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.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Maryland marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the Circuit Court, by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can only be used in the county where you get it from; it is not valid throughout the entire state of Maryland.

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Maryland?

A marriage license costs approximately $25.00 to 85.00 USD. The cost can vary between each Circuit Court, as each county is allowed to set its own price.

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

Circuit Courts will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Attendance

Must we both be present when applying?

Only one party to the marriage must be present 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 Maryland marriage license. You'll get your license the same day you apply for it.

How soon can I get married after getting a license?

Maryland law requires you to wait 48 hours after getting a marriage license before you're allowed to get married.

Expiration dates

When will my marriage license expire?

Your Maryland marriage license will expire six (6) months 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 $25.00-85.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given six more months.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

There are multiple residency rules, only of which some may apply to you. They are as follows.

Residency rule 1

If one of you is a resident of Maryland, you must apply for a marriage license in the county where the marriage will take place. Your marriage ceremony must be held in the same county where you applied for your marriage license.

Residency rule 2

If neither of you are residents of Maryland, you must apply for a marriage license in the county where the marriage will take place. Your marriage ceremony must be held in the same county where you applied for your marriage license.

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

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

16 to 17 years old

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.

If you are pregnant, or have given birth, you may be issued a marriage license, even without parental consent.

Be prepared to provide proof of pregnancy (or prior childbirth) to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, such as a certificate or written statement from a:

  • Licensed physician
  • Certified nurse practitioner (NPs)

15 years old

Same as above, plus:

Even though you may be issued a marriage license if you are pregnant, parental consent is still required.

14 years old and below

A person who is 14 years old, or below, cannot be issued a marriage license and may not marry.

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 Circuit Court. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
  • Passport
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Provide the following:

  • Social Security Number
    • Issued by the SSA
    • You don't need to bring you card; just know your number
    • It's understood that non-U.S. citizens are unlikely to have a SSN

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of Maryland (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 MD MVA directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, Maryland 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?

If you've been previously divorced, or have had an annulment or dissolution, there are extra bits of information that you must provide the Clerk of the Circuit Court when applying.

For all previous divorces, annulments, and dissolutions, provide the following:

Things you must know

You must know the date your divorce, annulment, or dissolution took place. You must know where your divorce was finalized; this is the location (city/town, state or country) where your divorce papers were filed.

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

Maryland 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?

If your previous marriage left you as a widow or widower, the Circuit Court will need to solicit basic information regarding the death of your spouse.

Things you must know

You must be able to specify the date your spouse died. You must specify where the death took place.

Things you must bring

You don't need to bring any documentation to substantiate the death of your spouse. Simply providing rudimentary details regarding your spouse's death is sufficient when filling out your application.

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

Maryland does not require witnesses attend your ceremony. This is a convenience, as most other states do require at least one or two witnesses be present.

Can (or should) I still have witnesses attend?

While you can still have one or more witnesses be present, they won't serve any official purpose or role (during or after the ceremony) in concert with the officiant.

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