Marriage License Requirements in Colorado
Marriage is a beautiful and significant milestone in life, but before you embark on this journey, there are essential legal steps you need to take. One of these steps is obtaining a marriage license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining a marriage license in Colorado, including all the requirements and details you need to know. Whether you’re a Colorado resident or planning a destination wedding in the picturesque state, understanding the marriage license process is crucial. Let’s dive in!
Understanding the Importance of a Marriage License
Before you exchange vows and celebrate your love, obtaining a marriage license is a legal prerequisite. A marriage license is a document that grants you and your partner the legal right to marry. It ensures that your marriage is recognized by the state and provides essential details about the couple, such as their names, ages, and places of birth.
Applying for a Marriage License in Colorado
To apply for a marriage license in Colorado, both applicants must appear in person at the County Clerk’s office. This ensures that the process remains secure and accurate. However, if one party cannot be present due to specific reasons, such as illness or incarceration, an absentee application is possible. In such cases, the absent party must submit a notarized absentee application form along with appropriate identification.
Required Identification and Documentation
When applying for a marriage license, you’ll need to present valid identification that proves your age and identity. Acceptable forms of identification include:
- Birth Certificate
- Valid Driver’s License
- State-Issued ID Card
- Military Identification
- Alien Registration Card (Green card)
- Other U.S. Government-Issued Identification
Additionally, both parties must provide their Social Security numbers, and the application form should include details about their place of birth and parents’ names and current addresses.
Marriage License Fees in Colorado
Obtaining a marriage license comes with a fee of $30. This fee is payable in cash and covers the administrative costs associated with processing your license application.
Dispelling Myths: Waiting Periods and Residency Requirements
Contrary to common misconceptions, there is no waiting period for getting married in Colorado. Furthermore, Colorado residency is not a requirement to apply for a marriage license in the state. This means that whether you’re a Colorado resident or not, you can easily obtain a marriage license to celebrate your union in this beautiful state.
Previous Marriages: Navigating Divorce Decrees
If either party has recently gone through a divorce, certain conditions apply. If the divorce was finalized within the last 30 days, the final decree must be provided, signed by the judge or court referee. In cases where the divorce occurred more than 30 days before applying, details such as the date and place of divorce, as well as the court where it was finalized, must be provided.
Proxy Marriages: A Unique Option
In situations where one party cannot be physically present for the marriage ceremony, proxy marriages are allowed in Colorado. This means that if an individual is ill, out of state, or incarcerated, they can obtain an absentee application and have a proxy stand in for them during the ceremony.
Love Knows No Bounds: Cousin Marriages
Colorado permits first and second cousins to legally marry. This inclusive approach ensures that couples have the freedom to make their own choices when it comes to matters of the heart.
Common Law Marriages: What You Need to Know
Colorado recognizes common law marriages as legally valid. This means that if certain criteria are met, couples who have not obtained a formal marriage license can still be considered legally married under common law.
Blood Tests: An Obsolete Requirement
Unlike some states, Colorado does not require couples to undergo blood tests before obtaining a marriage license. This outdated requirement has been eliminated, making the process simpler and more convenient for couples.
The Name Change Conundrum
It’s important to note that getting a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. If you intend to change your last name, you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures. Online marriage name change kits are available to assist you in this process.
Age is Just a Number: Marriage Age Requirements
The legal age to marry without parental consent in Colorado is 18. For those aged 16 or 17, a written and notarized Parental Consent Form signed by both parents or legal guardians is required. Applicants aged 15 or younger must obtain a court order granting judicial approval, in addition to meeting other requirements.
The Authority to Officiate: Marriage Officiants
Couples in Colorado have the unique option to solemnize their own marriage. While this is a heartwarming choice, it’s important to clarify that not just anyone can officiate a wedding. Judges, retired judges, magistrates, Indian tribe officials, and clergy are authorized to officiate marriages.
Witnessing Love: Marriage Witnesses in Colorado
Unlike many states, witnesses are not required to be present during a marriage ceremony in Colorado. While some officiants may request witnesses, the state does not mandate their presence.
Expiration and Record-Keeping
A marriage license in Colorado is valid for 35 days. Following the ceremony, the completed marriage certificate, along with the attached license, must be returned to the County Clerk’s office for recording within 63 days. Late fees may apply if this deadline is not met.
Additional Resources and Contact Information
For further information and assistance with obtaining a marriage license in Colorado, you can contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at:
Address: 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South Denver, Colorado 80346-1530
Phone: Ph: 303.692.2234
In conclusion, obtaining a marriage license is a fundamental step in the journey to matrimony. By understanding the requirements and procedures involved, you can ensure that your union is legally recognized and celebrated in accordance with the laws of Colorado.
1. Can we apply for a marriage license if we’re not Colorado residents? Yes, Colorado residency is not a requirement for obtaining a marriage license in the state.
2. Is there a waiting period before getting married in Colorado? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in Colorado.
3. Can a proxy stand in for one of the parties during the marriage ceremony? Yes, proxy marriages are allowed in Colorado under certain circumstances.
4. Do we need witnesses for our marriage ceremony in Colorado? While witnesses are not mandated by the state, some officiants may request their presence.
5. How long is a Colorado marriage license valid? A marriage license in Colorado is valid for 35 days from the date of issuance.