How an Officiant Should Handle a Marriage License


  1. Asking the Couple to Present Their Marriage License
  2. Confirming that the Marriage License is Valid
  3. Signing the Marriage License
  4. Returning the Marriage License
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The marriage license is the legal document of marriage. Making sure that the marriage license has been properly filed for, completing, signed, and returned is your legal responsibility as the wedding officiant.

The pages below outline how to handle the marriage license as the officiant.



1. Asking the Couple to Present their Marriage License

The couple should have already filed for the marriage license prior to the wedding date....

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2. Confirming that the Marriage License is Valid

All states have different laws governing the window of time during which the marriage license is valid and can be signed....

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3. Signing the Marriage License

Once you are satisfied that the marriage license is valid and all the information on the license is correct, complete the fields relevant to you...

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4. Returning the Marriage License

Though this is not necessarily something done on the wedding day, it is crucially important that the completed marriage license be returned...

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