ContractsCounsel Logo
Home Blog Marriage License Cost

Jump to Section

ContractsCounsel has assisted 22 clients with wedding contracts and maintains a network of 24 family lawyers available daily.

The marriage license costs from $40 to $80, with some states charging as low as thirty dollars and others going up to around ninety-three dollars. Many couples who are planning to get married in California usually ask about the cost of obtaining a marriage license. Budgeting for a wedding is a significant determinant that people consider when it comes time for them to apply for the same in California because it is one of their legal mandates that ought to be fulfilled before such a couple can become legal mates. In light of this, we will give an all-inclusive report on marrying in California, including the charges involved and eligibility requirements among many other things required by couples before they can do anything regarding applying for legalizing their relationships with each other.

Key Points About Marriage License Costs

Depending on the state or even county where you intend to hold your nuptial ceremony, getting married has different costs attached to it. The average cost is roughly between $40 and $80. However, some states charge as little as $30, but others go up to $93. Additionally, certain counties may have additional charges, such as certified copies of marriage certificates or fee waivers, if you cannot provide all necessary credentials.

It should be noted that even if you decide against having a wedding at the last minute, normally, nonrefundable fees are charged on application for matrimonial certificates. Moreover, bear in mind that you may have to pay at your earliest convenience after applying to this document.

What Covers Marriage License Cost

  • Legal Status: Paying the marriage license fee means that your union will be legally recognized by California as a married couple. Otherwise, without it, there will be no kind of union or rights provided by law through engagement in matrimony.
  • Processing and Documentation: This covers the processing of marriage license applications and their issuance after performing wedding ceremonies alongside other relevant documents. These processes include checking whether the parties meet lawful requirements towards maturity rates during courtship, authenticating their identification, and registration of the new wedlock.
  • Public Health Services: As such, this fee also contributes to the provision of funds for keeping track of vital records and public health services. It involves maintaining family files within the district, monitoring health trends and statistics, as well as having resources for public stakeholder campaigns.
  • Legal Benefits and Protections: By meeting these conditions, including paying the license charge, couples are entitled to benefits like joint tax filing status and spouse’s medical insurance coverage, among other rights reserved for only married people, while making medical choices on behalf of one another.
  • Social and Cultural Significance: However, there can be a social or cultural dimension attached to parting with money to get married. This signifies that both partners have made up their minds to stay together and conform to marriage traditions in society.

Marriage licenses ensure that marriages are recognized by law, documented through official records, supported by vital public services, and protected by laws. They also have significant legal implications for couples as well as cultural and social importance.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Ryenne S.

651 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Umar F.

1 project on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Faryal A.

198 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Darryl S.

57 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

How to Get a Marriage License

The methods involved in acquiring permission to conduct marriage ceremonies differ from one state or county to another, but normally, they require filling out an application form along with some proof. For example, a driver’s license number or passport normally serves as evidence of your age and identity, while those who have been previously married may provide divorce decrees plus death certificates where possible.

There may be the need to also take a blood test or go for premarital counseling in some states before you can be issued with a marriage certificate. Make sure that you check for your state and county requirements well in advance of your wedding date because certain states require waiting periods of several days or even weeks between making an application for a marriage license and its use.

Different State Charges on Marriage Licenses

As previously stated, the cost of getting married varies greatly from one state to another. Furthermore, apart from the actual fee, some states may charge additional costs such as certified copies of the marriage license or waiver fees in case all required documents are not available.

For example, in California, different counties charge differently for marriage licenses; $85 in some counties while others charge $91. In New York City, one is charged $35 as a fee for getting their marriage certificate, but if you want to get married immediately without waiting, then you will have to pay an extra fee of $25.

To obtain an accurate estimate of the amount it will cost you to get a marriage certificate in your state and county, visit either the website of the local clerk’s office or the registrar’s office. They will have information concerning all charges associated with obtaining a license, including any supplementary details like required documents.

Marriage License Requirements

Besides these costs, as well as procedures involved during the application process for obtaining this document, there could be other demands or papers that need to be produced when applying. For instance, certain jurisdictions require couples to wait after submitting their applications but before using their licenses. The holding period ranges between two or three days up to several weeks across different jurisdictions.

