Skagway Court
Marriage License Requirements

If you’re considering tying the knot in the picturesque state of Alaska, there are several important steps you need to know about. From marriage license requirements to ceremony options, this guide will walk you through everything you need to make your dream wedding a reality. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, planning a lavish celebration or an intimate elopement, Alaska offers a unique and stunning backdrop for your special day.

Introduction: The Magic of Alaska Weddings

Alaska, with its breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty, is an enchanting destination for couples looking to exchange their vows. From the towering mountains to the glistening glaciers, the state offers a backdrop that is nothing short of magical. If you’re considering saying “I do” in this picturesque paradise, let’s explore the steps you’ll need to take to make your union official.

Obtaining a Marriage License

Understanding the Basics

Before you embark on your journey as a married couple, you’ll need to obtain a marriage license. This legal document is essential for formalizing your marriage and is a requirement across the United States. Alaska has specific guidelines that you should be aware of to ensure a smooth process.

Required Documents

To apply for a marriage license in Alaska, you’ll need to present certain documents. These typically include a valid picture ID, such as a driver’s license, and in some cases, a birth certificate to verify your age. It’s important to have these documents ready when you visit the issuing office.

Waiting Period

Alaska has a three-business-day waiting period after you’ve submitted your application before you can pick up your marriage license and proceed with the ceremony. Keep this waiting period in mind as you plan the logistics of your wedding day.

Residency Requirement

The great news is that you do not have to be a resident of Alaska to get married in the state. Whether you’re a local or traveling from afar, Alaska welcomes couples from all walks of life to celebrate their love within its borders.

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Dealing with Previous Marriages

Divorce and Marriage Records

If you or your spouse have been previously married, you’ll need to provide information about the former spouse, including the date and place of the previous marriage and its termination. If the previous marriage ended within the last 60 days, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as a copy of the divorce decree or a death certificate.

Covenant Marriage

Alaska does not require couples to enter into a covenant marriage, making the process of obtaining a marriage license straightforward and accessible.

Exploring Marriage License Fees

Financial Considerations

While love may be priceless, there are some financial considerations to keep in mind when obtaining your Alaska marriage license. The marriage license fee is $60, and this fee must be paid when the license is issued. Be sure to factor this into your wedding budget.

Payment Process

The payment process for the marriage license fee is relatively simple. You’ll need to make the payment at the time of application, typically in-person at the issuing office. This fee contributes to the administrative costs associated with processing your marriage license.

The Ceremony: Who Can Officiate?

Legal Officiants

Alaska recognizes several categories of individuals who can officiate a marriage ceremony. These include licensed ministers or pastors of recognized religious societies, current or retired judges, and more. The state also permits individuals who obtain a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court to perform marriage ceremonies.

Alaska Marriage Commissioners

One unique feature of getting married in Alaska is the opportunity for almost anyone to become a marriage commissioner for a day. Whether it’s a close friend, family member, or coworker, as long as they follow the necessary steps and receive the appointment, they can officiate your wedding.

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Ensuring the Right Witnesses

Witness Requirements

Alaska requires two witnesses to be present during the wedding ceremony. These witnesses play a crucial role in validating your marriage and signing the necessary documents. Make sure to arrange for witnesses who are at least 18 years of age and are willing to participate in your special day.

Marriage Ceremony and Validity

Performing the Ceremony

The marriage ceremony itself is a deeply personal and meaningful event. Once you have your marriage license in hand and your officiant ready, you can proceed with the ceremony. Whether you choose a traditional ceremony or a unique and creative approach, the choice is yours.

Expiration of the License

It’s important to note that an Alaskan marriage license is valid for three months from the date of issuance. This means that your marriage ceremony must take place within this timeframe to ensure the license’s validity. Additionally, the ceremony must occur within Alaska or Alaska State waters.

Special Circumstances: Age Requirements

Age Restrictions

In Alaska, both parties must be 18 years of age or older to marry without parental consent. However, there are exceptions for those who are members of the armed forces on active duty. Minors aged 16 and 17 can also marry with parental consent and other necessary documentation.

Parental Consent

If you’re under 18 years of age and wish to marry, you’ll need to provide a parental consent form signed by both parents. If one parent has sole custody, additional documentation such as a divorce decree or death certificate may be required.

Name Change After Marriage

Changing Your Name

Getting a marriage license with your new name on it is just the first step in changing your name after marriage. If you decide to change your last name, there are specific processes you need to follow. Fortunately, you can utilize an online marriage name change kit to streamline this process.

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Additional Resources and Support

Bureau of Vital Statistics

For any additional information or support regarding marriage licenses in Alaska, the Bureau of Vital Statistics is a valuable resource. You can contact them at the following:

  • Bureau of Vital Statistics Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
  • P.O. Box 110610
  • Juneau, Alaska 99811-0610
  • Phone: 907.465.3393
  • Fax: 907.586.1877


Alaska offers a captivating and romantic setting for couples seeking to begin their journey of marital bliss. With its unique marriage license requirements, the state ensures that your union is both legal and memorable. From obtaining the license to saying your vows and beyond, navigating the process is an integral part of your wedding story.


1. Can a friend or family member officiate my wedding in Alaska? Yes, in Alaska, a friend, family member, or even a coworker can officiate your wedding as long as they obtain a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court.

2. Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Alaska? Yes, there is a three-business-day waiting period after you submit your application before you can pick up your marriage license.

3. Can I change my name on the marriage license after the wedding? Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow specific steps to change your name legally.

4. Are proxy marriages allowed in Alaska? No, proxy marriages, where one party stands in for the other, are not permitted in Alaska. Both parties must be present for the ceremony.

5. How long is an Alaskan marriage license valid? An Alaskan marriage license is valid for three months from the date of issuance. The marriage ceremony must take place within this timeframe.

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