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Published: Thursday, Sep. 16th, 2021

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Married In Each State?

The minimum age to marry, also called the ‘age of consent to marry,’ is different in each state and US territory. 

 

In almost all states and US territories, the youngest age at which someone can marry without parental or judicial consent is 18 years old. Exceptions to this include Puerto Rico and Mississippi, where an individual must be 21 years old to wed without approval from a parent; Nebraska, where the age of majority is 19; and in Maryland, where no guardian’s consent is needed if a minor is pregnant.

 

Most states have special provisions in place for underage marriages, such as a minimum age requirement (usually between 14 and 16 years old), a premarital education course, a one-on-one interview with an appointed official, or the written approval of a parent, guardian, or judge. A few states allow no exceptions for minors. 

 

The list below shows the general and minimum age to marry in each state, along with any special guidelines for underage marriages. 
(Current as of September, 2021)

 

Click on your state to see more marriage laws.

 

 


Alabama: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with permission from a parent or guardian. Parental consent is given with a signed and notarized affidavit filed with the probate court. (§ 30-1-5)

 


 

Alaska: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with written consent from parents or guardian, and children who are 14 years old can marry in some cases with approval from a superior court judge. (§ 25.05.171)

 


 

Arizona: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry if they’re legally emancipated or have parental consent, as long as their intended spouse is not more than 3 years their senior. (§ 25-102) First cousins can marry if both are at least 65 years old, or in some cases with approval from a superior court judge with proof that one of the cousins is unable to reproduce. (§ 25-101)

 


 

Arkansas: 18
Minors who are 17 years old can marry with proof of parental or guardian consent, including a signed and notarized affidavit, and an additional 5 day waiting period. (§ 9-11-102)

 


 

California: 18
Minors who are under 18 years old can obtain a marriage license with court approval provided several additional provisions have been met, which might include an interview and assessment by Family Court Services, parental consent, or a waiting period of 30 days. (§ 302, § 303, § 304, § 423)

 


 

Colorado: 18
Minors who are 16 and 17 years old can marry with approval from the juvenile court, provided a court-appointed guardian ad litem determines the marriage is in their best interest. (§ 14-2-108)

 


 

Connecticut: 18
Minors who are between 16 and 18 years old can marry with approval of the Probate Court. Parents and guardians can petition the Probate Court on the minor’s behalf, followed by a hearing attended by all parties. (§ 46B-20A)

 


 

Delaware: 18
No exceptions for minors. (§ 123)

 


 

District of Columbia: 18
Minors between 16 and 18 years old can consent to marriage if they have been previously married or if a parent or guardian provides sufficient oral or written (and witnessed) consent to the Clerk. ( § 46-403, § 46-411)

 


 

Florida: 18
Minors who are 17 years old can marry with written consent from a parent or guardian, provided the intended spouse is not more than 2 years their senior. (§ 741.04)

 


 

Georgia: 18
Minors who are 17 years old can marry if they have been legally emancipated for at least 15 days (or are in the process of emancipation and meet certain requirements) and their intended spouse is not more than four years their senior, and they have completed the required premarital education. (§ 19-3-2, § 19-3-30.1)

 


 

Guam: 18 
Minors who are between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the written consent of a parent or guardian, submitted to the Director of Administration. (§ 3102)

 


 

Hawaii: 18
Minors who are 16 or 17 years old can marry with the written consent of both parents, guardian, or the family court, and minors who are 15 years old can marry if they have the written consent of both parents or legal guardian and the written approval of a judge of the family court. ( § 572-1, § 572-2)

 


 

Idaho: 18
Minors who are between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with written consent from a parent or guardian, provided they can provide an official birth certificate or proof of age to the county recorder. (§ 32-202)

 


 

Illinois: 18
Minors who are between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with either the written consent of both parents, a guardian, judicial approval, or, in cases when a parent cannot be located to give consent, a signed affidavit from a guardian detailing the name of the missing parent and what efforts were made to locate them. (§ 750 5/203,  § 750 5/208)

 


 

Indiana: 18
Minors who are 16 and 17 years old can petition the juvenile court for approval to marry. The petition must contain all required information, including details on how the minor and intended spouse know each other, copies of any criminal records, and evidence that the minor can support themselves independently from a guardian or the intended spouse, and is followed by an evidentiary hearing and personal interview. Premarital counseling may also be required. (§ 31-11-1-7)

 


 

Iowa: 18
Minors who are 16 and 17 years old can marry with the certified written consent of both parents, provided the marriage is approved by a judge of the district court. If a parent is deceased or incompetitent, the consent of the minor’s legal guardian is required. If there is no guardian, or if consent is unreasonably withheld, the court can approve the marriage. (§ 595.2)

