Minnesota Marriage License

If you're getting married in Minnesota, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $115.00, and you'll have to use it within six months.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

Where can I get a marriage license?

Before getting married in Minnesota, you must apply for a civil marriage license at the local registrar's office. Some are recorders, while others are treasurers. Consult the county list at the end for the proper office.

Costs

How much does a marriage license cost?

The Minnesota marriage license fee is $115 statewide. It's $40 if you take 12 hours of premarital education.

Do I have to pay for my marriage certificate separately?

The marriage license fee includes a complimentary certified copy of your marriage certificate that will be mailed to you after marriage.

Residency

Does my residency affect the application process?

The requirements for procuring a marriage license are the same for residents and nonresidents.

Usage

Where can I get married in Minnesota?

Your Minnesota marriage license can be used anywhere in the state. It can only be used within Minnesota's geographical boundaries.

Application

What information will I have to fill out?

The marriage license application will ask for your name, prior birth or married name, address, birthdate, birthplace, sex, race, phone number, social security number, married name and address after marriage, felony convictions, and marital history.

Attendance

Do I have to apply in person?

You and your prospective spouse must apply for your marriage license in person together.

Age Requirements

How old must I be to marry?

Aged 18 and over?

Adults at or over the age of 18 don't need parental consent to marry.

Aged 16 and 17?

If you're 16 or 17 years old, you can marry with the written consent of your custodial parents or guardian, and authorization from a district court judge. Consent forms are available at the registrar's office.

Aged 15 and under?

If you're 15 years old or younger, you can't marry.

Premarital Education

What's the advantage of taking a premarital education?

The marriage license fee is reduced from $115 to $40 with a notarized premarital educator's statement from a licensed or ordained minister, marriage and family therapist, or anyone authorized to solemnize marriages.

Waiting Period

When will I get my marriage license?

Are you not an ex-felon?

You'll receive your marriage license immediately if you've not been convicted of a felony on or after August 1, 2000.

Are you an ex-felon?

If you have a felony conviction on or after August 1, 2000 and seeking a name change after marriage, the waiting period is 30 days. Otherwise, it's one day.

Expiration

How long will my marriage license last?

Your marriage license will expire six months after issuance.

Can an expired marriage license be renewed?

You can renew an expired marriage license for free if you fail to marry due to illness or another extraordinary circumstance.

Identification

What ID must I bring?

Bring unexpired photo ID, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID card, military ID card, or passport. A certified copy of your birth certificate would also suffice.

Blood Test

Is a blood test necessary?

You don't need to get a premarital blood test.

Divorced

Should I bring proof of divorce?

If you've been divorced within the past three months, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree. Otherwise, knowing the date, location, and courthouse where your marriage ended is enough.

Widowed

Should I bring proof of my late spouse's death?

Knowing the date and place of your prior spouse's death is what's required. You don't need to show the death certificate.

Name Change

Does my name automatically change after marriage?

Specifying a new name on your marriage license and certificate doesn't automatically change it. You can use a name change kit to help complete the necessary forms.

Witnesses

Are witnesses required at my ceremony?

Two witnessed aged 16 or over must attend your marriage ceremony and sign your marriage license afterward.

The Ceremony

Who can lawfully officiate my marriage ceremony?

Your officiant must be at least 21 years old and a county-registered minister, judge, court administrator, or designee of a religious organization.

Can I get married in a civil ceremony?

The marriage license office typically maintains a list of local judges available to solemnize your civil ceremony. If not, you must find your own judge.

License Return

When must my license be returned?

Your marriage license must be returned to the issuing office for recording within five days after marriage.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?

You'll automatically receive one certified copy of your marriage certificate after your marriage license has been returned for recording. It'll be mailed to the "address after marriage" you specify on the application. Extra copies can be purchased for roughly $9.

Proxy Marriage

Can I get married by proxy?

You can't have someone stand in for you at the marriage ceremony. You must be there.

Prohibited Marriage

Can I marry my cousin?

You cannot marry your first cousin.

Is marriage among family relations allowed?

You can't marry a family member closer to you than a second cousin, whether related by half blood, whole blood, or adoption.

Common-law Marriage

Can I establish a common-law marriage?

Minnesota will only recognize a common-law marriage lawfully established in another state.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?

Comments

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14 Comments

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  1. If one person is from the US and other one from Africa what's the process

    1. Hi Audrey. The process is the same for U.S. citizens and non-citizens.

  2. I want to get married. But don't want to wear a mask during the ceremony. I want a simple ceremony. where do I go? or who do I ask to perform it. I want to get married on Dec. 31st, 2020. Also, I don't want the person performing the ceremony to wear a mask.

    1. Hi Cathy. If your ceremony is taking place in a courthouse, you'll have to follow their procedures. It's possible they'll be able to accommodate your preference, but that's up to the judge. If you're having a non-courthouse ceremony, you'll have to work out the arrangements with your officiant.

      If this is guaranteed to become a problem and you're brushing up against the clock, you could hold the ceremony with the masking and social distancing rules in place, then hold an informal ceremony later. Similar to how couples will have a courthouse wedding then later have another ceremony later with friends and family present.

  3. If I live in Hennepin county, do I have to get a marriage license issued from Hennepin county? I am finding that the appointment dates are out into March at all locations. If I found a location that had earlier appointment dates, could I go there?

  4. We haven't set a date as he's in prison and as soon as he gets out we want to get married. Can I just stop in and ask for the paperwork to be married?

    1. Hi Carol. You can pick up the blank forms in advance.

  5. Hello, I wonder when can we get our marriage license? We had applied a week ago.

    1. Hi Jessica. You should receive your marriage license immediately after applying as long as neither of your have a felony conviction and seeking a post-marriage change of name.

  6. Hi I read that it is a law that's called five brides wedding and that we all have the right to get married whether the person be in jail or prison. While my boyfriend is currently in jail in Mower County he does have a felony charge .

    I don't have any felonies we want to get married as soon as possible. I have someone that is officially able to marry us and that's what should matter. We have the right to get married because one person makes a mistake should not take away the hour rates

    The fact is of course he can't be there with me to sign the papers stating that he wants to marry me. I need assistance in understanding as to what I need to do to file for a marriage license and why is it that I'm not finding the answers here in Mower County.

    We would like this to happen before he is to go off to prison because we both know that that is what's going to happen. Please help with any possible answer as to what to do.

    1. Hi Erica. Contact the registrar's office regarding a "party not appearing" application.

  7. Is there a waiting period following the application for the marriage license or can it be used immediately?

    1. Hi ReneƩ. There's only a waiting period for felons who plan to change their name. Otherwise, you'll get your license immediately, where it's ready for use any time.

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