Maryland Marriage License

If you're getting married in Maryland, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $25.00 to $85.00, and you'll have to use it within six months.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

How do I get married in Maryland?

To get married in Maryland, apply for a marriage license at the clerk of the circuit court office in the county where the marriage will occur.

Where do I apply if I'm getting married in Baltimore?

The City of Baltimore has its own circuit court, separate from Baltimore County.


Are there residency requirements?

There are no residency requirements to marry in Maryland.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to marry in Maryland?

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to get married in Maryland. Foreign couples are welcome.


How much is a marriage license?

A Maryland marriage license costs between $25 and $85. The fee varies by county, but most charge $35.

How much is a marriage certificate?

A certified copy of your marriage certificate costs $5.50 per copy. This is separate from the marriage license fee.

How much is a civil marriage ceremony?

A civil ceremony costs $25, except for Cecil County, where it's $35.


Where can I use my marriage license?

You may only use your marriage license in the county where you got it.

Can I use another state's marriage license in Maryland?

You must use a Maryland marriage license to get married in Maryland.


What information must I fill out?

The marriage license application will ask for your name, age, residence, birthplace, social security number, and marital history.

Why is my social security number asked for?

Your social security number is used for child support enforcement purposes. It will not be shown on the marriage license.

How long does it take to process my application?

The marriage application process takes between 15 and 30 minutes.


What if I can't apply in person?

If you cannot apply in person, your partner may apply on your behalf.

What if neither of us can apply in person?

If neither of you live in the county you're applying in, you may mail a Non-Resident Marriage License Application Affidavit.

Age Requirements

How old must I be to get married?

Aged 18 and over?

If you're at least 18 years old, you may get married without parental consent.

Aged 16 and 17?

If you're 16 or 17 years old, you may get married with a parent's or guardian's consent or if you're pregnant or have given birth.

Aged 15?

If you're 15 years old and pregnant or have given birth to a child, you may marry with a parent's or guardian's consent.

Aged 14 and under?

If you're 14 years old or younger, you may not get married in Maryland.

What are the rules for underage marriage?

Who grants consent?

One parent or guardian must grant consent. The parent need not have custody rights.

How is consent granted?

A parent or guardian may grant consent in person or with a notarized consent form.

How must pregnancy be proven?

Show proof of pregnancy or prior birth with a signed medical certificate.

Who must compose the certificate?

The certificate must be from a certified nurse practitioner or a licensed physician or physician's assistant.

What if my parent or guardian doesn't approve?

A court will not overrule a parent or guardian who refuses to grant consent.

Waiting Period

When will I get my marriage license?

You'll either get your marriage license the day you apply or two days later. Issuance varies by county.

How soon can I use my marriage license?

Your marriage license won't be effective for use until two days after applying, at 6 a.m.

Is it possible to waive the two-day waiting period?

A circuit judge may waive the two-day waiting period for good cause if you're a Maryland resident or a member of the U.S. military.

Who picks up the marriage license?

Either applicant may pick up the marriage license. A third-party may pick it up with your written approval.

Can the license be mailed?

The court clerk can mail you your marriage license. This may exclude minors.


How long will my marriage license last?

Your marriage license will expire six months after the day it becomes effective.

What if I lose my marriage license?

If you lose your marriage license, get a duplicate replacement for $10.


Must I show ID?

Bring government-issued photo ID that confirms your age, such as a driver's license or passport.

Must I show my birth certificate?

A certified copy of your birth certificate may be asked for if you're below the age of 18.

Must I show my social security card?

You do not have to bring your social security card, but you must know your number.

Blood Test

Do I have to get a blood test?

You do not have to get a premarital blood test. The court clerk will give you material on birth control and a list of family planning clinics.


Do I have to bring proof of divorce?

The court clerk may ask to see a certified copy of every divorce decree. If divorced within the past year, it's a likely ask.

How soon can I get married after divorcing?

You do not have to wait to get married following a divorce.


Do I have to bring proof of being widowed?

The court clerk may ask to see a certified copy of every prior spouse's death certificate.

How soon can I get married after being widowed?

There is no waiting period to remarry following the death of a spouse.

Name Change

Can I change my name?

Husbands, wives, and same-sex couples may change their names after marriage.

Is name change required?

Neither party to a marriage must change their name.

Can I change my first name?

Your must petition a Maryland circuit court to change your first name.

Can I change my middle name?

You may replace your middle name with your maiden name or last name at birth.

What are my last name options?

You may take your spouse's last name or hyphenate surnames in any order.

How do I complete a name change?

Use a certified copy of your marriage certificate to effect a name change.

When can I begin work on my name change?

You may begin the name change paperwork online before or after marriage.

Which documents must I update to change my name?

First update your social security card, then your driver's license, passport, voter registration, etc.


