Ohio Marriage License

If you're getting married in Ohio, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $36.00 to $76.00, and you'll have to use it within 60 days.

See FAQ Offices

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.

Residency

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.

Costs

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.

Usage

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.

Application

What do I have to fill out?

The Ohio marriage license application will ask you the following under oath or affirmation:

  • Name
    • First, middle, last, suffix
  • Age and date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Residence
    • Address and county
  • Phone number
  • Social security number
    • Redacted in public records
    • Obtained for child support services
  • Parents
    • Father's name
    • Mother's full maiden name
  • Children
    • List per marriage
    • Minors only
    • Names
    • Ages
  • Widow history
    • Total
    • Spouse's name
    • Date and place of death
  • Divorce history
    • Total
    • Ex's name
    • Date ended
    • Court address
    • Court case number
  • Expected officiant
    • Name
    • Title
    • Address
    • 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.

Attendance

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.

Age Requirements

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.

Aged 17?

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.

Premarital Education

Does Ohio have a premarital education program?

Ohio has not set up a premarital education program that offers license discounts and other benefits.

Waiting Period

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.

Expiration

How long will my marriage license last?

Your marriage license will expire 60 days after issuance.

Identification

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.

Blood Test

Is a blood test mandatory?

Ohio repealed the need to get a premarital blood test for syphilis in 1981.

Divorced

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.

Widowed

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.

Name Change

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.

Witnesses

Are witnesses required?

You do not need to bring witnesses to your marriage ceremony.

The 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?

Ministers must register credentials with the Ohio secretary of state to conduct marriages. You may search the list.

License Return

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.

Marriage Certificate

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.

Proxy Marriage

Can I get married using a stand-in?

You cannot marry by proxy, phone, or video. You must be at your ceremony.

Prohibited Marriage

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.

Common-law Marriage

Can I enter into a common-law marriage?

Ohio will only recognize a common-law marriage established before October 10, 1991.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?

Comments

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103 Comments

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  1. I am a licensed and ordained Minister in Ohio. I am performing a wedding October 19, 2019. Do I as a minister request a marriage license or should the couple being married apply for the license than bring it to me. After the ceremony where do I submit the signed license. Thank you Pastor Peter Nahodyl

    1. Do I as a minister request a marriage license or should the couple being married apply for the license than bring it to me.

      The couple applies. You can't apply on their behalf.

      After the ceremony where do I submit the signed license.

      Return the completed license to the original probate court that issued it. The license will show the return address.

  2. Dear Sir/ Madam. first of all hoping you all well. My name is Ekram Fahrettin Kitapchi. My fiance and I currently over seas, and planning to get married in Ohio, as I am from. Can we schedule an official appointment so we can provide USCIS to get a visa for my fiance?

    1. Hi Ekram. You don't need an appointment to apply for a marriage license. You just walk in.

  3. What does an ordained minister typically charge to marry a couple? I need someone immediately after I get the license and need to know what's fair.

    1. What does an ordained minister typically charge to marry a couple?

      Ceremony fees vary considerably. You should expect to pay $100 to $600 to hire an officiant. The final price will likely fall somewhere in the middle.

  4. Do I have to schedule with the court a time to be married,and is that besides getting the license??

    1. Pretty much is the license a separate deal from being officially married there at the courts

      1. is the license a separate deal from being officially married there at the courts

        Yes, getting a marriage license and getting married in the court is separate. If you schedule appropriately, you should be able to get both done the same day and within close proximity to one another.

    1. Hi Mckenzie. Ohio law doesn't set a minimum or maximum fee for marriage ceremonies. There's no real fee range to give you. It could be low or very expensive. The person who performs your ceremony sets the price. You'll have to negotiate with them.

  5. What happens if the "officiate" is not registered in the state of Ohio? Or turns out to not have credentials at all?

    1. Hi Cyn. As long as the married couple believed the officiant was legit, their marriage would remain valid in the eyes of the state.

  6. Does anyone know if Lucas County Probate court has judges that ordain the ceremony or where I can get it done cheap and near Lucas County, Toledo, OH? Thanks

    1. Does anyone know if Lucas County Probate court has judges that ordain the ceremony or where I can get it done cheap

      Although the Lucas County Probate Court doesn't have a judge that performs marriage ceremonies, they do have a minister that does for $25. They're there between 8:30am to 4pm. You don't have to make an appointment. Just walk in.

