Pennsylvania Marriage License

If you're getting married in Pennsylvania, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $30.50 to $90.00, and you'll have to use it within 60 days.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

How do I get married in Pennsylvania?

To get married in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, first apply for a marriage license at any clerk of orphans' court office.

But I was told to apply at the register of wills office?

The clerk of orphans' court and register of wills may be combined in your county.

Residency

Is there a residency provision?

Your place of residence has no effect on the marriage license procedure.

Can noncitizens marry in Pennsylvania?

Non-U.S. citizens are free to wed in Pennsylvania.

Costs

What's the marriage license fee?

A Pennsylvania marriage license costs $30 to $90. The price varies by county.

What's the marriage certificate fee?

A certified copy of your marriage certificate costs between $10 and $25.

Does a self-uniting marriage license cost extra?

A self-unitizing or Quaker marriage license may cost an extra $100 or more.

Usage

Where can I use my marriage license?

You may use your Pennsylvania marriage license anywhere in the Commonwealth.

Can I use my marriage license outside of Pennsylvania?

You may only use your Pennsylvania marriage license in the Commonwealth?

Can I use a marriage license gained outside of Pennsylvania?

You may not use a marriage license sourced from another state in Pennsylvania.

Attendance

Do I have to appear in person?

Active duty members of the U.S. military may forward an absentee affidavit form.

What if I'm incarcerated?

If you're imprisoned, make plans with your warden to apply at the courthouse.

Application

What form do I fill out?

The marriage license application will ask you the following:

  • Name
    • First, middle, last, suffix
  • Prior name
    • Show maiden name restored after divorce
    • Or show court ordered name change
  • Maiden name
    • If different
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • State or foreign country of birth
  • Residential address
  • Social security number
    • Will not be publicized
  • Phone number
  • Occupation
  • Highest education
    • K-12
    • College
  • Transmissible disease
    • Afflicted, yes or no
  • This marriage is
    • First, second, etc
  • Last marriage
    • Bring proof
    • End date
    • End reason (i.e., death, divorce, annulment)
  • Father
    • Name
    • Usual occupation
    • Residential address
    • State or foreign country of birth
  • Mother
    • Name
    • Maiden name
    • Usual occupation
    • Residential address
    • State or foreign country of birth

Will my application be public or private?

The clerk will file your application as a public record. Newspapers may publish your name.

What if I can't understand or speak English?

If you cannot understand or speak English, bring a third-party translator aged 18 or over who's armed with photo ID.

Does a self-uniting marriage use another form?

If you're opting for a self-uniting marriage, alert the clerk to give you the right form.

How long will it take to complete my application?

The application process takes at least 30 minutes. Arrive no later than 30 minutes before closing time.

Age Requirements

How old must I be to marry?

Aged 18 and over?

If you're at least 18 years old, you may marry if you're competent and not under guardianship.

Aged 16 and 17?

If you're 16 or 17 years old, your custodial parent or legal guardian must consent to your marriage.

Aged 15 and under?

If you're 15 years old or younger, get a court order and parental approval to marry.

How is consent granted?

Which court do I petition?

If you're below the age of 16, schedule a hearing with the Orphans' Court wing of the Court of Common Pleas.

Can consent be granted in person?

Your custodial parent or guardian may give consent in person or in writing.

What must parents or guardians bring?

Parents and guardians, bring ID and your child's birth certificate or guardianship proof.

Can I get a blank parental consent form?

You may find blank parental consent forms at the clerk of orphans' court office.

What if my parent can't come with me when applying?

Written notarized consent is fine if backed up by two adult witnesses.

Waiting Period

When will I get my marriage license?

Most counties will issue you your marriage license the day you apply, but a few will make you wait three days.

How soon can I use my marriage license?

Your marriage license will become active three days after you apply. For instance, apply on Monday to use it Thursday.

How do I get the three-day waiting period waived?

A court may waive the three-day wait for emergencies or active duty U.S. military.

Who can pick up the marriage license?

Either you or your partner may pick up your marriage license if it's being held.

Can my marriage license be mailed?

If asked, a few counties will mail you your marriage license.

Will a waiver cost extra?

The waiver fee is $20 to $25. The fee does not apply to active duty military.

Expiration

How long will my marriage license stay valid?

Your marriage license will expire 60 days after issuance.

