District of Columbia Marriage Licenses

Search for District of Columbia marriage license rules and requirements. You can learn how to get a marriage license, a marriage certificate, or marriage records from your local Marriage License Office, Clerk, Health Department, or Town or City Hall.


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Marriage License Application Requirements and Process:

1. Apply where: Marriage Bureau at the District of Columbia Courts

2. Minimum Age: 18, or 16 with parental consent

3. Cost/fees: $45

4. Identification: driver's license, state-issued identification, passport, military identification

5. Blood test / Physical Test: No

6. Residency Requirement: No

7. Witnesses: No

8. License Valid: Does not expire

9. Waiting Period: No

10. Same-sex marriage: Yes

11. Marriage between cousins: Yes

12. Divorce/Widow: Yes, with disclosure of prior marriages

13. Proxy Marriage: No

14. Common Law Marriage: Yes

Questions/Answers about District of Columbia (DC) Marriage Licenses

What do you have to do to get married?

To get married in the District of Columbia, at least one member of the couple or a designated representative must visit the Marriage Bureau at the District of Columbia Courts to fill out a marriage license application. Both members of the couple must meet certain age requirements, provide photo identification, and pay a fee. Once the application is complete, the marriage license is issued the same day. Your officiant will fill out the marriage license and submit it to the required government authorities. A certified marriage certificate will be provided once the marriage is officially recorded.

How do I get a marriage license in the District of Columbia?

Either a member of the couple or a chosen representative must complete the application at the Marriage Bureau Office. Both members of the couple must meet the age requirement, present a valid photo identification, and pay a fee.

How much does it cost to get a marriage license in the District of Columbia?

The marriage license fee in the District of Columbia is $45. This cost also includes a certified marriage certificate once the ceremony has occurred.

How old do you have to be to get married in the District of Columbia?

You must reach the minimum age of 16 to get married in D.C. Individuals who are between 16 and 18 must have parental or guardian consent to get married.

Can you get married under 18 in the District of Columbia?

Yes. Individuals between 16 and 18 can get married in the District of Columbia with parental consent. This requires both parents or guardians to be present during the application process. If one parent or guardian cannot be present, evidence must be supplied to explain their absence.

Do you need a blood test to get married?

No. There is no legal requirement for a premarital blood test or physical exam in order to get married in D.C.

Who can legally marry you in the District of Columbia?

The District of Columbia allows a wide range of officiants for wedding ceremonies, including religious authorities and government officials such as judges, clerks, and the mayor. Temporary officiants can perform marriages with an application and fee, and the couple can self-solemnize the marriage with a separate application and fee.

Do you need a witness to get married?

No. The District of Columbia does not require a witness for a marriage ceremony to be valid.

How long does it take to get a marriage license in the District of Columbia?

There is no waiting period to get a marriage license. You can receive your marriage license on the same day that you apply.

What can you do when your marriage license expires?

Marriage licenses do not expire in the District of Columbia.

What if you or your spouse were previously married? Widowed or divorced?

In the District of Columbia, individuals who have been married previously must disclose any prior marriages and provide the date, reason for the marriage ending, and the location for previous marriages. This information can be found on official certified divorce decrees and death certificates.

Can you get married by proxy?

No. Marriage by proxy is not permitted in D.C. However, a third party can submit a marriage license application on behalf of the couple.

Is same-sex marriage legal in the District of Columbia?

Yes. Same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia.

Can you marry your cousin?

Yes. It is legal to marry your first cousin in the District of Columbia.

Is common law marriage recognized in the District of Columbia?

Yes, the District of Columbia recognizes common law marriages.

How do you change your name after getting married?

You will need to present your marriage certificate to several government entities, including the District of Columbia local government, the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to receive a new license, the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your Social Security Card, the U.S. Department of State to receive a new passport, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Some government agencies may require a valid marriage certificate. You may also need to provide a marriage certificate to change your name on your insurance, bank accounts, utilities, and with other companies.