 17 2019 I was wondering when should I go get my marriage license

    1. I’m getting married August 17 2019 I was wondering when should I go get my marriage license

      August 14, 2019, at the latest. You have to factor in the 72-hour waiting period.

      For instance, if your marriage license is issued on August 14 at 1pm, the earliest you may marry is August 17 at 1pm.

      The date and time your marriage license becomes ready for use will be written on the license.

    1. We getting married on July 27 2019 when should we get our license

      1. Hi Lee. There's a 72-hour waiting period to marry after getting your marriage license. Since your marriage date is a few days away, you're getting close to the edge. You may want to seek a waiver of the waiting period from a justice of the peace or judge.

    2. Hi Lee. Yes, same-sex marriage is legal in Louisiana.

  17. Do I sign my maiden name or my married name on my marriage license and certificate?

  18. Around January is when my boyfriend gets back from South Carolina (army basic training and airborne school) and we need to get married so i can live with him on base.

    How exactly do we get married and what do i do with the license and everything when i get it. Im just confused on how this works and what everything is and what it does

    1. How exactly do we get married

      Apply for a marriage license at the clerk of court office. To save time, you may apply alone, but you'll need a photocopy of your boyfriend's military ID. Bring a certified copy of your birth certificate and photo ID.

      what do i do with the license and everything when i get it.

      You'll get your marriage license the day you apply, but there's a 72-hour waiting period to use it. It expires after 30 days.

      After your marriage ceremony is over, your officiant must return your marriage license to the issuing clerk of court for recording. Once your marriage is recorded, you're married in the eyes of the state.

      If you need proof of marriage, you'll have to buy a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Some parishes include this in the marriage license fee, some don't. You'll have to ask when you apply. You can pay in advance and have them mail out your copy after they've recorded it.

  19. Hallo i have a good friend she live in Louisiana and we planning on getting married and i live in germany what we i do to be with her over there and what do she have to do to get me over there and how much is the marriage cost in church and in court does she have to have a job or me to get marries or meet her over there

    1. we planning on getting married and i live in germany

      You can apply together in person or she can apply for both of you using a notarized application.

      how much is the marriage cost in church

      The cost of a religious ceremony can only be answered by the church. That's not priced by state law or clerk of court offices.

      does she have to have a job or me to get marries or meet her over there

      No, employment status doesn't matter.

  20. Can my friend still get married in Louisiana if they have a warrant in Texas?

    1. Hi Sunny. Your friend's out-of-state warrant will not prevent issuance of a marriage license.

  21. What process would we have to go threw to get married????

    1. Hi Mustafa. Apply for a marriage license, wait for the waiting period to pass, then hold the ceremony. Your marriage is official when your officiant returns your marriage license for recording. Are you referring to something else not detailed on this page?

  22. is there any way i can get married on the weekend

    1. Hi Valencia. You'll have to arrange a weekend ceremony with your officiant, as courthouses are closed on weekends.

  23. My son went to a country in south america and found "his other half". They are planning to marry in the US because they say it takes 6 to 18 mo of paperwork to marry there.

    I already explained them the process to get Marriage license and 72 hrs waiting (and they are bubbling happy!!). She had a previous marriage in her country but hubby abandoned her and 2 kiddos and came to the US (I do not have details on how he did it).

    That's 11 yrs ago! Husband never contributed a penny and she was the sole provider for she and her kids. She has lost track of him and even the kids (15-18 y.o.) lost contact too.

    Before returning to the country my kid want to know:

    1. can she (foreign national) get divorced here "in absentia" of her husband. What she has do to?
    2. after divorcing her previous husband, is there any other requirement she has to comply with to marry my kid?
    3. if possible, any estimate on cost of all different steps.

    THanks for your help

    1. sorry but need a correction: her kids are now 24 and 27 one married and both on their on.

    2. can she (foreign national) get divorced here "in absentia" of her husband. What she has do to?

      She'll have to consult with an attorney regarding an international divorce.

      However, Louisiana allows marriage without divorce in cases of spousal abandonment exceeding five years. Her case might apply.

      after divorcing her previous husband, is there any other requirement she has to comply with to marry my kid?

      Bring certified proof of the divorce.

      if possible, any estimate on cost of all different steps.

      The only applicable cost is the marriage license fee. How much it'll cost to hire a lawyer or complete divorce proceedings varies.

  24. How many people are allowed in the courtroom to witness the ceremony? If there is a limit do children count as a seat?

    1. How many people are allowed in the courtroom

      You'll have to get in touch with the judge or justice to determine that. They may have a dedicated room for such ceremonies.

  25. Hi! If I live in one parish and want to get married in another, will a license from either parish work?

    Also, a friend who has been ordained is officiating– will they need to register in the parish where the ceremony is actually happening?

    1. If I live in one parish and want to get married in another, will a license from either parish work?

      Yes, it would work in any parish.

      will they need to register in the parish where the ceremony is actually happening?

      No, any parish would do.

  26. Hello. are the same fees and procedures if im getting married to a foreign person? she's coming to the US with a fiancé visa.

    thank you

    1. are the same fees and procedures if im getting married to a foreign person?

      Yes, the fees are universal.

  27. I need to know what me and my fiance need to do to get married we both live and were born in same parish.

    1. we both live and were born in same parish

      Residency doesn't matter. Just fulfill the payment, age, waiting period, etc, requirements as laid out on this page.

  28. Can the couple return the completed marriage license to the office that issued it or does the officiant have to be the one handing it in?

    Thanks!

  29. Hi, I did not realize that the paperwork needed to be returned within 10 days for recording. What happens if I did not return it within the 10 days and submit it late?

    We signed the certificate along with the officiant at the ceremony. Was there something else that I needed to do before submitting it?

    1. What happens if I did not return it within the 10 days and submit it late?

      It'll still be accepted.

      Was there something else that I needed to do before submitting it?

      No.

  30. Hi, i have a question we are both divorced and are divorced paper are in Spanish. What we need to do? . We are planning to get married dec, 2019.

    1. we are both divorced and are divorced paper are in Spanish. What we need to do?

      Contact the clerk of court in advance to determine if your divorce decree must be translated into English and notarized.

  31. My fiancé and I are visiting New Orleans Dec. 27. What would we have to do to get married there that day? We live in Alabama.

    1. Hi Lanie. The fact that you're from Alabama doesn't affect the licensing process, as there are no residency requirements. Follow the requirements as laid out on this page, especially the 72-hour waiting period.

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