  7. How can we get married cheap on a Sunday in Clermont county,Ohio

    1. Hi Linda. A Sunday marriage would likely preclude a courthouse marriage. You can get in touch with a court (e.g., municipal, county, probate) to see if any judges officiate on weekends.

      Beyond that, you'll have to do a basic search as you would any for-hire officiant. Obviously, prices will vary for private businesses and officiants.

  8. Hello, I am a non-US citizen and i want to get married to a girl from this county. Being non-citizen, i dont have a social security number. What specifically would i have to bring along? Also, will this mean i should allow more time?

    • Passport
    • ESTA visa
    • Birth Certificate
    • Licence
    • Name, age, parents, occupation address details?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Mark. They're not the same. The marriage license permits you to get married while the marriage certificate proves that you are married.

  9. A couple wants me to marry them at their home. I am licensed and ordained, state of Ohio. Besides me and the couple, do they need witnesses, and do witnesses sign the certificate? Ive never married anyone in their home.

    1. HI Red. Harris. You can marry them in their home. Not witnesses required.

  10. Hello, One who got married 8 years ago but the license was never sent back to the clerk to receive a marriage certificate. Is it too late or can it still be sent in to receive a marriage certificate?

    1. Is it too late or can it still be sent in to receive a marriage certificate?

      You can contact the probate court about recording a delayed marriage license.

  11. Will my fiance and I each have to get a marriage license, or can just one of us??

  12. I would like to get married in Delaware county. Me and my fiancé both are Non US Citizens and Non Residents of Delaware county.

    My fiance doesn’t have a SSN as she is still doing her master’s here. So, is SSN mandatory for the marriage license? Can you please provide what all mandatory documents required?

    1. Hi Lucky. Social security number isn't required for non-citizens. You must apply in Delaware County. Bring your passport and visa when applying. If you've been divorced or widowed, bring proof.

  13. Hi.

    1. We just moved in Bedford Heights area but my fiancé hasn't renewed her driver license to Ohio yet. But we do have our address on utilities bills and bank statements. Can we still considered as Cuyahoga residence and request the wedding performed at the courthouse in Cuyahoga County?
    2. Due to covid, the Cuyahoga County only issue the license over zoom call, we made the online registration for call appointment on July 15 but now the court is open to public, can we still use the confirmation number and go to the court to obtain the license sooner?
    3. If we get the license at the probate court of Cuyahoga County, can we get married at the same court on the same day? How do we do that? After get married at the court, do we need to send the license back to the court clerk?

    thank you so much

    1. my fiancé hasn't renew her driver license to Ohio yet.

      Bring the expired driver's license anyway.

      But we do have our address on utilities bills and bank statements.

      That's fine.

      still considered as Cuyahoga residence

      As long as you can provide documentation, such as a utility bill.

      can we still use the confirmation number and go to the court to obtain the license sooner?

      Zoom appointments are still ongoing.

      If we get the license at the probate court of Cuyahoga County, can we get married at the same court on the same day?

      Contact the courthouse ahead of time to schedule this.

      After get married at the court, do we need to send the license back to the court clerk?

      No, the court will handle this for you.

  14. Do you HAVE to have a ceremony? Can we just pay the $45 dollars and be done? Or do I need someone to say the whole "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered..,"?

    1. Do you HAVE to have a ceremony? Can we just pay the $45 dollars and be done?

      Yes, an official solemnization needs to take place. But it needn't be poetic. You'll just need a third-party to officiate and sign your marriage license.

  15. How much does it cost to get married by someone in the courts in Butler county in Hamilton and is there certain times for this to be performed.

    1. Hi Lizz. Civil ceremonies aren't performed as part of the regular, required probate court duties, but by individual judges. They set their own prices, so you'll have to contact the probate court for a referral and suggested availability.

  16. What happens if your certificate for proof of marriage was sent back cause of wrong address by the mail man to the county, what do I do?

    1. Hi Eki? You mean sent back to you? You'll want to contact the probate court for the proper address and resend it.

  17. Why can't my boyfriend and I marry by proxy if I live in Montana and he is incarcerated there in Ohio?

    1. Hi Faye. Proxy marriage simply isn't permitted by Ohio law.

  18. Hi Editor, I'm currently in Ohio, I'm not citizen but my girlfriend is a US citizen, we tried to do the e-marriage license but the county website assumes that both have SSN, while only my gf has it and it's not allowing us to finalize the e-marriage form?

