How to Get Your Marriage License

Wedding planning should be a ton of fun but not all activities are created equal. Take getting the marriage license. Of course it certainly feels “real” when you hold that unsigned license in your hand, but let’s face it, filling out the paperwork necessary for your license is not as much fun as picking out flowers or your gown! So, with not much attention focused on this task, we thought it would be helpful to explain the process couples must take in order to make their marriage legal in the state of Minnesota.

  1. To obtain your marriage license you must appear in person at the county clerk’s office, either by an appointment or a walk-in. To save time, we suggest filling out the paperwork online (using this link for Ramsey County or this link for Hennepin County) and scheduling an appointment. Both partners must be present and are required to show proof of identity, such as a driver’s license, but if one of the parties can’t appear, a supplemental form will be given to the partner who is there to be completed by the partner who is not. Assuming both partners are present, the marriage license is given to you at the appointment.

  2. The marriage license fee is $40.00 with proof of Premarital Education completed and $115.00 without Premarital Education. The fee must be paid at the time you apply for the license.

  3. The next step will take place on the day of your wedding. To make the marriage license complete, both partners, the officiant, and two witnesses must sign it.

  4. Lastly, it’s the officiant’s job to send in the completed marriage license to the county clerk, within five days of the wedding. Once that’s done, an official marriage record is mailed to the couple and the marriage is deemed official.

There are a couple of things to make note of. First, you may apply for a marriage license in any county in Minnesota, regardless of where you live or where the marriage is taking place, as long as the wedding will take place within Minnesota. Simply complete the form for the county in which you plan to make your appointment. Secondly, no longer is there a five day waiting period, though I wouldn’t push this to the last minute in case there are issues that arise! Previous marriages and legal troubles may complicate things as additional documentation is required. Your marriage license is valid for 6 months so this is certainly an easy to-do item to knock off the list months before the wedding.

Photographer:  Cadence & Eli

Photographer: Cadence & Eli