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 Ohio?
To get married in Ohio, apply for a marriage license at a probate court. Residency matters.
Who do I go see?
Either the deputy clerk or probate court judge will help you.
Which county should I apply in?
Do you live in Ohio?
Apply in your county of residence. Or your to-be-spouse's county of residence.
Are you both nonresidents?
If neither applicant lives in Ohio, apply in the county where the ceremony will take place.
Do I have to be an American citizen to marry in Ohio?
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to marry in Ohio. But bring your passport and visa.
Do I have to prove residency?
If your ID does not show your address, bring something that does, such as a utility bill.
What's the marriage license fee?
An Ohio marriage license costs between $36 and $76. It varies by county.
What if I have trouble paying the fee?
You must pay the marriage license fee in full. Discounts, installments, and hardship waivers do not exist.
Can I get my money back if I don't get married?
You will not get a refund for an unused or expired marriage license.
How much is a certified copy of my marriage certificate?
A certified copy of your marriage certificate costs between $2 and $5. Get it from the probate court where you apply.
Where can I use my marriage license?
Do you live in Ohio?
If either of you live in Ohio, you're free to marry anywhere in the state.
Do both of you live out-of-state?
If neither of you live in Ohio, you have no choice but to use your marriage license in the county where you get it.
Can I use a marriage license from another state in Ohio?
Ohio will not honor a marriage license from another state or country.
What do I have to fill out?
The Ohio marriage license application will ask you the following under oath or affirmation:
- First, middle, last, suffix
- Age and date of birth
- Place of birth
- Address and county
- Phone number
- Social security number
- Redacted in public records
- Obtained for child support services
- Father's name
- Mother's full maiden name
- List per marriage
- Minors only
- Widow history
- Spouse's name
- Date and place of death
- Divorce history
- Ex's name
- Date ended
- Court address
- Court case number
- Expected officiant
- Phone number
- Church or organization address
Is my social security number kept safe?
Your social security number will not show up on the marriage license or public court records.
How long will it take to complete my application?
Expect to be in office for 30 minutes to make your application. Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to closing time.
What if I can't apply in person?
Are you sick?
If you're sick or disabled, you may apply by affidavit. A physician must give their own affidavit that backs your claim.
What about the physician?
The physician must be legit, practicing, and living in the same county as the probate court.
Can we both apply by affidavit?
Only one of you may apply by affidavit. Pick up an absentee form in court.
How old must I be to marry?
Aged 18 and over?
If you're 18 years old or older, you may marry any adult of legal age.
If you're 17 years old, you may marry someone not over four years your senior with consent from the juvenile court.
Aged 16 and under?
If you're 16 years old or younger, you cannot marry in Ohio.
What are the rules for underage marriage?
Is parental consent needed?
Parental consent to marry is not a must, but the juvenile court will still consult with them.
Will I have to undergo counseling?
The court may demand marriage counseling take place before marriage.
How does the court approve or deny a case?
There will be a hearing to review your fitness, financial independence, and what the court believes is best for you.
Does Ohio have a premarital education program?
Ohio has not set up a premarital education program that offers license discounts and other benefits.
When do I get my marriage license?
Are you 18 years old or older?
If both of you are at least 18 years old, the probate court will issue you your marriage license at once.
Are you 17 years old?
If you're 17 years old, the probate court will release your marriage license 14 days after the juvenile court approves.
When can I use my marriage license once issued?
You may use your marriage license the same day you receive it.
How long will my marriage license last?
Your marriage license will expire 60 days after issuance.
What ID must I show?
Bring photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, visa, or state-, school-, military-, or government-issued ID.
Should I bring my birth certificate?
If you lack photo ID, bring your birth certificate and social security card.
Should I bring my social security card?
You may have to show your social security card or something with the number, such as a tax, financial, or insurance document.
Is a blood test mandatory?
Ohio repealed the need to get a premarital blood test for syphilis in 1981.
Do I have to prove that I'm divorced?
Bring a certified copy of every prior divorce, dissolution, or annulment order or decree. Some may just ask for the last.
How soon can I get married after divorce?
You may remarry without delay as long as you are unmarried.
Do I have to prove that I'm widowed?
If your last marriage ended in spousal death, bring a certified copy of the death certificate. A few offices will forego this demand.
How soon can I remarry after a spouse's death?
You do not have to wait to remarry following the death of a spouse.
How do I change my name?
Use a certified copy of your marriage certificate to change your name.
Do I have to change my name?
Name change after marriage is optional.
Do I choose a new name when I apply?
Ohio marriage applications do not have spots to choose a new name after marriage. This will not limit you.
What are the available name change options?
You may take your spouse's surname or hyphenate surnames and replace your middle name with your maiden name.
When can I start the paperwork?
You may work on your name change forms before or after marriage.
Are witnesses required?
You do not need to bring witnesses to your marriage ceremony.
Who can perform our marriage?
A judge, mayor, or licensed or ordained minister may solemnize your marriage.
Do we really have to have an officiant?
You cannot officiate your own marriage. You must have a third-party to mediate.
Does my officiant have to get registered in Ohio?
When does my marriage license go back?
Your officiant must return your marriage license to the probate court no more than 30 days after marriage.
How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
You may buy a certified copy of your marriage certificate for $2 to $5 from the probate court that issued your marriage license.
What's the difference between a marriage abstract and certificate?
In Ohio, a marriage abstract and marriage certificate is the same.
Can I get married using a stand-in?
You cannot marry by proxy, phone, or video. You must be at your ceremony.
Can I marry my first cousin?
You may not marry your first cousin in Ohio.
Can I marry a member of my family?
You may not marry a family member closer than a second cousin.
Can I enter into a common-law marriage?
Ohio will only recognize a common-law marriage established before October 10, 1991.