How to Get a Marriage License
words by // Eve Green
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the fun part of wedding planning (like flowers or finding the perfect dress) that you may forget the most important component: obtaining the marriage license! So how exactly do you and your fiance get a marriage license? We have everything you need to know right here!
Who needs to be there
Witnesses are not required in the State of Ohio, as long as both you and your fiancé are age 18 or older (therefore no parental consent is necessary). Just the two of you need to be present together to obtain a marriage license.
What you need to bring
Valid photo identification (driver's license, state issued ID, or passport) with the name that will used on the marriage license application
Social Security number
Birth certificate (listing parents’ names if you’re under 21)
Proof of citizenship and/or residence
A current utility bill for proof of address
Where you need to go
In Ohio, the only place authorized to issue a marriage license is the probate court located in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. If you are a resident of Ohio, you must apply for your marriage license in the county in which either you or your fiancé lives. If you are getting married in Ohio, but are not an Ohio resident, you must obtain your marriage license in the same county where your ceremony will take place.
When you need to get your marriage license
An Ohio marriage license is valid for 60 days. If your marriage doesn’t take place within that 60 days you will have to get a new license. There is no waiting period in Ohio, so you can have your wedding ceremony immediately after obtaining your marriage license. That being said, we don’t recommend waiting until the last minute! Your license will be valid for approximately 2 months, so it’s best to get this important task out of way so you can focus on all the last minute planning.
What it will cost
Ohio marriage license fees are due at the time of application. Costs vary by county but are generally between $40 - $60. Some counties only accept cash so either come prepared with multiple forms of payment or check ahead of time to see what forms are acceptable.
Probate courts don’t typically take appointments and won’t issue marriage licenses if you arrive too close to closing time, so give yourself plenty of time to get your license. You also may be required to check your cellphone when you arrive at the courthouse . Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for that #marriagelicense selfie after you’re done! Make this slightly tedious task fun and create a day date out of it with your fiancé. With just weeks to go before your nuptials, this can be the perfect time to connect and take a breather before the real excitement begins!