Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a joyous union that brings two people together to share their lives and love. Before you say your vows, there are certain legal aspects that need to be taken care of, and obtaining a marriage license is one of them. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the details of acquiring a marriage license in Colorado, the fees involved, the requirements, and everything else you need to know to ensure a smooth journey to marital bliss.
Applying for a Marriage License
When you’re ready to take the plunge into matrimony, obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step. Both parties must appear in person to apply and sign the marriage application. If one person cannot be present due to illness, being out of state, or incarceration, the absent party can apply through an absentee application, which needs to be notarized beforehand.
To validate your application, certain documents are essential. These include proof of age and identity, such as a driver’s license, passport, military ID, or state-issued ID card. If either party lacks a social security number, they must sign an affidavit provided by the County Clerk’s office.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Unlike some states, there is no waiting period for getting married in Colorado. Additionally, you need not be a resident of Colorado to apply for a marriage license.
Previous Marriages and Divorce Records
If you or your partner has undergone a divorce within 30 days of applying for the marriage license, the final decree must be presented. If the divorce occurred over 30 days ago, you’ll need to provide information about the date, place, and court where the divorce was finalized.
Marriage License Fees
To obtain a marriage license in Colorado, a fee of $30 is required. This fee covers the processing and issuance of the license.
Proxy Marriages and Absentee Applications
In certain circumstances, like illness or being out of the state, one party can obtain an absentee application. This allows them to apply for the license even if they can’t be present.
Cousin Marriages and Common Law Marriages
Colorado allows first and second cousins to marry legally. Additionally, the state recognizes common law marriages.
Marriage Blood Test Requirements
Colorado does not require couples to undergo blood tests before getting married.
Changing Your Name After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
The legal age for marriage without parental consent is 18. For ages 16 and 17, a notarized Parental Consent Form signed by both parents or legal guardians is necessary. Applicants aged 15 or younger require a court order for judicial approval.
Marriage officiants in Colorado include judges, retired judges, magistrates, Indian tribe officials, and clergy. Couples can also solemnize their own marriage.
Unlike some places, witnesses are not required in Colorado. However, some officials might request witnesses.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license is valid for 35 days. The completed marriage certificate must be returned to the County Clerk’s office within 63 days after the ceremony.
Returning the Marriage Certificate
After your marriage, make sure to return the completed marriage certificate to the County Clerk’s office for recording. This is a vital step to ensure that your marriage is legally recognized.
For any additional information, you can contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Remember, getting married is a wonderful step, and understanding the legal aspects makes the journey even smoother.
- Is the marriage license fee refundable? No, the marriage license fee is non-refundable once paid.
- Can a friend or relative officiate the marriage ceremony? No, unless they are qualified as per Colorado’s guidelines, only authorized individuals can officiate.
- Is there a specific format for the absentee application? Yes, you can find the absentee application form on the County Clerk’s official website.
- Can we apply for a marriage license online? No, currently, marriage license applications must be submitted in person.
- What should we do if we miss the 35-day window for the marriage license? If the marriage license expires, you will need to reapply and pay the fee again.