Both parties must appear in person to fill out an application for a license to get married. Applications are available through any county clerk’s office. The cost of applying for a marriage license varies by county, and is usually in the range of $15 to $40. Bring with you a form of identification, such as a birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport.The marriage license is valid for 60 days, and is valid only in the county in which it was issued, which means that your marriage ceremony must take place within that county. There is a one-day waiting period before the license becomes effective. A court can waive this waiting period if you file a petition showing sufficient cause. You may choose a judge, certain public officials, or a religious official to “officiate,” meaning to perform your ceremony. Your officiant must complete the certificate confirming that your ceremony has been performed, and forward it to the county clerk within 10 days of your marriage.
Many states have abolished the position of Justice of the Peace, instead giving the privilege of performing civil marriages to notaries, judges and government officials. Findajp is working to include legal marriage officiants in all states, no matter what title they hold. Stay tuned!