 


 

Kansas: 18
Minors who are 16 and 17 years old can marry with the express consent of either both parents, a legal guardian, or the consent of one parent and a district court judge. Children who are 15 can marry with approval from a district court after due investigation of the circumstances. (§ 23-2505) 

 


 
Kentucky: 18
Minors who are 17 can petition the family court in their county for approval to marry, or a district court if no family court has been established, provided the intended spouse is not more than 4 years their senior. The petition must provide all required information and be followed by an evidentiary hearing scheduled 30-60 days after filing. (§ 402.205)

 


 

Louisiana: 18
Minors who are 16 and 17 years old can marry with written consent from a guardian, provided they have an official birth certificate and the intended spouse is less than 3 years their senior. (§ 9:221, § 9:225)

 


 

Maine : 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with written consent from a parent or guardian. If the minor doesn’t have a legal guardian or one can’t be found, a judge of probate can grant approval after a notice and opportunity for hearing. (§ 19-A:652)

 


 

Maryland: 18
Minors who are 16 and 17 years old can marry with consent from a parent or guardian if the parent swears that they are at least 16, or without a guardian’s consent if it is confirmed by a recognized medical professional following an examination that they are pregnant or have recently given birth. Children who are 15 can marry if they have both a guardian’s consent and are confirmed to be pregnant or have recently given birth. ( § 2-301)

 


 

Massachusetts: 18
Minors under the age of 18 years old can marry with approval and notice of the probate or district court, provided they have the consent of a parent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian. If a parent is found unfit to give consent or can’t be located, this requirement may be waived by the court. (§ 207-25, § 207-27, § 207-34)

 


 

Michigan: 18
Minors who are between 16 and 18 years old can marry with the consent of at least one parent or guardian if that consent is witnessed personally by a county clerk or notary, provided the minor has an official birth certificate or other proof of age. If a minor under 16 years old enters into a marriage illegally, that marriage is void. (§ 551.251, § 551.51)

 


 

Minnesota: 18
No exceptions for minors. (§ 517.02)

 



Mississippi: 21
Adults between the ages of 18 and 21 years old can marry with the consent of all parents or guardians and written approval from a circuit clerk, if their reasons to marry are satisfactory to the court and a parent, guardian, or next of kin provides an affidavit stating the individual’s age. 

 

Minors: Males who are at least 17 years old, and females who are at least 15 years old, can marry if they have consent from a parent or guardian, are not intoxicated, and can provide a judge of any circuit, chancery, or county court with proof of sufficient reason and desire to marry. (§ 93-1-5)

 


 

Missouri: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the written consent of a custodial parent or guardian, provided they can show proof of age, and the intended spouse is no older than 21 years old. ( § 451.090)

 


 

Montana: 18
Minors who are 16 or 17 years old can marry with the consent of a parent or guardian, or approval from the district court. At least two marriage counseling sessions are required by the court, and the minor must show the marriage is in their best interest. (§ 40-1-203, 40-1-213)

 


 

Nebraska: 19
Minors between the ages of 17 and 19 years old can marry with the written consent, given under oath, of a parent, guardian, conservator, or custodian. No one (of any age) with a venereal disease is allowed to marry in the state. (§ 42-102, § 42-105, § 43-2101)

 


 

Nevada: 18
Minors who are 17 years old can marry with the consent of a parent, or with the consent of a guardian and approval from a district court. The court can approve a marriage without parental or guardian consent under some extenuating circumstances, provided certain conditions are met. Minors who apply for a license at a commercial wedding chapel will be referred to the county clerk. (§ 122.025, § 122.040, § 122.0615)

 


 

New Hampshire: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can marry if at least one party to the marriage is a state resident, and a parent or guardian applies in writing on their behalf to the judicial branch family division that has jurisdiction where they live, and they are granted permission by the division to contract marriage. During the court’s decision making process, a one-on-one in camera interview may be conducted with the minor to establish that the marriage is in their best interest. If a minor below the age of 16 enters into a marriage, the marriage is void. (63 § 457:4, 63 § 457:5, 63 § 457:6, 63 § 457:7, 63 § 457:8, 63 § 457:9)

 


 

New Jersey: 18
No exceptions for minors. (§ 37:1-6)

 


 

New Mexico: 18
Minors who are 16 or 17 can marry if they are legally emancipated, or with the written consent of each living parent who appears on their birth certificate, or with the authorization of the district court following a petition by a parent or guardian. Children under 16 years old can marry with authorization from a children's or family court division of the district court, upon request of a parent or legal guardian when certain conditions are met, or when the child is pregnant, and a certified copy of the judicial authorization is filed with the county clerk. (§ 40-1-6)

 


 