Are witnesses required?

You do not need to bring witnesses to your marriage ceremony.

The Ceremony

Who may solemnize our marriage?

Your marriage may be performed by a judge, court clerk, or authorized official of a religious body.

Can I get married in a civil ceremony?

Judges and court clerks hold civil ceremonies by appointment. It costs $35 in Cecil County and $25 elsewhere.

License Return

What happens to my marriage license after marriage?

Your officiant must return your marriage license to the court clerk who issued it within five days after marriage.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a copy of my marriage record?

Ordering from the circuit court?

You may buy a certified copy of your marriage certificate for $5.50 from the circuit court that issued you your marriage license.

Ordering from Maryland vital records?

Maryland's Vital Statistics Administration sells birth, death, divorce, and marriage certificates for $10 to $12.

Proxy Marriage

Can I get married by proxy?

Your may not get married by proxy, phone, or video. It requires your physical presence.

Prohibited Marriage

Can I marry my cousin?

You can marry your first cousin in Maryland.

Can I marry a family member?

You cannot marry a grandparent, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.

Common-law Marriage

Can I enter into a common-law marriage?

You cannot enter into a common-law marriage in Maryland. This has always been the case.

Will my out-of-state common-law marriage be legal in Maryland?

Maryland law will recognize a valid common-law marriage set up outside the state.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?


Share your questions or comments


Leave a Comment
  1. How long does it usually take for the marriage license to be approved?

    1. HI Sara. The application process takes about 30 minutes.

  2. I have a question, how many people are allowed in the room where you get married in? how do you go about setting everything up to get married??

    1. how many people are allowed in the room where you get married in?

      That's a matter of room and building size. You'll have to contact the court clerk to determine the maximum occupancy for their in-house civil ceremonies. I'm assuming you're referring to a civil ceremony.

      how do you go about setting everything up to get married?

      You'll have to make an appointment and the arrangements will be set up for you.

  3. Do both parties have to have in state identification or does it not matter

    1. Do both parties have to have in state identification

      Although both of you must show photo ID, it doesn't have to originate from Maryland.

  4. Do both applicants have to be present at time of application? My friend is in the hospital. We'd like to get married ASAP. She is terminal, but at present is still of all faculties.

    1. Do both applicants have to be present at time of application?

      You may apply on your partner's behalf.

  5. If my partner does not have a SSN but has a tax ID #, are we still able to apply for a marriage license in MD?

    1. If my partner does not have a SSN

      You may still get married. The SSN requirement only applies to those who have a number.

  6. How do you schedule a courthouse ceremony and how far ahead of time?

    1. How do you schedule a courthouse ceremony

      Contact the circuit court to make an appointment.

      and how far ahead of time?

      Play it safe and book your appointment before applying for your marriage license. You'll pay the ceremony fee when you marry.

  7. What inormation do I need to present to get married?

    1. Hi Edwina. Bring government-issued photo ID. If you're below age 18, bring your birth certificate. Some offices may ask to see your divorce decree if you're divorced.

  8. I will be getting married in the summer. My fiancé is coming from a different country and will not have a ssn. Are there Any other documents he can

    1. Hi Elvira. Showing a social security number isn't required for non-U.S. citizens.

  9. To apply for marriage license what documents do I need. My late husband passed away 12/2018 and my fiancé is divorced.

    1. Hi Darlene. Bring a certified copy of your late spouse's death certificate. Your fiancé should bring a certified copy of their divorce decree. Both should bring photo ID.

      Keep in mind, not ever circuit court requires these documents. If it's not a hassle to bring them, then do so. If it's an onerous task, you can call ahead to confirm if they're required.

  10. If I want to get married in a different county, then the one I get my license in will I be able to get married in that county at the court house?

    I live in Baltimore city and would like to find a pretty court house in Maryland to get married at. We are planning to hopefully have all the documents by Halloween.

    1. If I want to get married in a different county, then the one I get my license

      Your marriage ceremony must take place in the same Maryland county where you obtain your marriage license.

  11. I have been asked to officiate my nephew's wedding. They are getting their marriage license on their own prior to the ceremony.

    In the state of Maryland what, if any, certification or training requirements must I undergo/complete prior to officiating the ceremony? I have not been able to find any requirements regarding what I have to complete prior to officiating.

  12. We are getting married in Annapolis MD in December. We are Florida residents. Can we apply by mail or so one of us has to be there to apply. Thank you.

  13. We are being married on Sept 16, 2023 in Baltimore County. Our officiant is family member who is a pastor/minister of the United Methodist church in Minnesota. Does he need to provide any documentation to prove that he is a recognized member of the clergy?

    1. Hi Jane. Your officiant does not need to show or file documentation to preside over your marriage.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Marriage License Blog

Check out the latest entries from our marriage license blog.