GET ORDAINED

Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return

Last Updated: August 4th, 2022

State Marriage License Info Banner

Every state has different laws governing when the marriage license is issued, can be completed, and must be returned. There are three types of laws that define these parameters, they are the marriage license Waiting Period, Return Deadline, and Expiration.

What are the Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return?

In order to understand the rules of when to complete and return a marriage license, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the three laws that determine when you are allowed to complete and marriage license, and when it must be returned. The three laws that govern this are the Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return. These laws vary from state to state. Below we further explain what these laws mean followed by a table that lists out all the relevant information by state.

Marriage License Waiting Period

The marriage license waiting period refers to laws that mandate the couple wait for a period of time between when they file for the marriage license and when they are able to complete and return it.

Some states, like California, have no waiting period, meaning the couple can get married on the same day that they file for the marriage license. In other states, like Wisconsin, the couple is required to wait six days to get married from the time they apply for their marriage license until the ceremony and signing of the document.

Marriage License Expiration

The marriage license expiration refers to laws that invalidate the marriage license if it has not been completed and returned within a set amount of time from when it was issued.

In Ohio the marriage license is valid for 60 days, meaning the couple should wait to file for the marriage license at least 60 days before the scheduled wedding date. In Nevada, on the other hand, the marriage license is valid for an entire year.

Marriage License Return

The marriage license return refers to laws requiring that the marriage license be completed and returned before its expiration date or before a certain number of days have passed since the wedding ceremony.

Couples getting married in Hawaii must return the marriage license before it expires within its 30 day window, while marriage licenses in Texas must be returned within 10 days following the wedding.


Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return by State

Alabama

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Alaska

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 90 Days
RETURN 7 Days from the Wedding

Arizona

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 1 Year
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Arkansas

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

California

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 90 Days
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Colorado

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 35 Days
RETURN 63 Days from the Wedding

Connecticut

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 65 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Delaware

WAITING PERIOD 1 Day Before Completing
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

District of Columbia

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION No Expiration
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Florida

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days for Residents; None for Non-Residents
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Georgia

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION No Expiration
RETURN 30 Days from the Wedding

Hawaii

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Idaho

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 1 Year
RETURN 30 Days from the Wedding

Illinois

WAITING PERIOD 1 Day Before Completing
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Indiana

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 30 Days from the Wedding

Iowa

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 6 Months
RETURN 15 Days from the Wedding

Kansas

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 6 Months
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Kentucky

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Louisiana

WAITING PERIOD 1 Day Before Completing
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Maine

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 90 Days
RETURN 7 Days from the Wedding

Maryland

WAITING PERIOD 2 Days Before Completing
EXPIRATION 6 Months
RETURN 5 Days from the Wedding

Massachusetts

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Michigan

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 33 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Minnesota

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 6 Months
RETURN 5 Days from the Wedding

Mississippi

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION No Expiration
RETURN 5 Days from the Wedding

Missouri

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN 15 Days from the Wedding

Montana

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 6 Months
RETURN 30 Days from the Wedding

Nebraska

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 1 Year
RETURN 15 Days from the Wedding

Nevada

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 1 Year
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

New Hampshire

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 90 Days
RETURN 6 Days from the Wedding

New Jersey

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 6 Months
RETURN 5 Days from the Wedding

New Mexico

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION No Expiration
RETURN 90 Days from the Wedding

New York

WAITING PERIOD 1 Day
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 5 Days from the Wedding

North Carolina

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

North Dakota

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 5 Days from the Wedding

Ohio

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 30 Days from the Wedding

Oklahoma

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Oregon

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days Before Completing
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 5 Days from the Wedding

Pennsylvania

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Puerto Rico

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION No Expiration
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Rhode Island

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 90 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

South Carolina

WAITING PERIOD 1 Day to Receive
EXPIRATION No Expiration
RETURN 15 Days from the Wedding

South Dakota

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 90 Days
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Tennessee

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN 3 Days from the Wedding

Texas

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days Before Completing
EXPIRATION 90 Days
RETURN 30 Days from the Wedding

US Virgin Islands

WAITING PERIOD 8 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION No Expiration
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Utah

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 32 Days
RETURN 14 Days from the Wedding

Vermont

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 10 Days from the Wedding

Virginia

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN 5 Days from the Wedding

Washington

WAITING PERIOD 3 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

West Virginia

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 60 Days
RETURN Before Expiration

Wisconsin

WAITING PERIOD 6 Days to Receive
EXPIRATION 30 Days
RETURN 3 Days from the Wedding

Wyoming

WAITING PERIOD None
EXPIRATION 1 Year
RETURN Before Expiration


OFFICIANT GOVERNMENT REGISTRATION BY STATE

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

Choose Your Officiant with our "Will You Marry Us?" Gift Package.

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

Wedding Ceremony Quiz

Wedding Ceremony Quiz

Test Your Knowledge of Your Officiant Duties.

Download Your Officiant Checklist PDF

Manage your ceremony planning to-do's all in one place.

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!