West Virginia Marriage License

If you're getting married in West Virginia, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $56.00, and you'll have to use it within 60 days.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

West Virginia marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the County Clerk Office, by the County Clerk.

Where can I use it once I get it?

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

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

Costs

How much is a marriage license in West Virginia?

There are two different price points:

Price 1: Default cost

A marriage license costs exactly $56.00 USD. This price is established by state law and doesn't change no matter where you buy your license.

Price 2: Cost after taking a Premarital Counseling Course

If you're willing to undergo a Premarital Counseling Course that the state of West Virginia recognizes, a marriage license costs exactly $36.00 USD. This is a savings of $20.00; a 36% markdown below the regular fee.

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

County Clerk Offices 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 are actually multiple wait times for different situations. We'll cover them all below.

18 years old and above

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

17 years old and below

West Virginia 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 Clerk Office.

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 West 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 $56.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given 60 more days.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

There are multiple residency rules, only of which some may apply to you. They are as follows.

Residency rule 1

If one of you is a resident of West Virginia, you must apply for a marriage license in the county of residence. You can then get married anywhere within the state.

Residency rule 2

If neither of you are residents of West Virginia, 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 West Virginia without parental consent.

16 to 17 years old

You must obtain the consent of both parents or legal guardians. It's not sufficient if only one parent/guardian acquiesces—both must agree.

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 Clerk Office. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
  • State-issued Identification
  • Passport
  • 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
  • Social Security Card
    • Issued by the SSA
  • Voter Registration Card

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

If unavailable, provide one of the following:

  • Passport
    • Issued by a foreign (non-U.S.) government body
  • Permanent Resident Card
    • Issued by USCIS
    • Also referred to as an Alien Registration Card, Green Card, and Permanent Visa
  • Employment Authorization Document
    • Issued by USCIS
    • Also referred to as an EAD, EAD Card, Form I-766, and Work Permit
  • Temporary Worker Visa
    • Issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • Visitor Visa
    • Issued by the U.S. Department of State
    • Also referred to as a Tourist Visa

Name Change

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

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of West 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 WV DMV directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, West 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?

If you've been previously divorced, or have had an annulment or dissolution, there are extra bits of information that you must provide the County Clerk when applying.

For your last divorce, annulment, or dissolution, provide the following:

Things you must know

You must know the date your divorce, annulment, or dissolution took place.

Things you must bring

You will need to provide a copy of your divorce decree (aka divorce certificate). It must be an original or certified copy—not a photocopy. The County Clerk will not keep your certificate; it just needs to be examined for authenticity, and to confirm your previous marriage is over.

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

West 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?

If your previous marriage left you as a widow or widower, the County Clerk Office will need to solicit basic information regarding the death of your spouse. You only need to provide information for your last spouse who passed away.

Things you must know

You must be able to specify the date your spouse died.

Things you must bring

You must bring the original or certified copy of the death certificate for review. The County Clerk will hand the death certificate back to you once it's been looked over.

Solemnization

Who's allowed to marry me?

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

Religious officiants

  • Minister
  • Priest
  • Rabbi

Nonreligious officiants

  • Circuit Judge
    • Current
  • Family Court Judge
    • Current
  • Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals
    • Current

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

West 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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