|The Timeless Traditionalist - Wedding and Ceremony Officiation by Karen D. Hill
Here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a marriage license application in Franklin County. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your ceremony date.
It is important that you verify all information with your County Office Of Register Of Deeds before making any wedding or travel plans.
Marriage License North Carolina
Obtaining A Marriage License
To obtain a marriage license, both bride and groom must do the following:
- Complete a marriage application form.
- Present identification that in the determination of the Register Of Deeds the applicants to the marriage are at a minimum age of 18 years and are authorized to be married under the laws of this state.
- Types of identification accepted are a current and valid government issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, etc.
- The applicants (both) must bring their Social Security card. For applicants without Social Security numbers, see "Additional Information".
- How Does a Marriage License Cost?
Pay a fee of $60 cash only.
- If you are going to make a name change to your driver's license and Social Security card, a certified copy of the marriage license will be needed. Therefore, an additional $10 copy fee is required.
- After you get your marriage certificate, you should change your name, if you are inclined to do so, on all documents and license.
"The consent of a male and a female person who may lawfully marry, presently to take each other as husband and wife, freely, seriously and plainly expressed by each in the presence of the other, and in the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, minister of officer that such persons are husband and wife, shall be a valid and sufficient marriage; provided, that the rite of marriage among the Society of Friends, according to a form and custom peculiar to themselves, shall not be interfered with by the provisions of this Chapter: provided further, that marriages solemnized and witnessed by a local Assembly of the Baha' is according to the usage of their religious community is valid."
- There shall be an oath administered to each and every applicant presenting information contained on said marriage license form as to the information contained is correct and that such person is entitled to such license according to law.
- License is valid immediately upon issuance. (There is no waiting period to be married in this state.)
- License is valid in any county of this state for a period of 60 days after issuance. The person performing the marriage ceremony must return both copies of the license filled in and completed to the COUNTY WHERE THE LICENSE WAS ISSUED.
- No physician's health certificate is required.
- If applicant for the license does not have a social security number and states that he or she is ineligible to obtain one then said applicant shall provide a statement sworn to or affirmed before an officer authorized to administer oaths.
- The listing of the race or education level on the marriage license form is optional.
- Once the marriage has in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination or federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe been returned to the office of issuance, certified copy of such shall be issued at a cost of $10 each. [Fee effective January 1, 2002.] (Obtain copies from the County where the License was issued not where the marriage ceremony occurred.)
- Applicants 16 or 17 years of age must have written consent by the appropriate persons as follows: by a parent, agency, or institution having legal custody or serving as a guardian of the underage party. This written consent shall be acknowledged before a Notary Public or signed in the presence of the Register of Deeds. Written consent shall however not be necessary if minor has been issued a certificate of emancipation from a court of law.
- Applicants over 14 years of age and under 16 may marry only with the consent of the District Court Judge after a judicial hearing to determine if such marriage is in their best interest.
- Applicants under 14 years of age shall not be eligible for a marriage license.
- Applicants who have been divorced must provide the month and year of their last divorce. If the divorce was finialized within sixty (60) days of obtaining the license, the applicant must provide (actual document) an original or certified copy of the divorce decree. There is no waiting period between the divorce and applying for a new license.
- Marriage may be performed by the following: (ordained minister) (minister authorized by his or her church) (resident Superior Court Judge) (magistrate) (society of friends) (local spiritual assembly of the Baha) (Federal or State recognized Indian Nations or Tribes) and (any person authorized by any religious denomination).
- Marriage must be witnessed by two persons who are present at the marriage ceremony; they must sign both the original and copy in legible handwriting and in ink and include their address. In addition, the person performing the marriage must do the same.
- The license must be returned to the Register Of Deeds where the License was issued within 10 days after the marriage celebration by the person performing the marriage or be subject to being guilty of a misdemeanor (class 1) and a $200 fine.
- No marriage of kinship closer than first cousin is lawful.
- Marriage between all races shall be accepted.
- See North Carolina General Statute Chapter 151 for the complete marriage requirements.
THE REGISTER OF DEEDS SHALL UPON PROPER APPLICATION ISSUE A LICENSE for the marriage of any two qualified persons who have in his or her opinion answered all the questions regarding age, marital status, intention to marry. The Register Of Deeds shall determine that the persons are authorized to be married in accordance with the laws of this state, and in doing so may require the applicants to present certified copies of birth records or such other evidence as he or she deems necessary to determine that said parties are eligible for such license.
When a license is obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, a parent of the underage party or a person, agency or institution having legal custody or serving as a guardian of the under age party or a guardian ad litem is the proper party to bring action to annul the marriage.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage:
NC Vital Records
P.O. Box 29537
Raleigh, NC 27626-0537
Phone: (919) 733-3526
While these guidelines are based on North Carolina state laws, some rules may vary from county to county. A call to the appropriate town or city clerk is advisable. State and county marriage license requirements often change.
The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.