(Closed) Gov Shutdown: Can't get replacement SS card for marriage license!

posted 5 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Oh shit! Hopefully that is sorted out soon. I’m Canadian, so I don’t really know anything about it but it didn’t even occur to me that it would affect weddings. Do you need the government for the license as well? 

Post # 4
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

My friend had zero idea (she never watches the news) about the shutdown and got married last week and went to SS to get a new card for the name change.  Fail.

She said certain things are available tho, does that not include replacement cards?

Post # 5
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

@Pinkmoon:  Licesnces are done by the state, so I would think that that part is ok, but one never knows.

Post # 6
8695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@alicroo86:  are you sure a SS card is needed? We didnt need ours for the license here in NJ. I havent had a SS card in about 13 years. Usually something else is accepted. 

Post # 7
9682 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I am Canadian too, but I am sorry the government is impacting your special day 🙁

I am getting my license as soon as I’m allowed, which I think is 3 months in advance. You just never know!

Post # 8
2610 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

@alicroo86:  I would double check this requirement. I know WI varies by county but see item #2 under requirements in Dane Co. This implies you don’t even need a SSN at all!



  1. Arrangements for the wedding must be set prior to applying for a marriage license. At the time of application you will tell us the date and place of marriage ceremony and full name and title of the officiant.
  2. Photo I.D. and Social Security number. If applicant does not have a Social Security number the space will be marked “none.”
  3. Proof of where you have physically lived for the 30 days prior to application, such as a driver’s license, lease, utility bill or bank statement. You must also know the name of the city, village or township and county where you reside.
  4. Certified birth certificate issued by the state or county where born. Birth certificate must be legible, not tattered and torn. The hospital birth certificate is not acceptable. If born outside the United States, a passport, green card, or naturalization papers may be used in lieu of a birth certificate. Photocopies of birth certificates are not acceptable. If your birth certificate does not include full names of parents and mother’s maiden name, you will need to find this out before coming to apply.
  5. If previously married we must see a judgment of divorce, legal annulment, or death certificate from the most recent marriage. Divorced persons may not remarry until six months after the granting of the judgment of divorce, regardless of where the action took place.
  6. The legal age for marriage in Wisconsin is 18. If an applicant is 16 or 17 years of age, a consent form needs to be signed by the parents or guardian before the County Clerk.
  7. If one or both of the applicants don’t speak English, a third party needs to interpret at the time of application. Couples cannot translate for each other.

Post # 9
145 posts
Blushing bee

@Ms_Purple:  I believe 2 is describing about people do not have the number at all – e.g. foreigners. That will require a letter from SS that says this person doesn’t have SS number.

Post # 10
13014 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Eep, that sucks!  I would call them and ask if they have a contingency plan for this, especially since the shutdown is looking like it’s going to be lasting a while…

Post # 11
2188 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2024

@MASPA – SS office isn’t replacing or issuing new cards (I have to deal with this at work…not fun)


Post # 12
2610 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

@afake79: I know that and perhaps should have clarified but the main thing here for OP is it also doesn’t say you must have the card. So far in every county in WI I’ve looked at for marriage license requirements none have yet to say you need the actual card. But I am not familiar with every county’s rules. I had a close friend who married a foreigner and I know he doesn’t have a SSN but even she initally freaked out about that requirement not realizing why he doesn’t have one and that he wouldn’t need one for their license.

Post # 13
4495 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@gelaine22:  +1

I got my license last week and neither of us needed to bring a SS card. Are you sure you absolutely have to have it? We didn’t bring birth certificates either. We used our passports and driver’s licenses.

I would call your local court, or wherever you are getting your license from, and inquire about what to do in this case. I would think (or at least hope) that they are making concessions and allowing alternatives during this time when it is impossible to obtain certain documents.

Post # 14
2610 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

@alicroo86:  OP I see that Milwaukee Co does have this requirement.

“The bride and groom must bring in their Social Security cards.  The name on your Social Security card must be your legal name. If you do not have a social security card, you must provide a letter from the Social Security Administration stating why you do not have a card.”

If this is the case is it possible for you to see if you can apply in another county based on their requirements? Or get legally married in another county? So many counties do not require it but I know many do require that you be a resident of that county. I hope you’re able to figure something out. I would definitley talk to someone at the clerk’s office and explain your case.

And lastly, here is my “crazy” suggestion. If nothing else comes through on getting your marriage license in WI…how about looking into hopping the boarder to Lake County, IL? Just for a legal ceremony? They don’t seem to have any strict requirements to get married there, no residency requirement, and they perform ceremonies 7 days a week. This may be a completely crazy suggestion but I feel so bad for what you’re going through, I figured it wouldn’t hurt!


Post # 15
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Oh My Gosh… that does suck !!

Mr TTR & I encountered this issue when we orginally were planning to marry in South Carolina, the County Courthouse I was dealing with wanted us to provide our SS Card / Number… and being Canadian we don’t have that, so I left the spot blank on the form and sent off a copy of our Passports (and their numbers instead).

The Courthouse came back and said, not good enough… wanted the SS Info.

Now in Canada, we do have something similar here, known as our Social Insurance Card (SIN Card)… BUT as Canadians we are strongly advised NEVER to provide this info to anyone outside of our own Government (Federal or Provincial) and an Employer we work for (and both only for Taxation reasons).

I therefore, wasn’t about to supply that info to someone who clearly didn’t need it

In the meantime fortunately, we discovered we could get more time off, and move our Wedding to Florida… which worked well for us, because not only is the weather warmer over Christmas, but Florida is a super easy state in which to get a Marriage License.

All Florida required was our Passports, our Divorce Certificates (not the whole Decree)… no Blood Work, and NO WAITING PERIOD.  AND you can pick up a Florida Marriage License at any County Courthouse and use it anywhere in the State.  Easy peasy.

Since my debacle with the SC folks, I’ve discovered via another Bee that she was able to use her Canadian Passport alone (no SS / SIN Card required) but that was in a different SC County.

So there you have it… RULES can differ when it comes to Marriage Licenses not only State to State but also Country to County within a State

My BEST ADVICE… is check elsewhere… to determine ALL THE RULES. 

1- Try to determine if they’ll accept just the number not the actual card (I know that in our case they wanted to either see the card in person or a photocopy for SC)

2- See if you can’t pick up your Marriage License in one County and use it in another for the State of Wisconsin.

3- And if all that doesn’t work, then I agree with @Ms_Purple: (Reply # 13) find a work around… pick up your License in Illinois and get legally married there either the day before or the morning of your set Wedding Day.

It isn’t 100% “the same” or as you planned… but it is sh!t-loads better than not getting married at all.

((( HUGS )))


Post # 16
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@alicroo86:  If you are down to the wire, check nearby states to see if they will issue a license without his SS card and have a quick ceremony there then go to your wedding.  Or you can have a fake ceremony at your wedding then wait until everyhting is back up and running to obtain his SS card and marriage license then have your vows solemnized.

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