You’ve chosen your wedding dress, linens, cake, and the day is coming right up! But there is one more thing you have to do if you want to make it official — apply for a Minnesota marriage license! This is an important step that you cannot forget, and thankfully our state makes the process pretty easy. We break down how to get your marriage license, what you’ll need, and where to get it done.
WHAT IS A MINNESOTA MARRIAGE LICENSE
Basically, it’s a legal document that you and your spouse-to-be fill out prior to the wedding day. Then, once you have your ceremony, your officiant will submit the license and your marriage certificate will be issued. Luckily, if you are getting married in Minnesota, the process is pretty pain-free and there is no waiting period after you apply! So this is good news for the last-minute brides and grooms, but we always recommend going in early as appointments are currently required in many counties. Plus, the license is good for 6 months so you may as well check it off your list early!
To begin applying for a Minnesota marriage license, you’ll need to know this info:
- Anyone 18+ can obtain a marriage license (without parental consent)
- You will need a valid state ID
- You do NOT need to be a Minnesota resident to apply for a marriage license here
- You and your future spouse must be present to apply for the license. If one of you cannot make it, they must complete a notarized Supplemental Marriage License Application, and a notarized Marriage License application. But, it’s best to just make it easy and schedule a time when you can BOTH be there.
- You must each provide your: full legal name, address, phone numbers, and social security numbers
- If one or both of you are changing your name(s) it’s good to know this ahead of time as the application will ask what your names following marriage will be as well as your address
- For anyone who was convicted of a felony for a crime committed on or after August 1, 2000, there is a 30-day procedure that is to be followed before the license can be issued with the name change
The process for obtaining a marriage license in MN is similar across each county, but some processes can vary. Start by selecting the county that you wish to file in on the Minnesota Official Marriage System website, then you’ll follow these steps.
- Know when and where you are getting married
- You must have a license purchased before getting married. It can only be used in Minnesota and expires 6 months after you apply.
- You can use your Minnesota marriage license anywhere in the state, but the application must be purchased AND returned to the same county
- You will receive the license immediately after applying
- Apply for your marriage license
- Some counties will allow you to pre-apply for a Marriage License Application online prior to filing, but you will need to complete the process in-person within 90 days
- Many counties now allow you to make an appointment online so you don’t have to wait
- Visit the county clerk
- Have all documents prepared
- If you were previously married, you’ll need to provide proof that the marriage was dissolved with a divorce decree or death certificate
- Pay the $115 fee (or $40 if you have done premarital counseling) via the accepted payment option that county accepts
- If you have completed premarital counseling to reduce the cost of your fee, you’ll need to have that documentation with you
- Hang on to the document until your wedding day
- Sign the document following your wedding ceremony
- Minnesota law requires that the ceremony be witnessed by two people that are 16 or older
- The applicants, officiant, and witnesses must all sign
- The officiant will file the license within 5 days
- Receive the official marriage certificate
- This is NOT automatic — you will need to request a copy by contacting the county where you applied and you will receive it for a small fee. This can typically be done in-person or by mail.
We hope this guide to getting a Minnesota Marriage License is helpful for you! As previously stated, please check with the county you wish to file in for their specific requirements and processes.