What if my marriage license expires?

If your marriage license expires, you must reapply and repay the fee.

Identification

Do I need ID?

Bring current photo ID. A driver's license, passport, military ID, green card, or visa would work.

Do I need to bring my birth certificate?

Your birth certificate may be asked for if you do not have a social security number.

Do I need to bring my social security card?

You may need to show your social security card or a document containing your number, such as a W-2, tax return, or pay stub.

Will foreign or non-English documents be accepted?

Non-English birth, divorce, and death records you show must have a certified translation.

Blood Test

Do I need a blood test done?

Newlyweds haven't had to undergo a blood test and exam for syphilis since June 25, 1997.

Divorced

Do I have to prove I'm divorced?

Bring a certified copy of your divorce decree if your last marriage ended in divorce.

How soon can I marry after divorce?

You may get married right after your divorce is final.

Widowed

Do I have to prove I'm widowed?

Bring a certified copy of your ex's death certificate if your last marriage ended in death.

How soon can I marry after a spouse's death?

You may get married at once following a prior spouse's death.

Name Change

Can I change my name by marrying?

Change your name through marriage with a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

Can I change my last name?

You may take your husband's last name or hyphenate your surnames.

When should I start my name change?

You may work on your name change forms before or after marriage.

Witnesses

Are witnesses required?

Two witnesses must be at your marriage ceremony if you're self-solemnizing.

The Ceremony

Who may solemnize?

A judge, justice, mayor, or religious body or society may solemnize your marriage.

Can we have a self-uniting ceremony?

You may conduct a self-solemnized marriage ceremony without an officiant.

Does my officiant have to be registered?

The state and its counties do not register or vouch for officiants.

License Return

What's on the return?

Appended to the marriage license are two certificates. Keep the original. Send the duplicate to the issuing clerk.

Should I sign both certificates?

If self-solemnizing, you and two witnesses must sign. If not, just the officiant signs.

When must the certificate be returned?

Send the marriage certificate marked duplicate to the clerk who issued it within 10 days after marriage.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a copy of my marriage record?

If you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate, get it from the clerk of orphans' court where you get your license.

Proxy Marriage

Can I get married by proxy?

You may not get married through a proxy, or by phone, video, or similar.

Prohibited Marriage

Can I marry my cousin?

You may not marry your first cousin in Pennsylvania.

Can I marry a family relation?

You may not marry your parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, or first cousin.

Can I marry a half-blood or non-blood relation?

Marriage law does not distinguish among whole-, half-, and non-blood relations.

Common-law Marriage

Can I enter into a common-law marriage?

Pennsylvania will only recognize a common-law marriage contracted on or before January 1, 2005.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?

Comments

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38 Comments

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  1. Is a person with dementia permitted to marry in Pennsylvania ?? If the persons caretaker is advocating for the marriage to him/her is that legal ??

    1. Is a person with dementia permitted to marry in Pennsylvania

      If the applicant isn't competent they can't get a marriage license without a court order.

      If the persons caretaker is advocating for the marriage to him/her is that legal

      The court may want to hear from the caretaker or guardian, but a court order is still a must.

  2. Me and my fiance are planning to do a court marriage in Washington county, PA. We received our marriage license today. From where can we book a date for court marriage? Is it walk-in or do we need to take a date before hand?

    1. Hi Parth. You can contact the Court of Common Pleas about available judges and if an appointment is required.

  3. My friends pastor may have not sent our marriage license in after the ceremony we got married February 2018. They have the signed certificate from the pastor. Are they legally married?

    1. Hi TJ. Have your friend contact the Clerk of Orphan's Court who issued the license. Ask if they received it. If not, have them inquire about registered a delayed marriage license.

  4. My Fiancé he’s been doing both have to go down and get it or can I just go by myself

    1. It’s supposed to say my fiancé is bed ridden. Do we both have to go down to pick up a marriage license or can I go by myself. I hate checking.🤦🏼‍♂️

      1. Hi Mak. You'll have to contact the clerk of orphan's court to determine if they're willing to make special arrangements, such as a video conference application or verification.

  5. I would like to apply for a marriage licence.

    1. HI Tivis. This page explains how you do this. Do you have a more specific question?

  6. We are from Maryland, but are getting married in Elizabethtown, PA. What is the process of obtaining a marriage license if we are out of the state? Do we need to get the license switched over after the wedding? How does this process work?

