Marriage License Requirements
Are wedding bells in your future? Planning a wedding involves a multitude of decisions, from the venue to the cake, and even down to the nitty-gritty details like the marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining a marriage license in Colorado, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for your journey to happily ever after.
Applying for a Marriage License
The journey to a legally recognized union starts with applying for a marriage license. Here are the key steps to consider:
Appearing in Person
Both parties intending to marry must appear in person to apply for and sign the marriage application. This requirement ensures the authenticity and mutual consent of both individuals.
In cases where one party can’t appear due to circumstances such as illness, out-of-state residence, or incarceration, the applying party must bring an absentee application form, along with notarized identification for the absent individual. This process guarantees that even under special circumstances, the marriage application process maintains its integrity.
Valid identification is crucial when applying for a marriage license. Accepted forms of identification include a United States Driver’s License, Passport, Military ID, or State-issued ID Card.
Social Security Number
Both parties should have a social security number. If not, an affidavit provided by the County Clerk’s office must be signed during the application process.
Providing Birth Details and Parent Information
The application form requires details such as the city and state of birth, as well as the current addresses of both parties’ parents. This information helps in maintaining accurate records.
Accepted Forms of Identification
Various forms of identification are accepted for marriage license applications:
- Birth Certificate
- Valid Driver’s License (or a temporary license issued with a voided previous one)
- Passport (both expired and valid)
- Valid state identification card (or a temporary one with a voided previous ID)
- Military identification
- Alien Registration Card (Green card)
- Any U.S. government-issued identification containing essential details
No Waiting Period
Unlike in some states, there’s no waiting period for getting married in Colorado. You can tie the knot as soon as you have your license in hand.
Colorado is a welcoming state when it comes to marriage licenses. You and your partner need not be residents to apply for a marriage license.
Navigating Previous Marriages
If either party has recently finalized a divorce, the final decree must be presented if the divorce occurred within the past 30 days. For divorces finalized more than 30 days ago, details such as the date, place of divorce, and court information are required.
Marriage License Fees
The cost of a marriage license in Colorado is $30. This fee is a standard requirement for obtaining the license.
Special circumstances such as illness, out-of-state residency, or incarceration can lead to proxy marriages. In these cases, one party can obtain an absentee application to proceed with the marriage process.
Surprisingly, Colorado allows first and second cousins to marry legally.
Embracing Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are recognized in Colorado, providing an alternative route to legal matrimony.
Skipping the Blood Test
Good news for those who dread needles: Colorado does not require blood tests before marriage.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name isn’t synonymous with an automatic name change. For a name change, you can explore online marriage name change kits.
Age Requirements for Marriage
If you’re 18 or older, you can marry without parental consent. For ages 16 and 17, a notarized Parental Consent Form signed by legal guardians or parents is mandatory. Applicants younger than 15 require a court order for judicial approval.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Couples in Colorado have diverse options for marriage officiants, including judges, retired judges, magistrates, Indian tribe officials, and clergy. The process of self-solemnization is also allowed, but friends or relatives cannot officiate unless authorized.
The Need for Witnesses
Unlike in some states, witnesses are not mandatory for your Colorado marriage ceremony. However, some officiants might request them.
Marriage License Expiration
A marriage license in Colorado is valid for 35 days. After the ceremony, the completed marriage certificate (attached to the license) must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within 63 days for recording. Late fees apply after this period.
Recording Your Marriage Certificate
Once your ceremony is over, don’t forget to complete the process by recording your marriage certificate. The completed certificate and license should be submitted to the County Clerk’s office for accurate documentation.
In conclusion, the journey to obtaining a marriage license in Colorado involves several steps, from presenting valid identification to understanding the state’s unique regulations. With this comprehensive guide, you’re equipped to navigate the path to marital bliss confidently.
Q1: How much does a marriage license cost in Colorado? A1: The marriage license fee in Colorado is $30.
Q2: Can I marry my cousin in Colorado? A2: Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in Colorado.
Q3: Is there a waiting period for getting married in Colorado? A3: No, there’s no waiting period in the state of Colorado.
Q4: Can we officiate our own marriage ceremony? A4: Yes, couples can solemnize their own marriage, but friends or relatives cannot sign as officiants unless authorized.
Q5: How long is a Colorado marriage license valid? A5: A marriage license in Colorado is valid for 35 days, and the completed certificate must be recorded within 63 days after the ceremony.