Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding involves a plethora of decisions, from choosing the right venue to picking out the perfect dress. One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked in the midst of all the excitement is obtaining a marriage license. In this article, we will delve into the nitty-gritty of acquiring a marriage license in Colorado, covering all the essential details you need to know.
Obtaining a marriage license is a vital step in the process of legalizing your union. A marriage license is a legal document that permits a couple to get married. In Colorado, this process is straightforward, but it’s crucial to follow the necessary steps to ensure your marriage is recognized by the state.
To apply for a marriage license in Colorado, both applicants must appear in person at the relevant office and complete the marriage application form. If one party is unable to be present due to valid reasons such as illness, being out-of-state, or incarceration, the absentee party can submit a notarized absentee application form. Along with this, proper identification for both parties is required.
For identification, you must present a valid driver’s license issued in the United States, a passport, a military ID, or a state-issued ID card. If either party lacks a social security number, they must sign an affidavit provided by the County Clerk’s office.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Colorado does not have a waiting period for getting married. Additionally, applicants need not be Colorado residents to obtain a marriage license. This means that whether you’re a resident or not, you can easily get married in the state.
Dealing with Previous Marriages
If either party has recently gone through a divorce, the final decree must be produced, signed by the judge or court referee. This is required if the divorce was finalized within the last 30 days. For divorces finalized more than 30 days prior, details about the date, place, and court of divorce must be provided.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fee in Colorado is a modest $30, payable in cash.
Special Cases: Proxy and Cousin Marriages
Colorado allows for proxy marriages, where one party can obtain an absentee application if they cannot be present due to illness, being out of state, or incarceration. Additionally, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in Colorado.
Common Law Marriages
Colorado recognizes common law marriages, meaning that if you meet the criteria for a common law marriage, you are legally considered married without a formal ceremony.
Exemption from Blood Tests
Unlike some states, Colorado does not require blood tests as part of the marriage license application process.
Name Change After Marriage
Getting a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, an online marriage name change kit can guide you through the process.
Age Requirements and Parental Consent
The legal age for marriage without parental consent in Colorado is 18. For ages 16 and 17, a written and notarized Parental Consent Form signed by both parents or legal guardians is required. Applicants 15 years of age or younger must obtain a court order for judicial approval.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Couples can solemnize their own marriage in Colorado. Others who can officiate include judges, retired judges, magistrates, Indian tribe officials, and clergy. However, a friend or relative cannot sign as an officiant on a marriage certificate.
Need for Witnesses
Unlike some states, Colorado does not require witnesses for your marriage ceremony. However, some officials may request witnesses.
Expiration and Recording of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for 35 days. The completed marriage certificate, along with the attached license, must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within 63 days after the ceremony. Late fees may apply after this deadline.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
For a copy of the marriage certificate, you can contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Their details are provided at the end of this article.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in making your union legally recognized. By understanding the process and requirements outlined in this article, you’re well on your way to a successful and legally binding marriage. Congratulations on your journey into marital bliss!
- Can we get married immediately after obtaining the license? Yes, there is no waiting period in Colorado after obtaining a marriage license.
- Do we need witnesses for our marriage ceremony? No, Colorado does not require witnesses, though some officials may request them.
- Can we change our names through the marriage license? No, getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change it. You’ll need to follow a separate process.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Colorado? Yes, proxy marriages are allowed if certain conditions are met.
- How long do we have to return the completed marriage certificate? The completed marriage certificate must be returned within 63 days after the ceremony, or late fees may apply.