Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
Where must I go to get a marriage license?
You can apply for a Michigan marriage license at the county clerk's office, but be aware of the complex residency requirements spelled out further below.
How much will my marriage license cost me?
If either you or your fiancé is a resident of Michigan, the marriage license will cost $20. If neither of you are residents, it costs $30.
Note: If you can't afford the license fee, the probate court can waive it.
Are you or your fiancé a resident of Michigan?
If either you or fiancé is a resident of Michigan, apply for a marriage license in either's county of legal residence.
Is neither of you a resident of Michigan?
If neither of you live in Michigan, you must apply for a marriage license in the county where the marriage ceremony will be held.
Where in Michigan can I get married?
If you or your soon-to-be spouse is a resident of Michigan, you can marry anywhere in the state. Otherwise, you'll have to marry in the county where you purchased the marriage license.
What information will the application ask for?
You'll be asked to provide your name, gender, residence, date and place of birth, total prior marriages, social security number, phone number, and parents' birth names and birthplaces.
Must we both apply together?
If you're not submitting your marriage license application online, then you must apply in person and together.
How old do I have to be to marry?
Aged 18 and over?
Adults aged 18 and over can marry as long as they're able to enter into a legal contract.
Aged 16 and 17?
If you're 16 or 17 years old, your custodial parent or guardian must submit a county clerk provided consent form. Proof of parenthood or guardianship is required.
Aged 15 and under?
Fifteen year olds and younger can't lawfully marry in Michigan.
Am I required to get premarital counseling?
The premarital counseling requirement was abolished on January 1, 2001.
When will I get my marriage license?
Your marriage license will be available for pick up three days after you apply, excluding weekends. For instance, apply Monday to pick up on Thursday.
Can the waiting period be waived?
The county clerk can waive the waiting period for good cause and $10.
Do we have to pick up the license together?
Some counties will allow you to pick up the marriage license alone, provided you bring the missing person's ID.
How long will my marriage license last?
Your marriage license will expire 33 days after you submit your application.
What type of ID must I show?
Bring unexpired photo ID to confirm your age and residence, such as a driver's license, passport, state-issued ID card, or military ID card.
Is my birth certificate required?
Minors between the age of 16 and 17 must bring a certified copy of their birth certificate. For some counties, it's 21 years.
Is non-English identification acceptable?
Non-English ID must be accompanied by a certified and notarized translation. Non-English passports must be coupled with an I-94 form.
Do I have to get a blood test?
The blood test requirement hasn't been in effect since January 1, 2001. Instead, you'll be given information on HIV, STDs, and prenatal care.
Do I have to bring proof of divorce?
If you're divorced, you don't have to bring a copy of your divorce decree as proof.
Do I have to prove I'm a widow or widower?
If your prior spouse passed away, you don't have to present proof of death.
Are witnesses required at my ceremony?
Two adult witnesses aged 18 or over must attend your marriage ceremony. Afterward, their names and residences must be recorded on the marriage license.
How do I change my name after marriage?
Your marriage certificate allows you to undergo a name change after marriage with the SSA, Michigan SOS, and other institutions. You can use an online name change service that assists in completing the necessary paperwork before or after marriage.
When does my license need to go back?
Your completed marriage license must be returned to the issuing county clerk to be recorded within 10 days after your marriage ceremony.
How do I get copies of my marriage certificate?
You can buy certified copies of your marriage certificate in person or by mail for $15-34 from the county clerk or state vital records office.
Can I enter into a common-law marriage?
Michigan will only recognize a common-law marriage that was established before January 1, 1957.
Am I allowed to marry my cousin?
You can't lawfully marry your first cousin in Michigan.
Can I have a proxy marriage?
You cannot have someone else—the proxy—stand in for you during the marriage ceremony. You must be there.
Where can I get married in a civil ceremony?
Contact the magistrate court to schedule your civil ceremony. The civil marriage fee is $10–20.