Montana Marriage License

If you're getting married in Montana, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $53.00, and you'll have to use it within 180 days.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Montana marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the District Court, by the Clerk of the District Court.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can be used throughout the state, regardless of which District Court you get it from.

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

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Montana?

There are two different price points:

Price 1: Default cost

A marriage license costs exactly $53.00 USD. This price is established by state law and doesn't change no matter where you buy your license.

Price 2: For an informal (common-law) marriage license

An informal (or common-law) marriage license costs exactly $53.00 USD.

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

District Courts will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

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?

There is no waiting period to get a Montana marriage license. You'll get your license the same day you apply for it.

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 Montana marriage license will expire 180 days 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 $53.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given 180 more days.

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 both of you are residents of Montana, you can apply for a marriage license anywhere in the state. You can then get married anywhere within the state.

Residency rule 2

If one of you is a resident of Montana, 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 3

If neither of you are residents of Montana, 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 Montana without parental consent.

17 years old and below

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.

16 years old and below

Same as above, plus:

You must obtain a court order from a Magistrate Judge—in Montana—which will authorize the Clerk of the District Court 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 District Court. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • State-issued Identification
  • Passport
    • Issued by any U.S. or foreign government body
  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy
    • Issued by any U.S. or foreign government body
    • Non-English document must be translated into English
    • Non-English document must be notarized
  • Tribal Identification Card

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

If unavailable, provide two of the following:

  • Social Security Administration Written Verification
    • This is a mandatory item
    • Issued by the SSA
    • The SSA must provide written verification that you do not have a Social Security Number
  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy
    • Issued by a foreign (non-U.S.) government body
    • Non-English document must be translated into English
    • Non-English document must be notarized
  • Passport
    • Issued by a foreign (non-U.S.) government body

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of Montana (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 MT MVD directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

Yes, Montana law does require that only the bride get a blood test before being issued a marriage license.

The purpose of the blood test is to detect the presence of Rubella, also known as German Measles or three-day measles. Rubella is a contagious disease that originates from a virus. It can lead to miscarriage or significant birth defects in pregnant women.

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 District Court when applying.

For all previous divorces, annulments, and dissolutions, 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 Clerk of the District Court will not keep your certificate; it just needs to be examined for authenticity, and to confirm your previous marriage is over.

Note: If you're applying for your marriage license in the same Montana county where your divorce was finalized, you do not have to physically bring your divorce decree. The District Court is capable of looking up this information directly.

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

Montana 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 District 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 must bring the original or certified copy of the death certificate for review. The Clerk of the District Court will hand the death certificate back to you once it's been looked over.

Solemnization

Who's allowed to marry me?

Montana law recognizes several types of officiants who may legally officiate (i.e., preside over) your marriage. They are as follows:

Clergymen

The following clergymen, whom are part of any church or congregation within the state of Montana, can preside over your marriage.

  • Minister
  • Pastor
  • Priest
  • Rabbi

Nonreligious officials

Finally, the following secular officiants can solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract.

  • City Judge
    • Current
  • Justice of the Peace
    • Current
  • Mayor
    • Current
  • Tribal Judge
    • Current

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

Montana 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?

There is merit in having at least two witnesses attend anyway. Whomever officates your marriage will still officially record their names and signatures. If the need arises, your witnesses can come in handy to confirm your marriage took place in Montana, assuming your officiant fails to properly have your marriage recorded, or the recording becomes lost or corrupted.

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