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Wisconsin shortens waiting period for marriage, allows licenses to be used anywhere in state in 2022

Published Wednesday, Dec. 8th, 2021


On July 1, 2022, several important changes to Wisconsin marriage laws will go into effect. 

 

These changes, which include shortening the marriage waiting period -- that’s the time you have to wait after the license is issued until the ceremony -- and extending the license expiration period, are intended to make the marriage process easier for engaged couples and wedding officiants in the state. 

 

 

 

Here’s an overview of what to expect beginning July 1st:

 

  • Residents and nonresidents will be able to obtain and use a marriage license for their ceremony in any county of the state

 

  • Marriage licenses will be valid for 60 days (extended from 30 days)

 

  • The waiting period for a marriage license is shortened to 3 days (reduced from 5 days)

 

  • Completed marriage licenses can be returned to the register of deeds in any county in the state (this still needs to occur within 3 days after the date of the marriage)

 

  • Only 1 adult witness is required if one of the parties to the marriage is in the active military service of the United States

 

  • County clerks will have the discretion to determine whether a necessary document (such as a birth or death record) is unobtainable, and will notify the applicant with an option to contact a judge

 

 


These amendments passed as part of Assembly Bill 270 in early November, modifying several sections of Wisconsin Statutes, including § 765.08 (Application for marriage license) and § 765.16 (Marriage contract, how made; officiating person).  Act 84 also creates a new section: § 765.09 (3)(c)

 

 


To see all current Wisconsin Marriage Laws, head here. 


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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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