North Carolina Marriage License

If you're getting married in North Carolina, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $60.00, and you'll have to use it within 60 days.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

North Carolina marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the Register of Deeds, by the Register of Deeds Clerk.

Where can I use it once I get it?

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

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

Costs

How much is a marriage license in North Carolina?

A marriage license costs exactly $60.00 USD. This price is established by state law and doesn't change no matter where you buy your license.

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

Register of Deeds 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina marriage license will expire 60 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 $60.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given 60 more days.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

Whether you're a resident or non-resident of North Carolina, 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 North Carolina without parental consent.

16 to 17 years old

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.

15 years old

You must obtain a court order from a District Judge—in North Carolina—which will authorize the Register of Deeds Clerk to issue a marriage license.

14 years old and below

A person who is 14 years old, or below, cannot be issued a marriage license and may not marry.

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 Register of Deeds. They are as follows:

18 years old and above

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
  • State-issued Identification
  • Passport
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces

15 to 20 years old

Provide the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Provide one of the following:

  • Social Security Card
    • Issued by the SSA
  • W-2 Form
    • This verification document must contain your Social Security Number
  • Paycheck Stub
    • This verification document must contain your Social Security Number

If unavailable, provide the following:

  • Affidavit of No Social Security Number
    • If you don't have a Social Security Number, you must sign an affidavit stating so

Provide the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of North Carolina (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 NC DMV directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, North Carolina 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 Register of Deeds Clerk when applying.

For your last divorce, annulment, or dissolution, provide the following:

Things you must know

You must know the date your divorce, annulment, or dissolution took place.


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 Register of Deeds Clerk 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 Register of Deeds Clerk 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?

North Carolina 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.

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

North Carolina statutes require at least two (2) witnesses be present at your marriage ceremony.

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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