Washington Marriage License

If you're getting married in Washington, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $33.00 to $68.00, and you'll have to use it within 60 days.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Washington marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the County Auditor Office, by the County Auditor.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can be used throughout the state, regardless of which County Auditor Office you get it from.

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

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Washington?

A marriage license costs approximately $33.00 to 68.00 USD. The cost can vary between each County Auditor Office, as each county is allowed to set its own price.

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

County Auditor Offices 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?

Washington does have a three (3) day waiting period before getting a marriage license. Your license will be issued three days after your application is received by the County Auditor Office.

Can the waiting period to receive my license be waived?

Under no circumstance will the three day wait time be waived.

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 Washington 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 $33.00-68.00 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 Washington, 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 Washington without parental consent.

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.

If your parent or guardian is unable to attend, then he/she must sign a notarized statement of consent.

16 years old and below

You must obtain a court order from a Superior Court Judge—in Washington—which will authorize the County Auditor to issue a marriage license. The judge can only grant a court order within his/her jurisdiction.

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 County Auditor Office. 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
  • Passport Card
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
    • Issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • 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

17 years old and below

Provide the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of Washington (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 WA DOL directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, Washington 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?

Washington 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?

Washington 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 state of Washington, can preside over your marriage.

  • Minister
  • Priest
  • Rabbi
  • Imam

Nonreligious officials

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

  • Supreme Court Justice
    • Current or retired
  • Appeals Court Judge
    • Current or retired
  • Superior Court Judge
    • Current or retired
  • Supreme Court Commissioner
    • Current or retired
  • Appeals Court Commissioner
    • Current or retired
  • Superior Court Commissioner
    • Current or retired

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

Washington statutes require at least two (2) witnesses be present at your marriage ceremony. Both witnesses must be at least 12 years old. They must be "competent" witnesses, meaning they understand what they're observing and appreciate the seriousness of the event.

Whomever officiates your marriage must log the contact information (typically name and address) and signature of each witness.

Note: The officiant does not count as a valid witness.

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