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Marriage Laws United States Maryland MD Wedding Officiants

How to Apply for a Marriage License in Maryland

Marriage license Laws in the state of Maryland, here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a marriage license. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your ceremony date.
Baltimore City 
Bel Air 
Ellicott City 
La Plata 
Leonard Town 
Prince Frederick 
Princess Anne 
Snow Hill 
Upper Marlboro 

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Requirements vary from county to county, so please call the Maryland Marriage License Dept. at your issuing county probate courthouse or recording office for fees and hours of operation.

In order to get married, you need to apply and receive a marriage license. This is the document in your state that allows you to officially tie the knot under the law. The rules for acquiring your marriage license varies from state to state, so you should check with your city's marriage bureau at your clerk of court's office to find out what your local rules are.

You'll typically need to apply for your marriage license at least one month before your wedding ceremony. You'll traditionally need to send in your birth certificates, tax information, and other official documents. You don't, however, want to apply for your marriage license too early. In some states, the licenses do expire, if you don't get married within a few months.

When you apply for your license, you'll not only need a proof of identification and age, will need to provide any information about previous marriages, and will need to pay a nominal fee. You will also need to have a witness when you sign the application, so plan on bringing your maid of honor or best man with you. The bride will need to know what her married name will be before she signs the marriage certificate. You'll have to write that name on the application.

And, believe it or not, just because you have your marriage license sent to you in the mail does not mean you are officially married. You need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman sign the document. On your wedding day, you'll give your chaplain your marriage license, then after the ceremony, he'll sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.

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ID Requirement: Picture ID such as a driver's license.
You should know your Social Security numbers. You should
both also know the state and county in which you were born.

Residency Requirement: Do not have to be a resident of Maryland.

Application Requirement: Parties should contact the local Court in the County in which they are to be married to determine if both parties need to present upon making application for marriage.

• 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 Affidavit. Affidavits are available online at the Calvert, Kent, and Queen Anne's Circuit Court Clerks' web sites. Or obtain one from either your county or from the county in which you plan to marry.

If Divorced: If previously married, you will need to show proof of how the marriage ended, I.E.; a divorce judgment or a death certificate. These must be certified copies.

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Waiting Period: 2 days. The license is issued at the same time the application is taken; however, the license will reflect an effective date of forty-eight hours from the date of issue.

Fees: $35 - $75. Cash Only!

Other Tests: No blood test requirement.

Under 18: Applicants under the age of 15 may not marry.

• An applicant who is 15 years old may only marry with the consent of a parent or guardian and with a certificate from a licensed physician verifying that an examination of the woman to be married indicated that she is pregnant or has given birth to a child.

• Applicants 16 or 17 years old may only marry with the consent of a parent or guardian who confirms that individual?s age or with a certificate from a licensed physician verifying that an examination of the woman to be married indicated that she is pregnant or has given birth to a child.

Common Law Marriages: No. However, the State does recognize common law marriages that are valid in other states.

Civil Marriages: Maryland no longer employs Justices of the Peace to perform civil ceremonies. Instead, Only a Clerk of the Circuit Court or an appointed, designated Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court may perform civil ceremonies. The hours, location and fees for a civil ceremony vary from county to county. Visit the circuit courts website to locate the Clerk of the Circuit Court in your county.

Same Sex Marriages:

Yes. As of January 1, 2013, same-sex marriage is legal in Maryland.

Officiants: Any minister of the gospel authorized by the rules and customs of their church may perform marriages. Minister must complete the marriage license and marriage certificate and give one certificate to the couple. Another certificate and the license must be returned to the clerk of the Court of Common Pleas within five days after the marriage.

Valid: License is valid for 6 months.
The license can only be used within the State of Maryland.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

Maryland Division of Vital Records
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
P.O. Box 68760
Baltimore, MD 21215-0020
Telephone: (410) 764-3038

It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

To notify us of corrections or additions send an email to  Please include the state and county information.

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Maryland County Clerk's Office

Allegany Clerk
Cumberland, MD

Anne Arundel Clerk
Annapolis, MD

Baltimore City Circuit Court
Baltimore, MD

Calvert County Court
Prince Frederick, MD

Caroline County Clerk
Denton, MD

Carroll County Clerk
Westminster, MD

Cecil County Clerk
Elkton, MD

Charles County Clerk
La Plata, MD

Dorchester County Clerk
Cambridge, MD

Frederick Circuit Court
Frederick, MD

Garrett Circuit Clerk
Oakland, MD

Harford County Clerk
Bel Air, MD

Howard County Clerk
Ellicott City, MD

Kent County Clerk
Chestertown, MD

Montgomery County Clerk
Rockville, MD

Prince Georges County Clerk
Upper Marlboro, MD

Queen Annes County Clerk
Centreville, MD

Somerset County Clerk
Princess Anne, MD

St Marys Circuit Clerk
Leonard Town, MD

Talbot Court Clerk
Easton, MD

Washington Court Clerk
Hagerstown, MD

Wicomico Court Clerk
Salisbury, MD

Worcester Circuit Clerk
Snow Hill, MD

Baltimore County
Towson, MD

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Order Vital Records Online! certified copies of Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce certificates, for events which occurred within the state of Maryland.

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