Getting Married in Alaska: A Guide to Obtaining a Marriage License
Alaska is a beautiful place to get married, with stunning natural scenery from the mountains to the ocean. If you’re planning a wedding in The Last Frontier, you’ll need to obtain a marriage license beforehand. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get a marriage license in Alaska.
Who Can Get Married in Alaska?
To get married in Alaska, you must meet certain requirements:
- You must be 18 years of age or older. If you’re 16-17, you’ll need consent from a parent or guardian.
- You can’t be married to someone else at the time of application.
- You don’t have to be an Alaska resident to apply for a license.
- Same-sex couples can legally marry in Alaska.
- First cousins may marry in Alaska.
So as long as you meet these qualifications, you’re eligible to apply for an Alaska marriage license.
When to Apply for the License
You should apply for an Alaska marriage license 1-60 days before your wedding date.
The license is valid for 3 months from the date of issuance. Note that licenses cannot be issued more than 60 days prior.
Apply early enough to allow time for mailing if needed, but don’t apply too far in advance. Aim for 1-2 months beforehand to be safe.
Where to Obtain the Marriage License
You can get a marriage license from any Alaska Court or Clerk’s Office. Locations include:
- Anchorage Court
- Fairbanks Court
- Juneau Court
- Ketchikan Court
- Many other regional courts and municipal offices
Visit Alaska Court System to find a court near your wedding location.
You can apply in person or by mail. More on how to apply below.
How to Apply for an Alaska Marriage License
To apply, both partners must provide the following:
- A photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport
- Proof of age if under 18 (birth certificate or passport)
- Parental consent forms if under 18
- Certified copy of birth certificate
- Certified copy of divorce decree or annulment if previously married
- Death certificate for previous spouse if widowed
- $60 application fee
With these documents, you can apply in person or by mail:
Visit a court office with all required paperwork. Complete the application, pay fee, and get your certified license.
Download the marriage license application and mail to the court with all required documents. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Once approved, the court will mail back your certified license.
Completing the Marriage License Application
The application asks for basic information from each partner:
- Legal name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Number of previous marriages
- Parents’ full names
- Parents’ places of birth
- Social Security numbers
Provide complete and accurate details. Any name changes must be accompanied by legal documentation.
Both partners must sign the application in front of a notary if submitting by mail.
About the Actual Marriage License
Once issued, here are key things to know about your Alaska marriage license:
- It will be printed on secure paper with specific identifiers.
- Verify all details are accurate before leaving the court.
- The license is valid for 3 months from the issue date.
- The ceremony must be performed within Alaska state limits.
Your officiant will complete the certificate portion after the ceremony and file it with the state.
Officiants Authorized to Perform Marriages
Your Alaska marriage license must be officiated by authorized personnel:
- Judges or magistrates
- Recognized clergy
- Tribal chief
- Mayor of a city, town, or village
- Marriage commissioner appointed by the state
Ask your officiant to ensure they’re authorized before booking them.
Changing Your Name After Marriage
To change your last name after marriage in Alaska:
- Check “change of name” on the marriage license application
- Show proof such as a driver’s license or Social Security card
Or complete a separate name change petition after the wedding.
Name changes for either spouse are not automatic. Follow proper protocol to make it official.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alaska Marriage Licenses
Here are answers to some common FAQs:
Do both partners have to apply together? No, you can submit applications separately if needed. But signature of both partners is required.
Can we get married the same day we apply? No. There is a 3-day waiting period after applying before you can get married.
Is a blood test required? No, Alaska does not require a blood test to get married.
Is there a residency requirement? No, you don’t have to be an Alaska resident to apply.
Do we have to get married in the same place we apply? No, you can apply in one location and have the ceremony elsewhere in Alaska.
Getting married in Alaska is an incredible experience. Start by applying for your marriage license from an Alaska Court or Clerk’s Office 1-2 months prior to your wedding date. Submit all required paperwork and fees for approval. Use an authorized officiant at your ceremony and file the certificate after. Then enjoy wedded bliss in America’s northernmost state!