Can You Get Married in Another State? A Comprehensive Guide to Interstate Nuptials

If you’ve ever wondered, “Can you get married in another state where you don’t live?”, the answer is yes. However, it’s crucial to understand the requirements and preparations necessary for a seamless wedding in another state. In this article, we’ll dive into the essential information for planning your big day across state lines.

When getting married in a different state, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations of that location. This includes residency requirements, waiting periods, and necessary documentation. By knowing these vital details in advance, you can confidently prepare for and enjoy your special day without any legal hiccups.

Navigating through these intricacies may be daunting, but we’re here to help simplify the process for you. In the following sections, we’ll explore various aspects of marrying in another state, from obtaining the right documents to understanding how your marriage will be recognized back home.

Understanding State Marriage Laws

Residency Requirements

State laws vary when it comes to residency requirements for obtaining a marriage license. In some states, you don’t need to be a resident to get a marriage license. However, it’s important to know the specifics of the state where you plan to get married.

Waiting Period

WAITING PERIODS differ from state to state. Some states impose a waiting period between applying for a marriage license and actually getting married, while others allow you to marry on the same day. Quickly research the waiting period for the state where you intend to tie the knot.

Marriage License Application

Applying for a marriage license involves meeting certain requirements depending on the state. These may include:

  • Minimum ages: Ensure you and your partner meet the age requirement for marriage in the state where you plan to wed.
  • Consent: Parental consent is often required for individuals between the ages of 16 and 18.
  • Capacity: Before applying for a marriage license, verify that you and your partner have the legal capacity to marry according to state laws.

Do research to ensure your marriage will be legally recognized. Also, note that common law marriages are not acknowledged in every state. Finally, remember that a marriage license is only valid within the state of issuance.

Destination Weddings and Out-Of-State Ceremonies

Embarking on a destination wedding or out-of-state ceremony? You’re in the right place! Let’s dive straight into the essentials.

Planning a Destination Wedding

When planning your big day, it’s important to research the location and regulations in place. Different countries and states have varying requirements, so familiarize yourself with them. Don’t hesitate to hire a wedding planner experienced with destination weddings to guide you through the process.

Choosing an Officiant

Your officiant plays a crucial role in making your wedding ceremony memorable. Be sure to select someone who understands your relationship and is comfortable performing ceremonies in the chosen location. This could be a trusted friend, family member, or professional officiant experienced in destination weddings.

Obtaining a Marriage License in Another State

When getting married out-of-state or abroad, you must obtain a marriage license from the location where the ceremony will take place. Check the requirements for your specific location and ensure all documents, such as passports or birth certificates, are in order. In some cases, medical tests may be necessary, like in Mexico for example.

Remember, your wedding should be stress-free and tailored to your unique love story. So plan ahead, choose your officiant wisely, and keep documentation in mind to make your destination wedding or out-of-state ceremony a day you’ll never forget!

State Specific Marriage Requirements

Getting married in another state can be an exciting adventure, but it’s essential to understand the legal requirements. This section covers various state-specific marriage requirements, focusing on California, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, Montana, South Carolina, Utah, New Jersey, Maryland, Kentucky, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Alabama, and Louisiana.


In California, you’ll need a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Apply for a marriage license at the county clerk or recorder’s office where you plan to be married. Keep in mind that both parties must be present1.


For a Texas wedding, obtain a marriage license from a county clerk’s office. Bring valid photo ID and, if required, proof of divorce or annulled marriage2.


Kansas requires identification, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate, and proof of your social security number. Obtain your marriage license at a District Court in the county you plan to marry3.


To marry in Tennessee, apply for a marriage license at a county clerk’s office. Both parties must be present with valid photo ID and proof of age. If under 18, parental consent is necessary4.


In Montana, both parties must be present at the local county courthouse with valid photo identification. Be prepared to provide your social security numbers5.

South Carolina

South Carolina couples must apply at the Probate Court in the county they plan to be married6. Bring valid photo ID and social security numbers.


Apply for your Utah marriage license at any county clerk’s office. Have valid photo ID, social security numbers, and information about previous marriages7.

New Jersey

In New Jersey, couples must apply at a local registrar’s office. Bring valid photo ID, proof of residency, and a witness over 18 years of age8.


To marry in Maryland, both parties must apply at a circuit court clerk’s office in the county they will get married. Provide identification and pay the required fee9.


