Court House Wedding Ceremonies
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!
- Both applicants must be currently unmarried.
- The parties are not nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whole or half blood.
- A marriage between two persons that is valid in another jurisdiction is valid in Washington State if the marriage is not prohibited by Washington State Law.
- Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, unless they satisfy the requirements for underage applicants listed below.
- Seventeen-year-old parties can apply if one of the following conditions is met:
- A parent or legal guardian submits a notarized statement of consent (available at any marriage licensing location).
- Please bring a certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate or documents establishing legal guardianship.
- The applicant is legally emancipated and takes the court-certified copy of the emancipation document with them to apply.
Under Age 17
- Parties under age 17 can apply only when the age requirement is waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides. Each party to the marriage that is under 17 years of age must present a waiver specifically naming them.
Residency and Citizenship Requirements
- Marriage license applicants do not have to reside in Washington State.
- A marriage license purchased from any county in Washington State can be used to get married anywhere in Washington State.
- Applicants do not have to apply for their marriage license in the county in which they reside.
- Applicants do not have to apply for their marriage license in the county where the wedding ceremony will take place.A marriage license obtained in Washington State cannot be used to get married in another state or country.
- Applicants are not required to have a U.S. Social Security number in order to obtain a marriage license. However, one of the marriage license forms requires the inclusion of one's Social Security number OR the applicant's signature on a declaration that they do not have a U.S. Social Security number. This will not impair the couple's ability to receive their marriage license.
What you need to provide
- Two (2) witnesses – the Court cannot provide them for you. They must be at least 12 years old and understand what they are witnessing.
- A valid marriage license, issued from a county in Washington State.
- Rings if you wish
**Please note –
- Washington State marriage licenses become valid for use on the third day following application and are then valid for 60 days. For example, if an application is made on Wednesday, the first day the marriage license can be used is Saturday and the last day it can be used is 60 days later.
- The wedding ceremony must take place within this period; if not, the couple will need to apply for a new marriage license.
- Under no circumstances can the three-day waiting period be waived.
- If a couple applies for their marriage license less than three days before their established wedding date, they will need to have a separate ceremony within the period the license is valid (in which the parties assent or declare, in the physical presence of the officiant and at least two attending witnesses, that they take each other to be spouses). The marriage license forms will be completed and signed using this date.
- A Washington State marriage license can be used to get married only within Washington State. A wedding ceremony on a boat must be in Washington waters.
- A marriage license purchased from any county in Washington State can be used to get married anywhere in Washington State. The permanent record of the marriage certificate will be recorded with the county from which the marriage license was purchased.
- If you plan to marry in another state or country, you will need to apply for its marriage license and comply with their laws for getting married. In order for your marriage to be recognized in Washington State as a lawful union, you must be married according to the laws governing the location at which you were married, including the completion and filing of permanent marriage records, and it cannot fall within the prohibited marriages listed in Washington state law. Obtaining certified copies of the permanent marriage record, including certified translation into English, if necessary, will prove that you were lawfully married in that location. You can, but are not required to, record that document as a safeguard against loss with King County Records.