How To Obtain a Marriage License or Certificate in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania was one of the first colonies, and it is littered with colonial historical landmarks such as Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. If you are an American history buff, Pennsylvania is the place for your wedding!
Rules and Regulations
If you plan on visiting all Pennsylvania’s rich historical landmarks after your wedding, you better first learn their rules and regulations to be married in Pennsylvania.
- You have to be 18 years or older to be married in Pennsylvania.
- If you are 15-17 years of age, you can be married with written parental consent.
- You do not need to live in Pennsylvania to be married there.
- You do not need a blood test.
- You do not need any witnesses at your wedding.
- Cousin marriage is not allowed.
- Same-sex marriage is legal in Pennsylvania.
How to Apply
Both of you must appear in person, together at the Marriage License Bureau in the Office of the Clerk of Orphans’ Court in your county. Make sure to bring the following paperwork with you to complete the application process:
- A marriage license fee payable via credit card or cashier’s check, it cannot be paid in cash or by check.
- If you have been married before, you will need to bring proof of dissolution (divorce decree, annulment paperwork or death certificate).
- If you are younger than 18 years old, you will need a certified copy of your birth certificate.
- Social security numbers for both parties.
- A valid, current ID such as driver’s license, passport, state ID, visa, military ID, or green card.
- You must also bring a second form of identification such as social security card, W2 form, pay stub, tax return or prescription card.
Waiting Period and Expiration
There is a three day waiting period before you can get married after obtaining your marriage license. If you are getting married on the weekend, be sure to contact the Register of Wills of-fice to obtain your license early enough. The license is only good for 60 days from the date of issuance.
Who Can Officiate
Those who can officiate your wedding ceremony are any ordained minister, priest, rabbi or oth-er religious official, judges, justices of the peace and mayors. You also have the option of offi-ciating your wedding but will need to state that on your application.
Whoever officiates your wedding must complete the marriage certificate and return it to the County office within ten days from your ceremony. If they fail to return it, the marriage will be invalid.
After the Wedding
If you wish to change your name, you will need to pick up a name change kit for your name change to be legal.
You may order a copy of the marriage certificate after it has been filed and recorded. You must contact the Marriage License Bureau by mail and send a check for $15 made out to The Clerk of Orphan’s Court.