Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to tying the knot in the picturesque landscapes of Alaska, finding the perfect wedding officiant is a crucial step in making your special day truly unforgettable. Whether you’re planning a grand ceremony or an intimate vow renewal, Alaska offers a range of wedding officiants who can help you celebrate your love in a way that resonates with you and your partner.
Your wedding day is a cherished milestone, and having the right wedding officiant can set the tone for the entire celebration. Alaska offers a unique backdrop for couples looking to exchange their vows, from breathtaking mountain vistas to serene waterfront settings. But before you say “I do,” it’s essential to understand the legal requirements and options available to you.
Marriage Requirements in Alaska
Legal Age to Marry
In Alaska, both parties must be 18 years of age or older to marry without parental consent. For those aged 16 and 17, a parental consent form signed by both parents is required. If one parent has sole custody, additional documentation such as a divorce decree or death certificate is necessary. Marriages under the age of 16 require a court order.
The great news is that you do not need to be a resident of Alaska to get married there. Whether you’re a local or planning a destination wedding, Alaska welcomes couples from all walks of life.
If either party has been previously married, details about the former spouse’s name, marriage date, and place, as well as the date and place the marriage ended, are required. If the previous marriage ended within the past 60 days, additional documentation such as a divorce decree or death certificate may be needed.
Marriage License Fees
Obtaining a marriage license in Alaska comes with a fee of $60, which is payable upon issuance. It’s essential to budget for this expense as you plan your wedding.
Marriage Waiting Period
Alaska has a three-business-day waiting period that begins once a mailed or faxed marriage license application is received. This waiting period allows time for processing before the license can be picked up and the marriage ceremony conducted.
Alaska does not require couples to enter into a covenant marriage, leaving you with the flexibility to choose the type of marriage that suits you best.
Marriage Application Process
Completing the Application
Before a marriage license can be issued, an application form must be completed. Each party should fill out part of the form, and if one party is out of town or out of state, contacting the court for further instructions is essential.
To validate your application, both parties will need to provide picture identification, such as a driver’s license. Additionally, a birth certificate may be required to verify age. If either party has been divorced within the last 60 days, a certified copy of the divorce decree is necessary. Mailed or faxed applications must be witnessed by a Notary Public.
In Alaska, the options for marriage officiants are diverse. You can choose a licensed minister, a recognized leader from a religious society, a judge, a marriage commissioner, or even a friend or family member. The Alaska Court System offers information on how to obtain a marriage commissioner appointment.
Proxy marriages, where someone stands in for the other party, are not permitted in Alaska. Both parties must be present, along with two witnesses and the officiant, for the ceremony to take place.
Alaska permits cousin marriages, allowing couples who are cousins to legally marry.
The Wedding Ceremony
Having two witnesses present for the wedding ceremony is a requirement in Alaska. They play a vital role in validating the marriage.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Your marriage license will be valid for three months from the date of issuance. It’s important to plan your wedding ceremony within this timeframe to ensure the license remains valid.
After the Ceremony
Changing Your Name
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, consider using an online marriage name change kit to streamline the process.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
Once you’re officially married, you can obtain a copy of your marriage license certificate from the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes provide an ideal backdrop for your dream wedding or vow renewal. With flexible legal requirements and various officiant options, you have the freedom to customize your ceremony to reflect your unique love story. Remember to plan ahead, gather the necessary documentation, and explore the myriad possibilities that Alaska offers. Your journey to marital bliss begins with finding the right officiant and celebrating your love in a setting that captures the heart and soul of this beautiful state.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a friend or family member officiate the wedding?
Absolutely! In Alaska, anyone can perform a marriage ceremony as long as they obtain a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court.
What is the marriage waiting period in Alaska?
There is a three-business-day waiting period from the time a mailed or faxed application is received to when the marriage license can be picked up.
Is a blood test required for marriage?
No, Alaska does not require a blood test or physical exam for marriage.
How long is the marriage license valid?
The marriage license is valid for three months from the date of issuance.
What if one party is under 18 years old?
Couples aged 16 and 17 can marry with parental consent. Those under 16 can only marry with a court order.