Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding or vow renewal ceremony can be both exciting and overwhelming. One of the essential elements of a wedding is finding the right wedding officiant to solemnize your special day. In Alaska, you have various options for wedding officiants, and this article will guide you through the process of choosing the perfect officiant for your wedding. From marriage license requirements to the role of witnesses, we will cover all the details you need to know. So, let’s dive in!
Marriage ID Requirement in Alaska
To obtain a marriage license in Alaska, you will need to provide a picture ID such as a driver’s license. Additionally, a birth certificate may be required to show proof of age.
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement
Alaska has a three (3) business day waiting period that starts once the application is received by the issuing office. This means you must wait for at least three full business days after submitting the application before you can pick up the marriage license and have the marriage ceremony performed.
Marriage Residency Requirement
The good news is that you do not have to be a resident of Alaska to get married there. Regardless of where you reside, you can tie the knot in Alaska.
Previous Marriages and Covenant Marriage
If either party has been previously married, you will need to provide details about the former spouse, including the date and place of the previous marriage and when it ended. If the previous marriage ended within the past 60 days, you may be required to present a copy of the divorce decree signed by the judge, or a death certificate before the marriage license is issued. In Alaska, covenant marriages are not recognized.
Marriage License Fees in Alaska
Obtaining a marriage license in Alaska comes with a fee of $60, which must be paid when the license is issued.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages, where someone stands in for one of the parties, are not allowed in Alaska. Both parties must be physically present, along with two witnesses and the officiant, for the marriage ceremony to take place. However, cousin marriages are permitted.
Common Law Marriages in Alaska
Unlike some states, Alaska does not recognize common-law marriages. In Alaska, a valid marriage requires obtaining a marriage license and having the marriage ceremony performed by an authorized officiant.
Marriage Blood Test Requirements
The good news for couples planning to marry in Alaska is that no blood test or physical exam is required to obtain a marriage license.
Name Change After Marriage in Alaska
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name after marriage, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both parties must be 18 years of age or older to marry without parental consent in Alaska. For individuals under the age of 18, parental consent is required. Exceptions are made for members of the armed forces of the United States on active duty, who do not need parental consent but must provide military papers as proof of active duty status. Those aged 16 and 17 must submit a parental consent form signed by both parents. Marriage for individuals under the age of 16 requires a court order.
Marriage Officiants in Alaska
In Alaska, there are several types of recognized wedding officiants. These include licensed ministers or pastors of recognized religious societies, current or retired Alabama judges, a minister, priest, recognized leader, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, or a judicial officer of the state. Additionally, anyone can perform a marriage ceremony in Alaska, provided they obtain a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court. More information about Marriage Commissioner appointments is available through the Alaska Court System.
Alaska requires two witnesses to be present at the wedding ceremony.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
An Alaskan marriage license is valid for three (3) months from the date of issuance. The marriage must take place within this period; otherwise, the license will no longer be valid. Furthermore, the marriage must be performed within the state of Alaska or in Alaska State waters.
Marriage Application Requirements
Before a marriage license is issued, both parties must complete an application form. If one party is out of town or out of state, they should contact the court for further instructions. The completed application form must be witnessed by a Notary Public if mailed or faxed in. Applications should be submitted to the Bureau office or Alaska Court closest to where the marriage ceremony will be performed or where either party can easily pick up the marriage license.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
After the wedding ceremony, you can obtain a copy of your marriage license from the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. You can request the certificate by mail:
Bureau of Vital Statistics Alaska Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110610 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0610 Ph: 907.465.3393 Fx: 907.586.1877
Choosing the right wedding officiant is an important decision in the wedding planning process. Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of marriage requirements and officiants in Alaska, you can make an informed choice for your special day. Remember to complete the necessary paperwork and submit your application ahead of time to ensure a smooth and stress-free wedding experience.
- Can I have a proxy marriage in Alaska? No, Alaska does not allow proxy marriages. Both parties must be physically present, along with two witnesses and the officiant, for the marriage ceremony to take place.
- Do I need parental consent to marry in Alaska if I am under 18? Yes, if you are between 16 and 17 years old, you will need parental consent. Those under 16 years of age can marry only with a court order.
- Can anyone officiate a marriage ceremony in Alaska? Yes, as long as the individual obtains a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court.
- How long is an Alaskan marriage license valid? An Alaskan marriage license is valid for three (3) months from the date of issuance.
- Can I change my last name after marriage on the marriage license? No, obtaining a marriage license with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. You can use an online marriage name change kit to change your last name after marriage.