Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
Where do I go to get a marriage license?
You can apply for a North Carolina marriage license at any Register of Deeds office. They're usually located in the county courthouse, 8–5pm, Monday–Friday.
Note: Federally recognized Indian nations and tribes may lawfully issue marriage licenses.
How much does a marriage license cost?
A North Carolina marriage license costs $60 throughout the state.
Does where I live make a difference?
There are no residency requirements for getting a marriage license.
Where can my marriage license be used?
Your North Carolina marriage license can be used anywhere in the state.
What information will I have to fill out?
The marriage license application will ask your name, date and place of birth, gender, race, residence, social security number, marital history, education history, as well as your parents' names, birthplaces, and residences.
What if I can't apply in person?
Absentee affidavit applications are freely available for pick up at the Register of Deeds. You must be at least 18 years old to complete it. Your fiancé can submit your notarized affidavit when he or she applies in person.
What if neither of us can apply in person?
Only one of you is allowed to submit an absentee affidavit application.
How old must I be to marry?
Aged 18 and over?
If you're at least 18 years old, you merely need your partner's consent to marry.
Aged 16 and 17?
If you're 16 or 17 years old, you can marry if you're emancipated or obtain written consent from a custodial parent or legal guardian.
Aged 14 and 15?
If you're 14 or 15 years old and either pregnant or a parent, a district court judge will schedule a hearing to decide if marriage is in your best interest.
Aged 13 and under?
If you're at or under the age of 13, you cannot marry.
When will I receive my marriage license?
Your marriage license will be issued immediately. Afterward, you can marry at any time.
How long will my marriage license last?
Your marriage license will expire 60 days after your receive it.
What form of ID must I show?
Bring unexpired photo identification, such as a:
- Driver's license
- State-issued ID card
- Military ID card
Must I verify my date of birth?
If you're under 21 years old, you may be asked to show a certified copy of your birth certificate. For minors, it's mandatory.
Must I verify my social security number?
If you have a social security number, you may be asked to present a document containing it, such as a social security card, W-2, or paystub. If you can't produce such a document, you'll be asked to sign an affidavit attesting to that fact.
Do I have to get a blood test?
You're not required to get a blood test before marriage.
What if I'm a divorcée?
Some, but not all, Register of Deeds will ask to see a certified copy of the divorce decree from your last marriage, especially if it ended within the past year.
What if I'm a widow or widower?
If your last marriage left you as a widow or widower, the Register of Deeds doesn't typically request a certified copy of your late spouse's death certificate. However, they do maintain the authority to demand its presentation.
Must witnesses attend my ceremony?
At least two witnesses with photo ID must attend your marriage ceremony and sign your marriage license afterward.
Changing your name using your marriage certificate requires notifying various federal, state, and nongovernment organizations. You can use a marriage name change kit to prepare the necessary forms, before or after you marry.
When must my license be returned?
Your marriage license must be returned to the Register of Deeds to be recorded no later than 10 days after your marriage ceremony.
How can I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
Certified copies of your marriage certificate can be purchased for $10–24 from either the Register of Deeds that issued and recorded your marriage license or the state's vital records office in Raleigh, NC.
Can I enter into a common-law marriage?
North Carolina does not recognize common-law marriage, even if legally established in another state.
Am I allowed to marry my cousin?
You can marry your first cousin or double-first cousin, but no family relation closer than that.
Can I get married by proxy?
North Carolina law does not permit marriage-by-proxy.
Can I get married through a civil ceremony?
After you obtain a marriage license, you can schedule a civil ceremony with the magistrate's office. The solemnization fee is roughly $20.