(Closed) When is a marriage license 100% legal?

posted 3 years ago in Paper
Post # 2
Member
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

As far as I understand, the license allows you to marry legally, but until a government appointed officiant signs it and turns it in, you aren’t legally married.  For us, we had to give it to our priest at the rehearsal, and then he signed it and turned it in after the wedding.  The license just gives you the potential to be married 😉

We only had one opportunity to get ours, so we got it about a week before the wedding.  Took five minutes.  Maybe your FI’s worried about red tape and it taking longer or something.

Post # 4
Member
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

MrsPiggles:  Yeah, in a big city I’d definitely err on the side of getting it early!  We got married in my home town, which is pretty small, so it wasn’t a problem.  My friend got hers in Monterey and I think it took her longer…maybe a couple hours?  

It’s cute your FI wants to have it, though!

Post # 6
Member
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

MrsPiggles:  Oh, sorry.  It’s not anything to worry about.  It’s just an expression for beaurocratic nonsense like waiting at the courthouse for a marriage license for two hours, when it’s only a single piece of paper to fill out 🙂  

Post # 7
Member
12621 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Make sure you check into your specific county/state’s policies on how long they’re good for.  Ours, I think, was only good for 30 days.  We went to the DC courthouse after work to get it one day, and it took longer to find parking than it did to get the license.  I think these are hit or miss for how long they take.

Post # 8
Member
507 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

MrsPiggles:  we just got ours in San Francisco and we were able to make an appointment online ahead of time. Super easy!!! Also, if it’s easier to go to another county and get it, you are totally fine so long as you have a public marriage. 

Post # 10
Member
3281 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We just turned in a paper, they gave us the license, less than 5 minutes total. But yeah it’s legal after the officiant and bride and groom all sign the license. 

Post # 11
Member
1504 posts
Bumble bee

It took like 5 minutes to fill out the form, 10 minutes to wait in line, 10 minutes to sign everything and get the license. 

But the marriage license is just a license to get married – you aren’t actually married until you sign the official marriage documents. At our ceremony we signed the register and also a document from the church. They gave us the document from the church but we had to order and pay for our official marriage certificate after. It’s only needed if you plan to change your name – it’s used as proof.

Post # 12
Member
8145 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

In Maryland (Baltimore City specifically), you can get your license anywhere from 6 months to 48 hours before you are married.

DH went to the clerk’s office to get it about a month before hand just to be on the safe side.  He said it took 5 minutes. 

Then we gave it to our officiant the week before our wedding to hold for safe keeping.

She signed it at our ceremony and mailed it in. 

You are considered officially married once the officiant signs the license and mails it in.

Post # 13
Member
8145 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

 

MrsPiggles:  PS.  make sure you get your license in the county/city where you will be getting married, not where you live.

 

Post # 14
Member
5664 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

MrsPiggles:  In my state there’s a 3 day wait. We filled it out and got it a few days later. No waiting at the clerk’s office, though.

Post # 15
Member
773 posts
Busy bee

MrsPiggles:  Which county are you getting married in?  My understanding is the license needs to be from the county where the wedding is taking place, regardless of where you live.  So you can’t just drive to the county where the process is easiest, unfortunately!

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