New York: 18
No exceptions for minors. (§ 15-A)

 


 

North Carolina: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry if they are legally emancipated, or with the written consent of a parent or guardian, or with authorization from a district court, filed with the register of deeds, provided the intended spouse is no more than 4 years their senior. (§ 51-2, § 51-2.1, § 51-3)

 


 

North Dakota: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the written consent of one or both parents, or a legal guardian, as circumstances require. (§ 14-03-02, § 14-03-17)

 


 

Ohio: 18
Minors who are 17 years old can marry with approval from a juvenile court, provided the intended spouse is not more than 4 years their senior,  following a 14 calendar-day waiting period after the juvenile court’s approval is submitted to the probate court. In cases where both parties are 17 years old, only judicial approval and a waiting period apply. (§ 3101.01, § 3101.02, § 3101.04, § 3101.042). 

 


 

Oklahoma: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the consent of a parent or guardian given directly to the authority issuing the license, or provided in writing in person to a judge of the district court or the court clerk of any county within the State of Oklahoma or a judge or clerk of a court of record (if out of state). Children under 16 can marry with approval from the court under special circumstances, such as pregnancy, if there is no objection from a guardian. (§ 43-3)

 


 

Oregon: 18
Minors who are 17 years old can marry with the written consent of a parent or guardian and file an affidavit with the required information. Minors who have lived in the county for at least 6 months before applying for a license may not need a guardian’s consent, if that guardian lives out of state. (§ 106.050, § 106.060)

 


 
Pennsylvania: 18
No exceptions for minors. ( 23 § 1304)

 


 

Puerto Rico: 21
Minors between the ages of 18 and 21 years old can marry with the written consent of both parents, a legal guardian, or, in the absence of a legal guardian, a court-appointed special guardian chosen by the court from among the minor’s closest relatives. If the parents or guardian refuse consent, a court may approve the marriage following a hearing. ( A 381, A 382, A 389) 

 


 

Rhode Island: 18
No exceptions for minors. (§ 15-2-14)

 


 

South Carolina: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the written consent of a parent or guardian in the form of a signed affidavit given to a probate judge or other qualified officer of the court. (§ 20-1-250)

 


 
South Dakota: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the consent of at least one parent or guardian, provided they submit a notarized statement from the guardian to the county register of deeds. ( § 25-1-9, § 25-1-13)

 


 

Tennessee: 18
Minors who are 17 years old can marry, provided that the intended spouse is not more than 4 years their senior, and that their parents, guardian, next of kin, or custodian joins in the application (either in person or by submitting a sworn and notarized affidavit) and states under oath that they give their consent and that the minor is at least 17. Minors who are emancipated do not need a guardian’s consent. (  § 36-3-105, § 36-3-106) 

 


 

Texas: 18
Minors under 18 years old can marry if a court has granted an order ‘removing the disability of minority’ from them (ie: they are emancipated). (§ 2.101, § 2.003,  § 2.009)

 


 

US Virgin Islands: 18
No exceptions for minors. Individuals who are at least 65 years old can enter into a vesper marriage. ( 16 § 2, 16 § 36, 16 § 81)

 


 

Utah: 18
Minors who are 16 or 17 years old can marry with the signed consent of a custodial parent or guardian, given to a clerk in person while under oath, if the intended spouse is not more than 7 years their senior. They must also receive approval of a court commissioner, or judge with a court of juvenile jurisdiction in the county. Premarital counseling is required if available. (§ 30-1-9, § 30-1-9.1)

 


 

Vermont: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the written consent of one of their parents or a legal guardian, if they are shown to be of sound mind. (§ 5142)

 


 

Virginia: 18
Minors can marry if they have been legally emancipated by the court. (§ 20-48)

 


 

Washington: 18
Minors who are 17 years old can marry with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian, signed and sworn to in front of anyone authorized to administer oaths. Couples with one partner that is at least 18 years old, and a second partner that is at least 62 years old, can enter into a domestic partnership provided that they are not nearer in kin than second cousins. ( § 26.04.210,  § 26.60.030)

 


 

West Virginia: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the written consent of both parents (or the custodial parent), or a legal guardian. Children under 16 can marry with approval of a circuit judge, if the judge finds it is in the best interest of the child and has the written consent of the child’s parents or legal guardian. Marriages entered into by minors without legal consent (illegally) may be ratified and made valid when the child reaches 18, if certain conditions are met. (§ 48-2-301)

 


 

Wisconsin: 18
Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old can marry with the written consent of both parents, a custodial parent, or a legal guardian or custodian. Consent must be given in person in front of a county clerk, or notarized. If the minor has no legal guardian, the court having probate jurisdiction can give consent. (§ 765.02)

 


 

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