Here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a marriage license in Polk County - Des Moines, Iowa. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your ceremony date.
You do not have to be a resident of Iowa. Picture identification is required. You also need to provide Social Security information.
If either of you were previously married, you will need to show the date of divorce or date of spouse's death.
Same Sex Marriage in Iowa:
Yes, same sex marriages are legal in Iowa. The law became effective April 27, 2009.
Iowa Waiting Period:
Iowa has a three (3) business day waiting period.
How Much a Marriage License Cost?
$35 -- cash only. The fee and acceptance of checks or credit cards varies from County to County.
Other Tests in Iowa:
No other tests are required in Iowa for a marriage license.
Proxy Marriage in Iowa:
No. However, if one of you can't be present at the Recorder's Office to apply for the license, the absent party can sign the Iowa marriage license application before a Notary Public.
Cousin Marriage in Iowa:
Common-Law Marriage in Iowa:
Under Iowa Code for Revenue and Finance1, common law marriage in Iowa is legal for the purposes of filing income taxes (Administrative Rule, Chapter 39 ) and property tax exemptions (Administrative Rule, Chapter 73 ).
Iowans may claim Common Law Marriage status if:
a present intent of both parties freely given to become married exists
both parties publicly declare themselves as common law married
the parties have lived together continuously and consummated the marriage (no special time limit, however)
both parties are legally capable of entering into a marriage relationship; that is, both are of legal age and neither is legally married to someone else at the time.
For marriage certificate purposes:
Only legally solemnized marriage ceremonies per the Code of Iowa, chapter 595, are registered as an Iowa vital event. Such marriages permit the parties to legally change their surname through the marriage certificate. Common law marriages are not registered in the Iowa vital records system.
1 Adm. Rule 701—73.25 (425) Common Law Marriage
A common law marriage is a social relationship that meets all the necessary requisites of a marriage except that it was not solemnized, performed or witnessed by an official authorized to perform marriages. The necessary elements of a common law marriage are: (a) a present intent of both parties freely given to become married, (b) a public declaration by the parties or a holding out to the public that they are husband and wife, (c) continuous cohabitation together as husband and wife (this means consummation of the marriage), and (d) both parties must be capable of entering into the marriage relationship. No special time limit is necessary to establish a common law marriage. This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code section 425.17 [Homestead Tax Credits and Reimbursement: Definitions].
Under 18 in Iowa:
Applicants 16 or 17 years of age need to have parental consent.
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed. If you need to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Wedding Officiants in Iowa:
Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.
You need to have one witness (over 18 years of age) with you when you apply for the license.