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MARRIAGE LICENSE ACQUISITION
Typically, couples obtain a marriage license, hold the wedding ceremony, and then have the officiant file the license in the appropriate county within the allotted timeframe. The married couple will then receive a certified copy of the marriage certificate.
You can usually apply for your marriage license at any county clerk's office in the state in which you want to be married. Some states require you to apply in the county clerk's office in which you want to be married. Most states require a small fee.
The following states have wait periods:
1 day wait period: Delaware, Illinois, South Carolina
2 day wait period: Maryland, New York
3 day wait period: Alaska, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington
5 day wait period: Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
Waiting Period: 24 hours
- Valid for: 30 days
- Cost: $70 resident $120 non-resident
- Online, got to www.gocertificates.com
- Witnesses: 2
In order to get a marriage license, both the bride and groom will need to appear in person at a county Clerk of the Peace's office to file a marriage license application. Once issued, the license is valid throughout the state for 30 days. If you do not use the license within those 30 days, you will need to reapply with the Clerk of the Peace for a new license.
New Castle County - https://www.newcastlede.gov/126/Marriage-Licenses
Sussex County - https://sussexcountyde.gov/applying-marriage-license
- Waiting Period: A license is not effective until 6:00 a.m. on the second calendar day after the license is issued.
- Valid for: 6 months
- Cost: $30-$35 depending on the county
- Only one party needs to apply with photo I.D.
- Non-residents that are unable to apply in person (see website for the specific county)
- No Witnesses required
Maryland requires that a marriage license be obtained from the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county where the marriage is to take place. If, however, it is not convenient for you to visit the Clerk's Office in that county, you may apply using a Non-Resident Marriage License Application-Affidavit.
Alleghany County - https://www.mdcourts.gov/clerks/allegany/marriage
NOTE* - if you apply in Alleghany County, YOU MUST BE MARRIED IN ALLEGHANY COUNTY
Cecil County - https://mdcourts.gov/clerks/cecil/marriage
Harford County - https://mdcourts.gov/clerks/harford/marriage
Baltimore County - https://www.mdcourts.gov/clerks/allegany
Queen Anne's County - https://www.courts.state.md.us/clerks/queenannes
- Waiting Period: 3 days
- Valid for: 60 days
- Cost: $80 CASH ONLY
- No Witnesses required
Couples are required to pay an $80 fee at the time of application (plus an additional charge if previously divorced). This fee must be paid in cash. You may pick up or have your license mailed to you in 3 days. It is only valid for 60 days.
Delaware County - https://delcopa.gov/row/marriage.html
Lancaster County - https://www.co.lancaster.pa.us/278/Marriage-Licenses
Montgomery County - https://courtsapp.montcopa.org/psi3/marriagelicense
NAME CHANGE PROCESS
Marriage Certificate State by State
The most important document in the name change process is your marriage certificate. You will need several certified copies, which you can request from the clerk of the county in which you were married.
After you have procured certified copies of your marriage certificate, download Form SS-5 (PDF) from the Social Security Administration, which you'll need to complete and take to your local Social Security office in person.
Along with the completed form, you should bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate as well as other proof of your identity and citizenship or lawful immigration status (driver's license or passport).
Because most people's main form of identification is their driver's license, you'll want to get your name changed on that as well. Again, the rules of Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV) vary slightly, so be sure to check what your state requires before setting off on this quest.
Some DMVs may need only your marriage certificate while others require a copy of your new Social Security card. Moreover, some may have you complete an entirely new application and even get a new photo. The same process usually applies to a state-issued identification card.
While you're at the DMV, you may also want to find out how to change the name on the titles of any vehicles you own.
Keep in mind that any name change after marriage means you should also get your name changed on any and all official documents, including but not limited to, the following:
- Bank and other financial/investment accounts
- Credit cards
- Insurance policies
- Utility bills
- Phone/cable bills
- Student loans
- School/work, including payroll and retirement plans
- Voter registration
- State tax authority (IRS is notified automatically through the SSA)
- Professional licensing boards/associations
- Magazine subscriptions
This might even be a good time to clean out your wallet of all the membership cards from libraries and grocery stores to gyms and clubs-and get your name changed on all of them in the process.
Because each step in the name change process can take a few weeks, it's best to begin as early as possible, especially if you'll need a new form of identification for an upcoming trip or the like.