    1. What is the process of obtaining a marriage license if we are out of the state?

      The process is the same for everyone: Pennsylvanians and non-state residents.

      Do we need to get the license switched over after the wedding?

      I don't know what you mean by this. Please clarify.

  7. Does PA accept marriages from the Universal Life church? My friend asked me to get ordained online to perform her wedding, but I want to make sure this is legal. Thank you!

    1. Does PA accept marriages from the Universal Life church?

      Yes, Pennsylvania law doesn't get into the weeds of which religious body is able to officiate or not.

  8. My fiancé is currently incarcerated and because of the pandemic the prison is not doing ceremonies or even taking requests for marriage would I be able to legally marry through zoom? And can I get a marriage license still being that he’s incarcerated?

    1. would I be able to legally marry through zoom? And can I get a marriage license still being that he’s incarcerated?

      The Register of Wills office may be able to set this up for you. Some will contact the prison on your behalf and make the arrangements. It would be through video conference. Likely at the courthouse. I can't provide further details without knowing the precise county you'll apply in.

  9. So what if one of you where adopted do they need to have their birth name too and that birth certificate or just the new name?

    1. Hi Ann. Showing your birth certificate is only necessary if you don't have a social security number.

      As for documenting your birth name (or maiden name), it's generally referring to your initial name at birth and not a name change through adoption. However, it's not as though the court clerk is going to get into the weeds on such matters.

  10. Do we have to call and make and appointment to apply for our license?

    1. Hi T. Could you specify which county you plan to apply in?

  11. My fiance and I get our wedding license on Wednesday, and were hoping to get married the following Monday. We live in Lycoming county and was wondering if I should call the courthouse and see if I need an appointment or if we can just walk in.

    1. was wondering if I should call the courthouse and see if I need an appointment

      You should call ahead to make an appointment.

  12. Hi,

    My partner and I are non-US residents in NJ (one is under F-1 student VISA and the other is under H1-B employment VISA). We're looking for a state where we don't need an officiant. Since we both reside in NJ, can we still get married in PA? Is there any extra cost for us? What are the steps/precautions we need to know?

    1. We're looking for a state where we don't need an officiant. Since we both reside in NJ, can we still get married in PA?

      Yes, Pennsylvania would work.

      Is there any extra cost for us?

      No.

      What are the steps/precautions we need to know?

      You may solemnize your own marriage without an officiant by completing the certificate portion of your marriage license and sending it the issuing clerk for recording.

  13. I'm planning a courthouse wedding this October in Wilkes Barre, I've looked online & I'm still confused on where I find a courthouse to get married at.

    1. Hi Nicole. You can contact the Luzerne County clerk of orphan's court for a referral. Keep in mind, just because there are folks working in the courthouse that can perform marriages doesn't mean any will or are available. You also don't have to get married in the same courthouse where you plan to get your marriage license.

  14. Me and my girlfriend are looking to get married. Everything that is required as far as documentation signing and funds needed to process the whole ordeal isn't really a problem. Well maybe getting her signature and that brings me to my problem my girlfriend is currently locked up in county prison.

    Can I have my uncle who is a major part in his churches ministry to conduct the ceremony during a no contact visit via telephone separated by glass be sufficient enough

    1. Can I have my uncle who is a major part in his churches ministry to conduct the ceremony

      Maybe, but it's up to the prison warden to approve and arrange.

  15. We applied for self-uniting license, and I put my current legal name on the application. Will that affect my name change after marriage?

    1. HI Alanna. You made the correct and only appropriate choice. You're post-marriage name change will go through fine.

  16. Hi, can I get married in PA with expired passport while I have a NY driver's license?

    1. Hi Lanre. Your ID should be current. If you're a NY resident, then your driver's license will work fine.

  17. Hey, My non-Us partner and I plan on getting married next month through a religious ceremony back in our home country. I have applied for a marriage license and interview. He plans on traveling to the US the following month to do the interview with his Visa anticipating we get an interview date during that type. Can my marriage date be before the interview? And it is in less the 20 business days, how will that be affected?

    1. Can my marriage date be before the interview?

      If it's a green card marriage, the interview questions will be different. You and your partner may face greater scrutiny. If that's not a concern, it doesn't matter when your marriage takes place.

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