Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
Where do I go to get a marriage license?
You can apply for a Virginia marriage license at any circuit court clerk's office from any county or independent city.
What's the marriage license fee?
A Virginia marriage license costs between $30 and $33, depending on where you apply.
Does my residency matter?
Residency requirements haven't been imposed since March 18, 1995.
Where can I use my marriage license?
Your Virginia-based marriage license can be used anywhere in the Commonwealth, and only in the Commonwealth.
What will the application ask of me?
Under oath, the marriage license application will ask for your name, gender, race, residence, education completed, marital history, social security number; birth surname, date, and place; and parents' names, birth surnames, and genders.
Must we apply together?
You and your fiancé must apply in person, together. The option to apply absentee was abolished in 2015.
How old do I have to be to get married?
Aged 18 and over?
You may marry if you're at least 18 years old and have the physical and mental capacity to consent to marriage.
Aged 16 and 17?
If you're 16 or 17 years old, you must be legally emancipated to marry. Show a certified copy of the emancipation court order to the circuit court clerk.
Aged 15 and under?
If you're under the age of 16, you can't marry. Parental consent plus pregnancy was a gateway to lawful marriage, but Virginia law ended that on July 1, 2016.
When will I get my marriage license?
Your marriage license will be issued immediately, after which it is ready to be used.
When will my marriage license expire?
Your marriage license will remain valid for 60 days after it's been issued. An unused license must be returned to the circuit court clerk.
What ID must I bring?
Bring valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, military ID card, state-issued ID card, passport, citizenship papers, or immigration papers.
Do I have to get a blood test?
The blood test and physical exam marriage license requirement ended in 1984.
Do I have to prove I'm divorced?
Only some circuit court clerks will ask to see a certified copy of your divorce decree, so prepare for the possibility or call ahead to be sure.
Do I have to prove my prior spouse died?
Although all circuit court clerks are authorized to request proof of death, not all do. If necessary, bring a certified copy of your late spouse's death certificate.
Do I have to bring witnesses to my ceremony?
You are not obligated to bring any witnesses to your marriage ceremony.
Can I change my name after I'm married?
Changing your name after marriage is simplified by using your marriage certificate as the authorizing document. It's recognized by the SSA, DMV, and other institutions. You can use of a name change application to help complete the process.
When does my license go back?
Whoever presides over your marriage must return the marriage license to the circuit court clerk for recording no more than five days after the ceremony.
How can I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
You can purchase a certified copy of your marriage certificate by mail or in person for $2.50 each from the circuit court clerk's office that issued your license. The state's division of vital records in Richmond also sells them for $12.
Note: You can typically preorder certified copies when you apply for your license.
Is common-law marriage recognized?
Virginia law will neither allow you to enter into a common-law marriage nor does it recognize one legally established elsewhere.
Am I permitted to marry my cousin?
You can marry your first cousin, but no other close family relationship, whether related by the whole blood, half blood, or adoption.
Can I get a proxy marriage?
Virginia does not allow you to get married-by-proxy. You must attend your own ceremony.
Can I get married in a civil ceremony?
Employees in the circuit court clerk's office do not perform civil ceremonies. However, they can direct you to a court-authorized marriage commissioner who can. By law, the civil ceremony fee maxes out at $50.