Other venues may also require proof that would show that couples had taken part in mandatory counseling sessions offered by some courts before they officially acquired their marriage certificates. Consequently, these prerequisites depend on various regulations requiring thorough understanding at the individual level. Hence, careful checking on them is necessary.

Another piece of documentation that must be provided when applying for this type of license is a decree of divorce or death certificate if you have been previously married. This will help to indicate that you are free to marry once again.

Therefore, it would be advisable to check all the requirements for your state and county well before your wedding day so that you can start planning on how to get some necessary documents, if there are any, or have enough time for counseling sessions as required.

Key Terms for Marriage License Costs

  • Marriage License Fee: It’s the cost imposed on couples intending to obtain marriage certificates.
  • Waiting Period: It’s the amount of time between the submission of applications for a marriage grant and its use.
  • Premarital Counseling: It’s mandatory advice sessions organized by some courts before issuing these legal permits.
  • Divorce Decree: This refers to a document certifying the right to remarry after divorce proceedings have ended in court.
  • Death Certificate: It is an official paper proving eligibility for remarriage after spousal demise.

Final Thoughts on Marriage License Costs

Although the amount of money spent on marriage licensing may seem almost insignificant when compared to other wedding expenses, it is a very important part of the process and should not be ignored. You can avoid any complications that might arise when applying for a marriage license by taking into account your state and county requirements as well as their costs. Remember to include the price of a marriage license when planning your overall wedding budget, keeping in mind any waiting periods or additional fees that may be assessed. However, before you start looking for a license, you need to sit down and plan for how much it will cost, among other things. This implies that you have to know the expenses required to get this document to keep within your means during the preparation for the wedding day. The cost of getting married entails making several plans in advance and ensuring everything is paid in time. Therefore, make sure that you are conversant with the charges associated with obtaining a license so as not to have trouble later on.

If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, Click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.


ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.


Need help with a Wedding Contract?

Create a free project posting
Clients Rate Lawyers 4.9 Stars
based on 11,298 reviews

Meet some of our Lawyers

Scott S. on ContractsCounsel
View Scott
5.0 (47)
Member Since:
October 27, 2021

Scott S.

Attorney
Free Consultation
New York, NY
17 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Benjamin Cardozo School of Law

Scott graduated from Cardozo Law School and also has an English degree from Penn. His practice focuses on business law and contracts, with an emphasis on commercial transactions and negotiations, document drafting and review, employment, business formation, e-commerce, technology, healthcare, privacy, data security and compliance. While he's worked with large, established companies, he particularly enjoys collaborating with startups. Prior to starting his own practice in 2011, Scott worked in-house for over 5 years with businesses large and small. He also handles real estate leases, website and app Terms of Service and privacy policies, and pre- and post-nup agreements.

Ted A. on ContractsCounsel
View Ted
4.9 (19)
Member Since:
August 10, 2023
Daehoon P. on ContractsCounsel
View Daehoon
4.7 (119)
Member Since:
November 26, 2021

Daehoon P.

Corporate and Commercial Lawyer
Free Consultation
New York, NY
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
American University Washington College of Law

Advised startups and established corporations on a wide range of commercial and corporate matters, including VC funding, technology law, and M&A. Commercial and Corporate Matters • Advised companies on commercial and corporate matters and drafted corporate documents and commercial agreements—including but not limited to —Convertible Note, SAFE, Promissory Note, Terms and Conditions, SaaS Agreement, Employment Agreement, Contractor Agreement, Joint Venture Agreement, Stock Purchase Agreement, Asset Purchase Agreement, Shareholders Agreement, Partnership Agreement, Franchise Agreement, License Agreement, and Financing Agreement. • Drafted and revised internal regulations of joint venture companies (board of directors, employment, office organization, discretional duty, internal control, accounting, fund management, etc.) • Advised JVs on corporate structuring and other legal matters • Advised startups on VC funding Employment Matters • Drafted a wide range of employment agreements, including dental associate agreements, physician employment agreements, startup employment agreements, and executive employment agreements. • Advised clients on complex employment law matters and drafted employment agreements, dispute settlement agreements, and severance agreements. General Counsel • As outside general counsel, I advised startups on ICOs, securities law, business licenses, regulatory compliance, and other commercial and corporate matters. • Drafted or analyzed coin or token sale agreements for global ICOs. • Assisted clients with corporate formations, including filing incorporation documents and foreign corporation registrations, drafting operating and partnership agreements, and creating articles of incorporation and bylaws. Dispute Resolution • Conducted legal research, and document review, and drafted pleadings, motions, and other trial documents. • Advised the client on strategic approaches to discovery proceedings and settlement negotiation. • Advised clients on employment dispute settlements.

