Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a sacred union that brings two individuals together to embark on a lifelong journey. If you’re considering tying the knot in the beautiful state of Alaska, it’s crucial to be well-informed about the marriage laws and requirements that govern the process. From obtaining a marriage license to understanding the legalities of marriage officiants, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make your wedding day truly special.
The Application Process
Before you say “I do,” you must go through the application process to obtain a marriage license. Both parties must complete part of the application form, and if either party is out of town or state, contacting the court for further instructions is essential.
- Both parties must be 18 years of age.
- Valid picture ID, such as a driver’s license, is required.
- A birth certificate might be necessary to prove your age.
- If divorced within the last 60 days, a certified copy of the divorce decree is needed.
- Mailed or faxed applications must be witnessed by a Notary Public.
- Applications should be submitted to the Bureau office or Alaska Court closest to the wedding location.
- The marriage license fee is $60 and must be paid upon issuance.
Waiting Period and Residency
Alaska enforces a three-business-day waiting period after a mailed or faxed application is received. This waiting period ensures that you must wait at least three full business days after submitting your application before you can pick up the license and proceed with the marriage ceremony. Importantly, you don’t have to be a resident of Alaska to get married in the state.
If either party has been previously married, you’ll need to provide details about the former spouse, including the date and place of marriage and its termination. If the marriage ended within the last 60 days, a copy of the divorce decree or a death certificate may be required before the marriage license can be issued.
In Alaska, the choice of who officiates your wedding is flexible. Licensed ministers or pastors of recognized religious societies, current or retired judges, and even friends, family members, or coworkers can perform the ceremony as long as they obtain a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court. This unique flexibility allows you to make your wedding ceremony truly personalized and special.
Marriage Witnesses and License Expiration
Two witnesses are required for the wedding ceremony. Additionally, keep in mind that the marriage license is valid for three months from the date of issuance. The marriage ceremony must be performed within this timeframe, or the license will no longer be valid.
After the ceremony, a certificate of marriage license is issued. You can obtain a copy of this certificate from the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The department’s contact information is as follows:
- P.O. Box 110610, Juneau, Alaska 99811-0610
- Phone: 907.465.3393
- Fax: 907.586.1877
Alaska provides a beautiful backdrop for weddings, and understanding the legal requirements is essential for a smooth and memorable wedding day. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your marriage is both legally sound and emotionally fulfilling.
- Can anyone officiate a wedding in Alaska? Yes, as long as they obtain a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaska court.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in Alaska? Yes, there is a three-business-day waiting period after submitting your application.
- Can non-residents of Alaska get married in the state? Absolutely, residency is not a requirement for marriage in Alaska.
- What is the validity period of a marriage license in Alaska? A marriage license is valid for three months from the date of issuance.
- How can I obtain a copy of my marriage certificate in Alaska? You can request a copy from the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.