Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding involves not only choosing the perfect dress and venue but also ensuring that all legal requirements are met for a seamless ceremony. If you’re considering tying the knot in Delaware, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s marriage laws. From age requirements to necessary documentation, this article covers all you need to know about getting married in the First State.
As you embark on the journey of marital bliss, it’s crucial to understand the legal aspects of marriage in Delaware. This guide provides comprehensive insights into the marriage application process, necessary documents, and other important considerations.
Marriage Application Process
Eligibility and Age Requirements
To apply for a marriage license in Delaware, both applicants must be at least 18 years old. It’s important to ensure that you meet this age requirement before proceeding with the application.
Identification and Appearance
Both applicants must appear together at the marriage bureau with valid identification. Acceptable forms of identification include a state ID, federal driver’s license, passport, U.S. visa ID card, military ID, or government consulate ID.
Previous Marriages and Name Changes
If either applicant has been previously married, the original or certified copy of the divorce decree, legal annulment, dissolution, or death certificate is required. In the case of a divorced female applicant who has reclaimed her maiden name, the relevant court papers must be provided.
Interpreter and Probation/Parole Requirements
Applicants requiring an interpreter must arrange for one themselves, ensuring the interpreter is at least 18 years old. If either applicant is on probation or parole, written permission from the probation or parole officer is necessary.
Sobriety and Filing Fees
Applicants must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when applying. The filing fee is $50 for residents and $100 for non-residents.
Accepted Forms of Identification
To proceed with your marriage application, ensure you have one of the following forms of identification:
- State ID
- Federal driver’s license
- U.S. visa ID card
- Military ID
- Government consulate ID
Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Couples intending to marry in Delaware must obtain a marriage license at least 24 hours before the ceremony, applicable to both residents and non-residents. Residency in Delaware is not a requirement.
Delaware allows any ordained minister and clerks of the peace to officiate weddings.
Witnesses and Ceremony Details
Two witnesses, both at least 18 years old, are required during the ceremony. The marriage ceremony must take place in Delaware.
Marriage License Expiration
Marriage licenses are valid for 30 days from the date of issue, and the wedding ceremony must occur within that timeframe.
Navigating the legal requirements for marriage in Delaware is a crucial step in planning your special day. By understanding the eligibility criteria, documentation, and other essential details, you can ensure a smooth and legally compliant wedding ceremony.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is there a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license in Delaware? Yes, a waiting period of at least 24 hours is required before the ceremony, regardless of residency.
2. Can minors get married in Delaware? Minors under the age of 18 can marry with authorization from Delaware Family Court.
3. Are blood tests required for marriage in Delaware? No, Delaware does not require blood tests for obtaining a marriage license.
4. What is the validity period of a Delaware marriage license? A Delaware marriage license is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance.
5. Can non-residents marry in Delaware? Yes, Delaware allows both residents and non-residents to marry within the state.