    Is there anything we can do online or do we have to go to county clerk office in person ?

    1. Hi Tarek. You can contact the office and explain the flaw in their system. See if they'll allow a workaround, dummy SSN, such as 000-00-0000.

  19. As an officiant, I have filled out everything to send back to the court house except the very bottom line. What PO address is supposed to go on this line? My address or where the couple resides, or where wedding was performed?

    1. Hi Kristy. Which county probate court are you planning to send it to?

    2. I have the same question… did you ever get a clear answer. The county they are marrying in doesn't list a PO Box?

  20. If we plan on getting married in Ohio but his drivers license is Fl is that ok? Or does he need an Ohio license?

    Also if we plan to marry in Las Vegas do we apply for the marriage license in Ohio before?

    1. we plan on getting married in Ohio but his drivers license is Fl is that ok?

      Yes, that's fine.

      if we plan to marry in Las Vegas do we apply for the marriage license in Ohio

      You'd apply for your marriage license in Nevada instead of Ohio.

  21. Does this application for marriage have to be made public knowledge via a newspaper? Can I opt out?

    1. Hi Ollie. Ohio marriage applications aren't publicized in newspapers.

  22. Does the court in Lake County marry couples?

    If so how does someone schedule an appointment?

    1. Does the court in Lake County marry couples?

      No, you'll have to look elsewhere.

  23. When applying for a Marriage Licence, I was divorced twice would I need to show proof of both divorces? or just the most recent one…

    1. would I need to show proof of both divorces? or just the most recent one

      It varies by probate court. Some will only ask for the last, while others will ask for every one. Bring proof of every one to be safe.

  24. Once I get my marriage license the same day can we get out marriage certificate and will the judge be the officiant for our license?

    1. Hi Kieran. You may be able to get everything done the same day if you schedule your ceremony in advance.

  25. Hi I live in VT and he is prison in Ohio. How would I go about to marry him?

    1. Hi Brandy. Contact the probate county in the county where the prison is located. They will have arrangements set with the prison regarding marriage licenses. Keep in mind, not all probate courts provide this service.

  26. Hi to get married in Montgomery County, same day as getting the marriage license, do I have to get an officiant or can someone in office there do it?

    1. do I have to get an officiant or can someone in office there do it?

      There is no one who works in the Montgomery County office who performs ceremony. You'll have to hire your own officiant to conduct the ceremony outside the courthouse.

  27. What does it take for me to get married in Toledo OH?

    1. Hi Dan. Apply in the Lucas County Probate Court. Bring $60 and photo ID. If you're divorced, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree. Some courts may ask to see a document containing your social security number, such as your SSN card, pay stub, or tax return.

  28. Can I get married the same day in Sandusky county and is the courthouse able to solemnize it?

    1. Hi Vianey. You should schedule your appointment in advance. Keep in mind, not all probate offices conduct marriage ceremonies, but they may be able to provide a referral to someone who does.

  29. I live in Ohio, me and my boyfriend want to get married. How can we get our marriage license online without having to go in the courthouse?

    1. Hi Brooke. Which county do you plan to apply in?

  30. Do I apply for my marriage license in the county I am living in or getting married in, in Ohio?

    1. Hi Kyleigh. Apply in the county where you live.

  31. If a 17 yr old wants to marry an 18 yr old, do they have to do anything different to apply for a marriage license in Hamilton County?

    1. do they have to do anything different to apply for a marriage license

      They need permission from the juvenile court.

  32. Hi, my fiance and I don't live in Ohio, but would like to possibly get married when we come visit in July. How do I set up a court marriage? We'll only be there for 4 days and I just need some help figuring this out. (I know we'd have to apply for a marriage license and do the marriage ceremony in the county we do it in, I just don't know how to set it up)

    1. How do I set up a court marriage?

      First, you must confirm if a courthouse marriage is possible. Not all courthouses perform them. If performed, you should schedule an appointment well in advance. At the end, you may have to hire a minister or professional officiant.

  33. I placed my marriage licenses two weeks after I got married. I got married march 13, 2022. I never received it in the mail. Today is May 26th. Where is it? I live in Columbus, Ohio.

    1. Hi Kenya. Are you sure you placed an order for a certified copy when you applied to get married? You're not given one by default. You have to pay extra. If you did order it, you can contact the probate court for a status update.

