South Carolina Marriage License

If you're getting married in South Carolina, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $30.00 to $100.00, plus you'll have an unlimited amount of time to use it, as it won't expire.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

South Carolina marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the Probate Court, by the Clerk of the Probate Court.

Where can I use it once I get it?

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

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

Costs

How much is a marriage license in South Carolina?

A marriage license costs approximately $30.00 to 100.00 USD. The cost can vary between each Probate Court, as each county is allowed to set its own price.

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

Probate Courts will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Even if you're still waiting to receive your license after submitting an application (see waiting periods), you will not be reimbursed after you've already paid.

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?

South Carolina does have a 24 hour waiting period before getting a marriage license. Your license will be issued 24 hours after your application is received by the Probate Court.

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?

Surprisingly, South Carolina marriage licenses do not expire after they've been handed out. South Carolina's one of the few states that won't invalidate an unused marriage license after a certain period of time has passed.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

Whether you're a resident or non-resident of South 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 South 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.

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 Probate Court. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • State-issued Identification
  • Passport
    • Issued by any U.S. or foreign government body
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Provide the following:

  • Social Security Card
    • Issued by the SSA

If unavailable, provide one of the following:

  • Social Security Administration Written Verification
    • Issued by the SSA
    • The SSA must provide written verification that you do not have a Social Security Number
  • Permanent Resident Card
    • Issued by USCIS
    • Also referred to as an Alien Registration Card, Green Card, and Permanent Visa
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
    • This verification document must contain your Social Security Number
  • Income Tax Return
    • This verification document must contain your Social Security Number
  • W-2 Form
    • This verification document must contain your Social Security Number
  • Paycheck Stub
    • This verification document must contain your Social Security Number

16 to 17 years old

Provide one of the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy
  • Baptismal Certificate
    • Must be dated within one (1) year of birth
  • Hospital Certificate
    • Must be dated within one (1) year of birth
  • Certificate of Birth Registration
    • Not to be confused with a "birth certificate"; merely states a birth has been registered

If unavailable, provide one of the following:

  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Selective Service Registration Card

Unacceptable documents (for the sake of clarity):

  • Matricula Consular Identification Card
    • Issued by the Government of Mexico
    • Issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • International Driver's License (IDL)
    • Issued by a foreign (non-U.S.) government body
  • International Driving Permit (IDP)
    • Issued by a foreign (non-U.S.) government body

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of South 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 SC DMV directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, South 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?

You are not required to provide any documentation, dates, or knowledge of any previous marriage, annulment, or dissolution. Having said that, if you are divorced, it must be final (or absolute).

What if I'm separated from my spouse, but not yet divorced?

South 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.

Widowed

What if I'm currently a widow or widower?

You will not be asked to provide details (e.g., date, location, proof) of your prior spouse's death.

Solemnization

Who's allowed to marry me?

South Carolina law recognizes several types of officiants who may legally officiate (i.e., preside over) your marriage. They are as follows:

Religious officiants

  • Minister of the Gospel
  • Jewish Rabbi
  • Native American Indian Chief
  • Native American Indian Spiritual Leader

Nonreligious officiants

  • State Officers Authorized to Administer Oaths
    • Current
  • Notary Public
    • Current

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

South Carolina does not require witnesses attend your ceremony. This is a convenience, as most other states do require at least one or two witnesses be present.

Can (or should) I still have witnesses attend?

While you can still have one or more witnesses be present, they won't serve any official purpose or role (during or after the ceremony) in concert with the officiant.

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