Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
How do I get married in Mississippi?
In order to get married in Mississippi, you must first apply for a Mississippi marriage license at any clerk of the circuit court office.
Do I have to be a resident of Mississippi to apply?
There are no residency requirements. Mississippians and nonresidents are welcome to marry in the state.
How much is a marriage license?
A Mississippi marriage license costs between $20 and $23. The filing fee varies slightly from county to county.
Where can I use my marriage license?
Your Mississippi marriage license is valid for use anywhere in the state.
Can I use a marriage license from another state?
You may only get married in Mississippi with a Mississippi-issued marriage license.
What information will I have to fill out?
The marriage license application will ask for the following:
- Birth surname
- Age and date of birth
- State or foreign country of birth
- Residential address
- Mailing address
- Marital history
- Total previous marriages
- How and when last marriage ended
- Highest education completed
- Elementary to college
- Social security number
- If you have one
- Will be kept confidential
- Will not appear on license or certificate
- Phone number
- Father's name and address
- Mother's full maiden name and address
- Guardians' or next of kins' names and addresses
- If there are no parents
- For applicants under 21 years of age
What if I'm unable to apply in person?
You and your co-applicant must apply in person, together. Applying absentee is not an option.
What if I can't apply due to disability, imprisonment, or military duty?
Applying in person is mandatory. Exceptions are not made for the disabled, imprisoned, or deployed members of the armed forces.
How old must I be to marry?
Aged 21 and over?
If you're at or above the age of 21—the age of majority in Mississippi—you do not need parental consent to marry.
Aged 20 and under?
Males aged 17 to 20 and females aged 15 to 20 can marry with their parents' or guardian's consent. Any younger requires court approval.
What are the parental consent rules?
Who grants consent?
Consent for underage marriage is granted by a guardian, custodial parents, sole custodial parent, or next of kin, in that order.
How must consent be granted?
Consent forms, available in the circuit clerk's office, can be completed by the consenting parent or guardian in person or by affidavit.
Must parentage or guardianship be proven?
Divorced or single parents must prove custody. Guardians must prove guardianship. Either must bring ID.
What are the court authorization requirements?
Which court must be petitioned?
Males under the age of 17 and females under the age of 15 must obtain a court order to marry from any Mississippi circuit, county, or chancery court.
Should I apply first or go to court first?
Underage applicants must obtain a court order before applying for a marriage license.
Is parental consent still required if going to court?
Parental consent to marry is mandatory for all underage applicants.
When will I receive my marriage license?
The three-day waiting period to marry has been eradicated effective July 1, 2012 after passage of Senate Bill 2851.
How long will my marriage license last?
Mississippi marriage licenses do not expire. Unused licenses will not be refunded.
What ID should I bring?
State-sanctioned ID includes a driver's license, military ID card or discharge papers, birth or baptismal certificate, school record, insurance certificate, or life insurance policy.
What if I have insufficient ID?
Circuit clerks can technically accept any legal document proving name and age, such as a passport.
Do I have to bring my birth certificate?
You do not need to bring your birth certificate. However, it can be used for ID.
Do I have to bring my social security card?
You do not need to bring your social security card. Just know your social security number.
Do I have to get a blood test?
You are no longer required to get a blood test for syphilis as of July 1, 2012 after Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2851 into law.
Must I show proof of divorce?
Some circuit clerks will ask for a certified copy of your divorce decree, especially if finalized within the past six months.
If recently divorced, do I have to wait to remarry?
There is no waiting period to remarry following a finalized divorce or annulment.
Must I show proof of being widowed?
If widowed, some circuit clerks will request a certified copy of your late spouse's death certificate.
How do I change my name after marriage?
A certified copy of your marriage certificate permits you to legally change your name after marriage. You may use an online name change application to help complete necessary paperwork.
Are witnesses required at my ceremony?
Witnesses are not required to attend your marriage ceremony.
Who can perform my marriage?
You marriage can be solemnized by a judge, justice, or person authorized by a religious society, body, institution, or organization.
Can I get married in the circuit court clerk's office?
Although circuit court clerks do not solemnize marriages, they can likely refer you to a judge or justice who does.
When must my marriage license be returned?
Your completed marriage license must be returned to the issuing circuit court for recording within five days of marriage.
How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
Ordering from the state?
Ordering from the circuit clerk?
Circuit clerks sell certified copies of marriage certificates they recorded for $16 to 17. Birth, death, and divorce records are not offered.
Can I get married by proxy?
Mississippi law does not allow marriage by proxy, phone, or intermediary.
Can I marry my first cousin?
You cannot marry a family member within two degrees of separation. This includes first cousins, stepparents, and stepsiblings.
Can I establish a common-law marriage?
It hasn't been possible to establish a common-law marriage in Mississippi since April 5, 1956.
Would my out-of-state common-law marriage be recognized?
Mississippi does recognize common-law marriages lawfully established in other states.