Marriage In Pennsylvania

Before a person can be issued a marriage license, he or she must present some type of ID. In Pennsylvania, this can only take the form of a driver's license and the person's Social Security Number. Both members of the upcoming marriage must be present when applying for the license.

You should also be prepared to pay the $40 fee in cash. The state of Pennsylvania will not waive the fee or grant refunds or extensions after the license is given. You do not have to live in Pennsylvania to get a marriage license from the state.

Who Is Given a Marriage License?

If a person is divorced, he or she must provide the divorce decree. If a woman has gone back to using her maiden name, the official document acknowledging this change must also be presented. In the case of an annulment, the same information must also be given. A widow or widower has to provide the date of the spouse's death.

For minors who are under the age of 16, a Judge of the Orphans Court will need to provide approval. Consent is also required from the parents or the guardian. If an applicant is under the age of 18, he or she must have consent from the parents or guardian and must present a birth certificate as well as a $5 fee.

Proxy marriages are not granted in this state. Pennsylvania does not recognize common law marriages or grant marriage licenses to cousins.

Other Facts You'll Need to Know

Ministers belonging to any church that has active congregations in Pennsylvania may conduct the marriage ceremony as long as their church has authorized them for this service. Prior to the wedding ceremony, ministers will need to file a copy of their credentials with the clerk who serves the county where the wedding will be held. Within a month after the wedding day, the minister will need to send a marriage certificate for the clerk responsible for granting the license. The bride and groom are also entitled to a marriage certificate if they request one.

The marriage license will be valid for up to 60 days. It is a wise idea to apply for the license at least a month in advance of the wedding date. However, avoid applying too early; if the license expires before the wedding, you would have to apply a second time.

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