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.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Minnesota marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the County Recorder's Office, by the County Recorder.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can be used throughout the state, regardless of which County Recorder's Office you get it from.

Your license is only valid within the borders of Minnesota. For instance, you can't get a marriage license from the neighboring state of Wisconsin, then use it here—and vice versa.

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Minnesota?

There are two different price points:

Price 1: Default cost

A marriage license costs exactly $115.00 USD. This price is established by state law and doesn't change no matter where you buy your license.

Price 2: Cost after taking a 12-Hour Premarital Education Course

If you're willing to undergo a 12-Hour Premarital Education Course that the state of Minnesota recognizes, a marriage license costs exactly $40.00 USD. This is a savings of $75.00; a 65% markdown below the regular fee.

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

County Recorder's Offices will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Even if you're still waiting to receive your license after submitting an application (see waiting periods), you will not be reimbursed after you've already paid.

Attendance

Must we both be present when applying?

Both parties to the marriage must appear together when applying for a marriage license.

Waiting periods

Is there a waiting period to get a marriage license?

Minnesota does have a five (5) day waiting period before getting a marriage license. Your license will be issued five days after your application is received by the County Recorder's Office.

How soon can I get married after getting a license?

You can get married immediately after you receive your marriage license. There is no post-issuance waiting period to abide by before you can have your marriage ceremony.

Expiration dates

When will my marriage license expire?

Your Minnesota 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 $115.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given six more months.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

Whether you're a resident or non-resident of Minnesota, the rules are the same; you can apply for a marriage license anywhere in the state. You can then get married anywhere within the state.

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

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

16 to 17 years old

You must obtain the consent of both parents or legal guardians. It's not sufficient if only one parent/guardian acquiesces—both must agree.

You must obtain a court order from a District Judge—in Minnesota—which will authorize the County Recorder to issue a marriage license.

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 County Recorder's Office. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
  • State-issued Identification
  • Passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization

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
    • Submitted to child support enforcement agencies; within Minnesota and out-of-state

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of Minnesota (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 MN DVS directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, Minnesota 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?

There are two sets of divorce requirements that may pertain to you:

Divorce rule 1

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

If your last divorce, annulment, or dissolution took place outside the past 30 days, 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. You must know the court where your divorce was finalized; this includes the city/town, state, and courthouse where your divorce was granted.


Divorce rule 2

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

If your last divorce, annulment, or dissolution took place within the past 30 days, provide the following:

Things you must bring

You will need to provide a copy of your divorce decree (aka divorce certificate). It must be an original or certified copy—not a photocopy. The County Recorder will not keep your certificate; it just needs to be examined for authenticity, and to confirm your previous marriage is over.

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

Minnesota 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 County Recorder's Office 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?

Minnesota statutes require at least two (2) witnesses be present at your marriage ceremony. Both witnesses must be at least 16 years old.

Whomever officiates your marriage must log the contact information (typically name and address) and signature of each witness.

Note: The officiant does not count as a valid witness.

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