Terence B. on ContractsCounsel
View Terence
5.0 (45)
Member Since:
August 23, 2020

Terence B.

Partner
Free Consultation
Orlando, FL and New York, NY
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, NY
Georgetown University Law Center

Terry Brennan is an experienced corporate, intellectual property and emerging company transactions attorney who has been a partner at two national Wall Street law firms and a trusted corporate counsel. He focuses on providing practical, cost-efficient and creative legal advice to entrepreneurs, established enterprises and investors for business, corporate finance, intellectual property and technology transactions. As a partner at prominent law firms, Terry's work centered around financing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities transactions, outsourcing and structuring of business entities to protect, license, finance and commercialize technology, manufacturing, digital media, intellectual property, entertainment and financial assets. As the General Counsel of IBAX Healthcare Systems, Terry was responsible for all legal and related business matters including health information systems licensing agreements, merger and acquisitions, product development and regulatory issues, contract administration, and litigation. Terry is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Editor of the law review. He is active in a number of economic development, entrepreneurial accelerators, veterans and civic organizations in Florida and New York.

Rosario A. on ContractsCounsel
View Rosario
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
August 24, 2020

Rosario A.

Trademark Attorney
Free Consultation
Seattle, WA
4 Yrs Experience
Licensed in WA
University of Washington

I'm a Washington-licensed lawyer specializing in trademark practice and with an extensive trademark education and academic background. I currently work with domestic and international businesses seeking trademark protection in the U.S. by conducting trademark searches, providing legal advice, submitting USPTO applications, and preparing responses to office actions. I'm passionate about trademark law and always looking forward to helping small and medium businesses promote their value by having a registered federal trademark. If you have questions or concerns about trademark/copyright/IP licensing and require legal advice, feel free to contact me and we can have a first chat.

Braden P. on ContractsCounsel
View Braden
Member Since:
August 18, 2020

Braden P.

Partner
Free Consultation
Kansas City, MO
22 Yrs Experience
Licensed in KS, MO
University of Kansas School of Law

Braden Perry is a corporate governance, regulatory and government investigations attorney with Kennyhertz Perry, LLC. Mr. Perry has the unique tripartite experience of a white-collar criminal defense and government compliance, investigations, and litigation attorney at a national law firm; a senior enforcement attorney at a federal regulatory agency; and the Chief Compliance Officer/Chief Regulatory Attorney of a global financial institution. Mr. Perry has extensive experience advising clients in federal inquiries and investigations, particularly in enforcement matters involving technological issues. He couples his technical knowledge and experience defending clients in front of federal agencies with a broad-based understanding of compliance from an institutional and regulatory perspective.

William F. on ContractsCounsel
View William
Member Since:
August 18, 2020

William F.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Denver, CO
18 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CO
University of Wyoming

William L Foster has been practicing law since 2006 as an attorney associate for a large litigation firm in Denver, Colorado. His experience includes drafting business contracts, organizational filings, and settlement agreements.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

View Trustpilot Review

Need help with a Wedding Contract?

Create a free project posting
Clients Rate Lawyers 4.9 Stars
based on 11,298 reviews
CONTRACT LAWYERS BY TOP CITIES
See All Family Lawyers

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

View Trustpilot Review

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

View Trustpilot Review

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

View Trustpilot Review

Need help with a Wedding Contract?

Create a free project posting
Clients Rate Lawyers 4.9 Stars
based on 11,298 reviews

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city