Obtaining a Marriage License

In Pennsylvania, a couple can get a marriage license through the Marriage License Clerk when visiting a county courthouse. Once a marriage license is issued, it will be valid for a period of 60 days. Both parties must be present at the time of marriage license application, so the process can be completed without delay.

Marriage Eligibility Requirements

In order to get married in the state of Pennsylvania, you will need to meet a set of eligibility requirements. To obtain a marriage license, take note of the following:

  • Both men and women must be at least 18 to apply for a marriage license.
  • If you are under the age of 16, you must have written permission from a parent or legal guardian, in addition to written consent by a judge of the Orphans’ Court Division of the Common Pleas.
  • If you are between the ages of 16 and 17, a parent or legal guardian must provide written permission.

Note: Pennsylvania does not grant marriage license to blood relatives, including first cousins.  There is no exception to this.

How to Get a Copy of a Marriage License

For the issuance of a marriage license in Pennsylvania, you must visit a county courthouse in your area.  You can apply for a license up to 60 days prior to your ceremony, but there is a waiting period to be considered. Your marriage license will only be issued on the third day after an application has been submitted.

When applying for a PA marriage license, you will need to complete the steps below:

  • Visit your local Pennsylvania county courthouse.
  • Present proper identification documentation.
  • Present your Social Security Number (if applicable)
  • Payment for any necessary fees

If your soon-to-be-spouse or you does not speak or fully understand English, you will be required to have a translator join you at the county courthouse. The individual who accompanies you must also have a valid form of identification.

Marriage License Fees

At the time of application, you will be asked to submit appropriate fees for your marriage license. These fees may vary from county to county. For specifics, contact the county courthouse where you intend to obtain a marriage license. If you are a minor, call the Clerk of Orphans’ Court.  You can speak to a representative over the phone, or make an in-person visit if it is more convenient for you.

Additional Information about Marriage Licenses in PA

If you are in the process of applying for a marriage license in the state of Pennsylvania, you should also keep in mind that:

  • Since 2014, Pennsylvania has been recognizing same-sex marriages.
  • Common law marriages are no longer recognized, unless created before 2005.
  • In order to obtain a PA marriage license, you must get married in the state.
  • Refunds cannot be made after a license has been issued.
  • If your soon-to-be spouse or you were previously married, a divorce decree must be provided at the time of your marriage license application.

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