Marriage in Ohio

You must have valid, current ID. This requirement may be fulfilled by providing a driver's licenses, passport, state ID, or visa. Both parties to the impending marriage must be physically present during the application process. If either party has been married before, he or she will need to present either a certified copy of the divorce decree or a normal copy of the death certificate.

Who May Get a Marriage License?

Anyone may get an Ohio marriage license, even if not a resident of the state. However, applications have to be made in the same county in which a person plans to marry. There is a fee for the marriage license that begins at $40.  Some counties will take payment via money order, but most accept cash only.

Persons who are between 16 and 17 years of age may be granted a marriage license if they can provide proof of parental consent (or consent by a legal guardian). They may also have to receive consent from the Probate Court. Sometimes, a judge requires that people in this age category have taken marriage counseling before granting a marriage license. Pregnant minors are considered special cases.

In Ohio, there is no waiting period between the time the marriage license is issued and the time when it becomes valid. It is considered effective immediately upon receipt. There are no medical tests required before a couple may wed.

Same sex marriages and marriages between cousins are not allowed in the state of Ohio.

Common law marriage is only considered valid if the union was entered into before October 10, 1991. The marriage must also meet other criteria to be legally recognized.

Who May Perform the Ceremony?

In Ohio, any minister or priest may officiate at a marriage ceremony. The chosen minister will need to provide the probate judge with his ordination credentials. After this, the minister will be given a license to preside over marriages by the judge. When the minister performs a marriage in any county, he must provide his license to the county probate judge.

When Should I Get a Marriage License?

You should apply for a license at least 30 days before the date set for the wedding. Marriage licenses in Ohio expire after 60 days, so don't apply too far in advance. One month ahead will give you plenty of time without causing your license to expire before the wedding.

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