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Bethel Court
Marriage License Requirements

Are you planning a wedding or vow renewal ceremony in the beautiful state of Alaska? Look no further for information on the essential legalities you need to know before saying “I do” amidst the stunning landscapes of the Last Frontier. From marriage license requirements to officiant options, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the details and ensure your Alaska wedding dreams become a reality.


Alaska, with its breathtaking natural beauty and unique charm, serves as an enchanting backdrop for weddings and vow renewals. But before you exchange your vows against this scenic panorama, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements that govern matrimonial unions in the state.

Marriage ID Requirement Alaska: Ensuring Proper Identification

Before embarking on your marital journey, ensure you have the necessary identification documents. A valid picture ID, such as a driver’s license, is essential. Additionally, a birth certificate may be required to prove your age, making it imperative to have these documents ready.

Marriage Waiting Period Requirement Alaska: Patience is Key

Alaska imposes a three-business-day waiting period upon receiving a mailed or faxed marriage license application. This means you’ll need to exercise patience before picking up your license and proceeding with your marriage ceremony.

Marriage Residency Requirement: Alaska Welcomes All

Unlike some states, Alaska does not require you to be a resident to marry within its borders. This openness allows couples from various backgrounds and locales to unite in matrimony amidst its awe-inspiring landscapes.

Previous Marriages: Navigating Past Commitments

If either party has been previously married, details such as the former spouse’s name, marriage date, and location, as well as the date and place of marriage dissolution, are essential. If the divorce occurred within the last 60 days, additional documentation, such as a divorce decree or death certificate, may be necessary before the marriage license is issued.

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Covenant Marriage: Understanding the Concept

Unlike some states, Alaska does not recognize covenant marriages, which are characterized by stricter requirements and more challenging dissolution procedures. This absence of covenant marriage allows for more straightforward marital unions.

Marriage License Fees Alaska: Costs and Considerations

A marriage license in Alaska comes with a fee of $60, payable upon issuance. This fee contributes to the administrative processes involved in formalizing your union.

Proxy Marriages: Absence Does Not Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Alaska prohibits proxy marriages, meaning both parties must be physically present, along with witnesses and the officiant, during the ceremony. This ensures that the act of marriage is a genuine and witnessed commitment.

Cousin Marriages: Family Ties in Matrimony

Alaska permits cousin marriages, making it an option for couples who share a family connection to join in matrimony.

Common Law Marriages: Dispelling the Myth

Unlike some jurisdictions, Alaska does not recognize common-law marriages. Regardless of the duration of cohabitation, a legal marriage ceremony is required to formalize the union.

Marriage Blood Test Alaska: No Pricking Required

Alaska eliminates the traditional marriage blood test and physical examination, simplifying the process for couples seeking marriage licenses.

Name Change Alaska: Transitioning into a New Name

While obtaining a marriage license with your new name is possible, it doesn’t automatically change your name. For those wishing to adopt a new name, online marriage name change kits offer a convenient solution.

Marriage Age Requirements: Seeking Parental Consent

Both parties must be at least 18 years old to marry without parental consent. Individuals aged 16 or 17 require parental consent, with specific documentation needed for those under 16.

Marriage Officiants in Alaska: From Judges to Family Members

Alaska provides a range of options for officiants, including ministers, pastors, judges, and even family members or friends. Anyone can officiate a marriage ceremony in Alaska by obtaining a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court.

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Marriage Witnesses: Sharing the Joy with Loved Ones

The presence of two witnesses is required during the wedding ceremony, allowing friends and family to be an integral part of your special day.

Expiration Date of Marriage License: Timing Your Union

Your Alaska marriage license is valid for three months from the date of issuance. Ensure that your marriage ceremony takes place within this timeframe for the license to remain valid.

Marriage Application Requirement Alaska: Navigating the Application Process

To obtain a marriage license, both parties must complete an application form, available through the Bureau office or an Alaska Court. For those out of town or state, further instructions can be obtained by contacting the court.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage License: Preserving the Memory

After your marriage ceremony, ensure you obtain a copy of your marriage certificate from the Bureau of Vital Statistics. This serves as a lasting memento of your special day.


Embarking on the journey of marriage in Alaska is an exciting endeavor, surrounded by natural wonders and heartfelt moments. By understanding the legal requirements and embracing the rich traditions of the state, you can pave the way for a meaningful and unforgettable union.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: How can I access more information about obtaining a marriage license in Alaska?

A: For comprehensive details on obtaining a marriage license in Alaska, including application procedures, required documents, and processing times, you can visit the official website of the Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics. They provide up-to-date and accurate information to guide you through the process.

Q2: Is it possible for a friend or family member to officiate our wedding ceremony in Alaska?

A: Yes, in Alaska, you have the flexibility to choose a friend or family member as the officiant for your wedding ceremony. The state allows anyone to perform a marriage ceremony, provided they obtain a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court. This unique option allows you to add a personal touch to your special day.

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Q3: What documents must I provide if I’ve been previously married?

A: If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide specific information to obtain a marriage license in Alaska. Details required include the name of your former spouse, the date and location of your previous marriage, and the date and location of the marriage’s dissolution. If the divorce occurred within the last 60 days, you may need to present additional documentation, such as a divorce decree or death certificate.

Q4: Are there any exceptions for individuals under the age of 18 who wish to marry in Alaska?

A: Yes, there are exceptions for individuals under the age of 18 who want to marry in Alaska. Those who are aged 16 or 17 must submit a parental consent form signed by both parents along with their marriage license application. If one parent has sole custody of the minor, a divorce decree indicating custody rights or a death certificate must also be provided. However, individuals under the age of 16 cannot marry without a court order in Alaska.

Q5: How can I go about changing my last name after obtaining a marriage license in Alaska?

A: If you wish to change your last name after obtaining a marriage license in Alaska, the process is not automatic. To change your last name legally, you can use an online marriage name change kit, which provides step-by-step instructions and necessary forms. This kit will help you navigate the name change process efficiently and ensure that all your identification documents are updated accordingly.

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