How to Apply for a Pennsylvania Marriage License
Some things in life are just complicated. The great news is obtaining a Pennsylvania marriage license doesn’t have to be one of them! Unless you’ve been through the process a few times, it can be confusing. Don't be too hard on yourself if you don’t understand everything. The StylishO Team has coordinated hundreds of weddings in Pennsylvania, so we can help guide you when it comes to applying for a Pennsylvania marriage license.
The first thing I'd like to note is to be sure that if you are getting married in Pennsylvania that you MUST obtain your marriage license in Pennsylvania. We work with a lot of couples that live out of state but are coming to Pennsylvania to get married, so I always let them know they cannot obtain the marriage license in the state they live in.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take, and some things to consider, in order to make sure your nuptials are the real deal and legal!
When you get married in Pennsylvania, you and your partner must be 18 years or older OR you must have parental consent if ages 16-17.
Keeping your documents all in order for when you go to apply will make things much easier. In order to obtain a Pennsylvania marriage license, you will need the following:
- Government issued photo ID (drivers license and passport are two primary examples)
- Valid Social Security Cards
- Evidence that prior marriages have been annulled (usually through a divorce decree or death certificate)
If you or your spouse is a foreign national, you must also bring along a valid passport.
For a Pennsylvania marriage license to be valid on the day of your wedding, you must get married within 60 days of the issue date. In Pennsylvania, most counties require there be a 72-hour waiting period after requesting a marriage license. Moral of the story: do NOT wait until the last minute to apply for your license.
We suggest a minimum of one week out from your wedding, but preferably two or more weeks before the wedding date if possible. Here at StylishO we work with a lot of couples living out of state so getting it earlier isn't always possible. If that's the case, be sure to take into account the waiting period when planning your trip in the week of your wedding.
Applying for Your Marriage License
Now that all of your documents are in order and you’ve scheduled the day to get your license, all you have to do now is just go apply!
In Pennsylvania you can obtain your marriage license in any county in the state, not just the one you are getting married in. Some counties do charge higher than others so if you are between two counties then check their websites to see what they charge. You AND your partner must be present!
The best time of day to apply is typically in the morning.
Once you receive your application, you will fill out the form and pay the application fee. Three days later, your marriage certificate will be valid. Most counties will let you take it with you the day you apply but it will not be valid for three days.
After the wedding you’ll want to make sure the completed license makes it back to the county courthouse within ten days. Usually your officiant will take care of these logistics after the wedding for you.
Stay tuned for our next blog about officiant requirements in PA and self uniting marriages!
What questions do you have when it comes to obtaining your marriage license? Comment below!