Rev John Moore

Marriage License From One State But Get Married In Another State

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My question is this: Can I as a minister perform a marriage where the ceremony takes place outside of the state where the marriage cert. or marriage license was issued?

Example: Couple is issued a marriage license or certificate say in Arizona but they travel to North Dakota to have me perform the ceremony. This is only an example and is not the actual circumstances.

Thanks in advance :)

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I would say no. Marriage licenses require you to get married in the state they are issued. Some even require the couple to get married in the county that issued the license. Each state also has its own requirements for a couple getting married, such as if the couple needs to have blood drawn and a lab to test it.

Take Michigan for example. To legally get married here you have to go to your county clerk at least 3 days before you are getting married to apply for the marriage license and submit the required documents, it is then valid for 33 days from date of application (the couple actually has 30 days in which to get married before the license is void), and the couple can get married any where in the state. BUT if the couple are from out of state, they must go to the county clerk of the county in which the ceremony will be performed, and then the license is only valid in that county.

I would recommend to the couple that they find out the marriage license requirements in the state they plan on visiting, then insure they are able to apply for the license in person in person according to that states requirements (ie Couple needs to provide copies of IDs for both individuals, copies of divorce records, apply the required number of days before the wedding, blood work done, etc...).

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As an Arizona minister, I will answer your question as it pertains to this states. A marriage license issued to couples are valid for one year from date of issue. Couples can get married in any county within Arizona, but the license must be returned to the clerk of courts that issued the license within 10 days by the officiant performing the ceremony. So the answer as it pertains to getting a license from Arizona and getting married in another state, no this can not take place.

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If the issuing license state is Texas, then it may be allowed as some of the county web sites mention that the wedding can take place anywhere.

snipped from dallas county: http://www.dallascounty.org/countyclerk/marriage-license.php

Can I use my Texas marriage license to get married in another state?

A marriage license issued in the State of Texas can be used for ceremonies in other States. Please contact your out-of-state officiate before applying for a State of Texas marriage license. Please keep in mind your license will only be recorded in the County and State in which you applied.

I would check with someone in your state to see if it is legal for you to perform a marriage this way as most states say that a marriage can only be performed with a valid marriage license from the state the marriage is to take place in.

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My question is this: Can I as a minister perform a marriage where the ceremony takes place outside of the state where the marriage cert. or marriage license was issued?

Example: Couple is issued a marriage license or certificate say in Arizona but they travel to North Dakota to have me perform the ceremony. This is only an example and is not the actual circumstances.

Thanks in advance :)

I would say no, but the only person who could give you an accurate answer would be a lawyer.

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Only the validity of marriage may be recognized among differing states. Sometimes, not.

Each state is itself a republic with its own laws on this topic.

Though not a lawyer, I have not heard of a state accepting the license of another for marriage.

I suggest research or a lawyer to answer your question.

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All legal questions are answered with "it depends". In this case, a lot depends on the state issuing. search for marriage statute State (where state is the one in question...) and read the statutes. If it isn't clear, ask a lawyer in that state.

But, probably not..

I once did two weddings for the same couple, one on each side of the local state line, because they had an out of state license, but an in state venue. That wedding was for show. The legal wedding took place in a goodwill parking lot.. in the state issuing the license.

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If the ceremony takes place in Oklahoma, the person must be a registered Officiant in the state of Oklahoma, or they are committing a criminal act if they conduct any ceremony, even under a marriage license issued in another state. However, if you are a minster officiant registered with another state, the state of Oklahoma will issue temporary officiant status, upon application with any county clerk, and payment of any applicable filing fees. That said Oklahoma state law also requires marriages under its state issued marriage license to occur within the state of Oklahoma.

Edited by ULCneo
Clarification of information

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I tend to agree.

I've performed marriages in Michigan -- and the marriage license's preamble [again, in Michigan] reads thusly:

"To any person legally authorized to solemnize marriage in the State of Michigan, Greeting; marriage may be solemnized within 30 days of date of issue in the State of Michigan, between... [names of individuals, etc etc etc]."

 

That said, your state or venue may allow something completely different.  In the State of Michigan, you can apply for a marriage license in one county, and be married in any other in the State, but it has to be in the State.  Have a look at your venue's marriage license -- it very likely will contain specific instructions.

Easiest way to find out for sure: get multiple opinions.  Speak to the Clerk of the county you live in, and speak to a judge or two.  Note their names and office, and what days you spoke to them -- and keep them in your official records; so if it is ever questioned, you can resort to it later.  You'll find judges and magistrates are usually very approachable, and it's not hard to get them on the phone for a legal opinion on something like this -- you may not be able to speak to them right away, but they're typically good about returning phone calls.

Good luck!

Rev. Samuel
Universal Life Church of Michigan

Edited by RevSam
Typo

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keep in mind that in michigan,if the couple is from out of state,they have to be married in the county that issued the license(that is part of the state law).if only one of the couple is from out of state,then yes,they can be married anywhere in the state.

 

texas is an example where you can get the license in texas,and get married anywhere in the united states.

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