  34. My fiance and I are both Florida residents but will be getting married in Columbus in September. Our officiant is also a Florida resident and will be traveling with us. What all does he need to do so that he can officiate in Ohio?

  35. I live in Tuscarawas County and I sent in our marriage license form with the required fee a few months ago. I ran into health issues and I am no longer able to leave my home as I am a Housebound 100% combat disabled veteran.

    Is there a way we can get married remotely? If not, does the probate court in Tuscarawas county do officiation?

    1. Is there a way we can get married remotely?

      You'll have to apply for a new marriage license. You don't have to apply in person. You can apply by affidavit in Ohio. And you can get married remotely (for instance at your house) by hiring an officiant who's registered in Ohio. You can find a one here.

  36. Been divorced for 20 years and I do not have the divorce papers anymore, what else can I do or how do I get them? Thank you.

    1. Hi Michael. You can get a certified copy of your divorce decree from the clerk of court where your divorce was finalized.

  37. I had married my brother and his wife as my first marriage in Ohio and on the certificate which gets returned to the court, in Medina County there is an address field at the bottom with OH at the end.

    So it's obviously looking for an Ohio address. Is this my church's address, where the ceremony was conducted or is this my brother and his wife's address?

    1. Sorry, I just wanted to be clear as my last wording was imprecise. Should that address be where the wedding was performed, or where my church is, or my brothers address?

    2. Is this my church's address, where the ceremony was conducted or is this my brother and his wife's address?

      Address where the ceremony took place.

  38. Our officiant signed our marriage license and left it for us to take back to the court house. Is this allowed? Or is he required to send it back himself?

    1. Hi Kayla. You can return your marriage license yourself.

  39. Hi, we are tourists from Europe und we‘re going to be in Ohio for the congress. Would it be possible to get married and also to get a certified copy of our marriage for a legalization of the marriage in Germany? Thank you.

    1. Would it be possible to get married and also to get a certified copy of our marriage for a legalization of the marriage in Germany?

      Yes, the process to get married in Ohio is the same for noncitizens as it is for citizens.

  40. My fiancé and I are looking for someone to marry us with no guests quickly. Where can we find someone?

  41. If you live in Ohio and accidentally apply for a license in the county where you're getting married instead of the county where you live, is it still legal?

    1. Hi Clay. While that shouldn't be enough to invalidate a solemnized marriage, you should just go ahead and reapply in the proper county since your ceremony hasn't taken place yet.

  42. I saw there is no one in Montgomery County court to marry same day as license is obtained. Is there a list of courts that do provide same day services?

    1. Is there a list of courts that do provide same day services?

      Civil ceremony appointments are like doctor appointments. They have to slot folks in based on availability. You'll have to contact each probate court clerk to inquire on same-day service.

      Keep in mind, if neither of you live in Ohio, you must marry in the county where you get your license. If one of you lives in the state, you can apply in one county and marry in another county's courthouse.

  43. My fiancé and I are both U.S. citizens and our last address was in Hamilton County, Ohio. We moved to Mexico when we retired and live there at present.

    We wanted to get married in Ohio when we come back to visit family for the Christmas holidays. What residency information do we need to bring with us, considering we no longer have a permanent address in Ohio?

    Do we need to bring proof of address from our Mexican address or just our Visas and birth certificates?

    1. Do we need to bring proof of address from our Mexican address or just our Visas and birth certificates?

      Bring proof of address too, such as a bank statement, utility address, or other piece of postal mail.

  44. Do both my fiance and I have to go get the marriage license applicaction together? Or just one of us can go get it?

    1. Hi Layla. One may apply absentee if you're unwell, provided a doctor's note vouches for your claim.

  45. Does your name get ran at the probate courts before u can file for a marriage license?

    1. Does your name get ran at the probate courts

      Ran how? Such as a warrant or child support check?

  46. Hi there. Do I need to bring my own officiant or the court would provide one?

    1. Hi Aayush. For civil ceremonies, the court would have their own officiant.

  47. I am a licensed minister in the state of Ohio. The wedding party is BOTH Ohio residents and wants to have their wedding performed in upstate New York.

    Do they need to apply for a marriage license in New York or would the Ohio license work in New York since I am licensed in Ohio?

    1. Do they need to apply for a marriage license in New York or would the Ohio license work in New York

      They need to apply in New York, where the ceremony will take place.

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