Wedding Tips

September 24, 2018

Marriage License 101

Marriage License

A popular question lately with my brides and grooms is “ How do we file for our marriage license and when?”

You should make sure that your wedding timeline mentions obtaining your marriage license because for most municipalities you will need to make an appointment. They also operate during business hours so for those who work during 8am  – 5pm it could mean taking off a day of work. This is definitely something you will want to plan out as you get closer to the big day but don’t worry, we have all the details here for you!


What is a marriage license?

A marriage license is a government document that needs to be approved before getting married, similar to an application. Once you file this, you and your significant other can legally get married.


Where do I apply for a marriage license?

A marriage license can be obtained from your local registrar. This can be where both you and your fiance live or, if you live separately, at one of your local municipalities. This license can be used for any location in New Jersey.

If the wedding will be in New Jersey but neither of you live in the state, then the license should be obtained where the ceremony will take place.


When should I apply for our marriage license?

It can take up to 72 hours for the application to be approved and for you to receive your marriage license. Once you receive your license it is valid for six months from the date filed. Couples should apply for their marriage license between 6 months and 2 weeks prior to their wedding to give enough time or approval and discrepancies.


What do we need when we go?

Required documents for applying for a marriage license include:

  1. Proof of Identity (driver’s license, passport, or a state ID)
  2. Proof of residency
  3. Social security card or number
  4. A witness who is at least 18 years of age
  5. $28 application fee

Additional documents may be requested, be sure to ask your local municipality what they require before going.


Where should the marriage license be filed?

The person performing your wedding ceremony is the one to file the license and certificate with the registrar in the municipality where you will be married. This can be done in person or by mail depending on the municipality. After a few weeks you will get your marriage license in the mail.

I suggest getting additional certified copies (there is a small fee for this) to have on hand in case you need to send in additional paperwork if you change your name.

Be sure to check with the registrar’s office where you will be applying to make sure you have all the documents and details you need. You can also check the New Jersey Department of Health website for more information.

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