In Kentucky, obtain a marriage license at the county clerk’s office. Bring photo ID and social security numbers. There’s a three-day waiting period after submitting your application10.


Apply in person at a Colorado county clerk and recorder’s office. Bring photo ID, and if divorced, certified copies of divorce decrees11.


Iowa requires couples to apply for a marriage license at a county registrar office. Bring valid photo ID and provide proof of age12.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, apply for a marriage license at a city or town clerk’s office. Bring valid photo ID and information about previous marriages13.


Alabama requires couples to apply for a marriage certificate at a county probate court. Submit valid photo ID and pay the necessary fee14.


In Louisiana, apply for a marriage license at a parish clerk of court’s office. Bring photo ID, certified birth certificates, and proof of the completion of a premarital counseling course15.

Remember to always check the specific requirements of the state you plan to be married in, as each varies. Happy planning!



Common Law Marriages and Other Legal Considerations

Common law marriages are an important aspect to consider when getting married in another state. In some states, couples can establish a legal marriage by cohabitating for a specific amount of time and presenting themselves as husband and wife to the outside world source.

If you’re considering a common law marriage, be aware of the requirements. These typically include living together for at least a year and having a mutual agreement to be married. However, not all states recognize common law marriages, so check the laws in the state where you plan to establish this union.

In addition to common law marriages, it’s crucial to consider bigamy laws. Bigamy is the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another. This is considered illegal in all US states, so ensure your previous marriages are legally dissolved before entering a new one.

Now, when it comes to legal marriage in another state, the process usually involves obtaining a marriage license, presenting valid government-issued photo IDs, and meeting residency requirements source. Keep in mind that the rules vary by state, so be sure to research the specific requirements for the state you wish to get married in.

In summary, be aware of common law marriages, bigamy laws, and legal marriage requirements when considering getting married in a different state. Always research and follow state laws to ensure your marriage is legally recognized.

When to Seek Legal Advice

Legal advice is crucial when planning to get married in another state. To avoid complications, schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney. They’ll help you navigate the state-specific marriage laws and requirements.

Ensuring proper documentation is essential; your attorney will guide you through the application process for a marriage license. Keep in mind, licenses are typically only valid within the issuing state. Obtaining legal advice early will streamline your planning.

An attorney-client relationship provides confidentiality and assures clear communication. This connection is vital when discussing personal matters like marriage. Additionally, legal counsel can help you handle any unexpected issues that may arise in the process.

Stay informed and protect your rights. By seeking legal advice when marrying in another state, you’re investing in a smooth, worry-free wedding experience.

Navigating Divorce and Remarriage

Divorce can be a challenging journey. Let’s dive into important aspects regarding divorce laws, annulments, and getting remarried out-of-state to help you navigate through the process.

Divorce Laws and Requirements

Each state has varying divorce laws and requirements. For example, Alabama has a 60-day waiting period before you can remarry. Be sure to research your specific state to understand the process and requirements for your divorce and future remarriage.


Annulments differ from divorces, as they legally erase the marriage, making it as if it never happened. Annulments can be granted for various reasons, e.g., fraud, incapacity, or bigamy. Make sure to consult with a legal professional if you’re considering pursuing an annulment.

Getting Remarried Out-Of-State

If you’re contemplating remarriage after your divorce, remember that some states have waiting periods before remarriage. However, you might be able to bypass the waiting period by getting remarried in a different state. Check the regulations in both states to ensure your new marriage is valid.

Online Marriage Licenses and Certificates

Getting married in another state requires obtaining a marriage license specific to that location. Luckily, some states allow you to apply for a marriage license online. This simplifies the process and ensures your wedding plans stay on track.

Begin by researching the state’s requirements and procedures for online marriage licenses. Each state has unique rules, making it vital to familiarize yourself with them. Keep in mind, even if you start the application online, some states may require both parties to appear in person to finalize the process.

Being prepared with the necessary documentation is essential. Standard requirements include a photo ID like a driver’s license or passport and original birth certificates for both parties. If either of you were previously married, you will need a divorce decree as well .

After receiving your marriage license, you can proceed with the wedding ceremony. Once officiated, the license must be returned to the issuing office to obtain a marriage certificate. This document serves as legal proof of your nuptials and is recognized in every state .

In summary, applying for an online marriage license and obtaining a marriage certificate are crucial steps when getting married in another state. Researching state-specific requirements and providing the necessary documentation will ensure your big day runs smoothly and successfully.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *