PA Marriage License Laws

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 PA Marriage Laws
What you Need to Know
By: C. CarrollCertificateOfMarriagewebstory

Are you ready to walk down the aisle and exchange vows with the one you love? Are you ready for two worlds to join as one? If you answered yes to either of these questions then here’s what you need to know in order to have a legal marriage in Pennsylvania. The marriage laws may vary from county to county as each marriage license bureau could have their own requirements and the appropriate Clerk of the Orphans’ Court office will have the specific requirements necessary in your local area.

That said, every couple that intends to get married in Pennsylvania must apply for a marriage license, and there are certain rules that govern who may get a marriage license, how to get it, and when it is valid. According to website, Pennsylvania recognizes heterosexual marriages and same-sex marriages who are not currently married to other parties. Same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania became legal on May 20, 2014, when a U.S. federal district court judged that the states 1996 statutory ban on recognizing same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The couple that wishes to be married cannot be related as first cousins, parent and child, siblings, aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, or grandparent and grandchild. A person must be at least 18 years of age in order to get married without the consent of an adult. A child who is 16 or 17 can get married with the consent of a parent. A child under the age of 16 can get married with the consent of a judge and a parent.

The couple must go in person to the county courthouse with a driver’s license passport or another form of acceptable photo id as well as proof of social security number in order to apply for a license. A license fee will be required with your application and the fee varies from $25 to $85 depending on the county. If either person has been previously married, he or she must bring proof of the divorce decree. This needs to state the date of the decree, the county and state, and provide for proof of name change if applicable. A copy of an annulment must have the same information as the divorce decree. If a widower, the date when the former spouse died is necessary.

Getting a new marriage license with your name on it doesn’t mean your name has automatically changed. An online marriage name change kit will help you with that

There is a three day waiting period in Pennsylvania and you can pick your license up at the county court house or have it mailed to you. It is valid for 60 days and a marriage license obtained in Pennsylvania can be used anywhere in Pennsylvania, not only in the county acquired. The wedding must be officiated by a current or retired PA judge, a mayor, a minister, a priest, or a rabbi of a Pennsylvania town or city.

The license must be signed and certified by the officiant, and given to the county within 10 days of the wedding. If it’s not returned in time, the wedding may not be considered valid, and you may have to apply for a new license.


Where to go to Apply:

Berks County
Register of Wills
633 Court St., 2nd flr.
Reading, PA 19601
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / M – F
$55 cash, check, Visa and Mastercard.

Bucks County
Register & Clerk of Orphans’ Court
55 E. Court Street
3rd Floor, Administration Building
Doylestown, PA 18901
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F
$60 cash or money order.

Carbon County
Register & Clerk of Orphans’ Court
1 Hazard Square, 1st floor
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F
$50 cash or money order.

Lehigh County
Orphans’ Court Division
455 W. Hamilton Street
Room 123.5
Allentown, PA 18105
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / M – F
Note: Please arrive by 4:00 p.m.
$50 cash, credit or debit. Register of Wills

Luzerne County
Penn Place Annex
20 N. Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
closed 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. / M – F
$50 cash only.

Monroe County
Register of Wills
7th & Monroe Streets
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. / M – F
$40 cash only.

Northampton County
Register & Clerk of Orphans’ Court
669 Washington St.
Government Center
Easton, PA 18042
610.559.3094 or 95
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. / M – F
$50 cash only.