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How to Obtain a Marriage License

Marriage license laws vary by locality; however there are many common requirements. Some or all may apply to you, so check with your local government for specifics. All states have age requirements for legal marriage, though some permit lower ages with parental consent. You will generally need an official form of age verification which may also act as your proof of identity. Locate your driverís license or state ID, birth certificate and passport as some or all may be required. Start the process early in case you need to replace any or all of the above.

Also common among most localities is the requirement of proof of dissolution of previous marriages. In other words, if you have been married before, you need to prove you are legally free to marry again.

It pays to check with your issuing office early as some have a waiting period before you can wed. Others require blood tests which must be processed before your license can be finalized. Donít jump the gun though Ė make sure you request your license within an appropriate window as many expire in 60 to 90 days.

With some exceptions, couples need to appear together at a registrar in the state, and sometimes in the specific county where they will marry. This is critical to note if youíre involved in a long-distance engagement or planning a destination wedding. You may have to plan a special trip to obtain your license.

Further, laws change dramatically from country to country, so know well in advance what you need to do if youíre planning a wedding abroad. Some countries require a translation of your identity documents, or that you publish your intention to marry in a local newspaper weeks before your ceremony. In some cases, you will need to have a legal ceremony at home and a symbolic one abroad. None of these surprises is pleasant the week of your wedding, so do your research now and be prepared.

The marriage license and your souvenir marriage certificate are two distinct documents. Advantage Bridal carries several ceremonial marriage certificates and display holders for the commemorative version of your license. Preserve the memories of your special day with one of these beautiful keepsakes.
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