Virginia Marriage License

If you're getting married in Virginia, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $30.00 to $33.00, and you'll have to use it within 60 days.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Virginia marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the Circuit Court, by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Where can I use it once I get it?

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

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

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Virginia?

A marriage license costs approximately $30.00 to 33.00 USD. The cost can vary between each Circuit Court, as each county is allowed to set its own price.

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

Circuit Courts will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

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?

There is no waiting period to get a Virginia marriage license. You'll get your license the same day you apply for it.

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?

Your Virginia marriage license will expire 60 days after it's been issued. If you don't get married before time runs out, you'll have to start over and apply for a brand new license.

I need more time; can I get an extension on my license?

Extensions are not provided for expired (or near expiring) marriage licenses. If your license completely expires you must reapply and repay the same $30.00-33.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given 60 more days.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

Whether you're a resident or non-resident of Virginia, the rules are the same; you can apply for a marriage license anywhere in the commonwealth. You can then get married anywhere within the commonwealth.

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

You must be 18 years old (or above) to get married in Virginia 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 Circuit Court. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by the commonwealth of Virginia
  • 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
  • Government-issued Identification Card
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
    • Issued by a valid government agency
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident Card
    • Issued by USCIS
    • Also referred to as an Alien Registration Card, Green Card, and Permanent Visa

Provide the following:

  • Social Security Number
    • Issued by the SSA
    • You don't need to bring you card; just know your number
    • It's understood that non-U.S. citizens are unlikely to have a SSN

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the commonwealth of Virginia (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 VA DMV directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, Virginia 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?

Virginia 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?

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

Clergymen

The following clergymen, whom are part of any church or congregation within the commonwealth of Virginia, can preside over your marriage.

  • Minister
  • Religious Society Member

Nonreligious officials

Finally, the following secular officiants can solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract.

  • Person Authorized by a Circuit Court Judge
    • Current
  • Judge (of a Court of Record)
    • Current or retired
  • Justice (of a Court of Record)
    • Current or retired
  • District Court Judge
    • Current or retired
  • Federal Judge (Virginia Resident)
    • Current or retired
  • Federal Justice (Virginia Resident)
    • Current or retired

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

Virginia 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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