Marriage License Overview
- A MISSOURI marriage license is required for all marriages. It doesn’t matter what county it is from and you don’t have to live in that county or live in Missouri.
- A Missouri marriage license can ONLY be used for ceremonies taking place in the State of Missouri.
- Marriage license applicants are not required to be Missouri residents.
- Both must appear in person before the recorder of deeds or deputy recorder and present valid identification containing date of birth along with Social Security card, to apply for marriage license.
- The license must be picked up prior to the marriage ceremony. The person performing the ceremony must have the license prior to the ceremony.
- The person performing he marriage ceremony shall return the license to the issuing Recorder of Deeds within 15 days.
- If a marriag ceremony does not occur the license shall be void after thirty days from day of issuance.
- It is required to have 2 witnesses in Missouri.
- Marriage Licenses in Missouri vary by county. In Camden County as of 2022 the cost is $51. Some offices require cash (exact amount) while other counties may also accept credit or debit cards. (We suggest you call the county ahead of time to determine their hours and method of payment required).
- Missouri State Statutes Recorder of Deeds office issues, records and maintains MARRIAGE LICENSE records – NOT marriage CERTIFICATES. The certificate is just a souvenir for the couple and not a legal document. The courthouse does not have records or copies of the marriage certificate – only the license and the certified copy needed for name change is a certified copy of the LICENSE – not the Certificate.
- Individuals must be at least 18 years old to obtain a marriage license. With parental consent, a license would be approved at age 16.
- No blood test is required and there is no waiting period in Missouri.
- When you apply for your license, you wait while the information is filled out and you leave with your license in hand.
- NO BACKGROUND CHECK IS REQUIRED.
What about the Additional $10 Fee to get a CERTIFIED COPY of the Marriage License? Do you Need it?
Yes, if you are in the MILITARY (generally they give this certified copy for FREE to Military) and YES if you intend to use your Marriage License to get a Passport to show your new marital status and are taking your spouse’s last name. You do NOT need to pay this $10 fee for a Certified Copy just to get your last name changed with Social Security. They will accept your ORIGINAL marriage license (the one you bring to us to sign). Social Security Information on name change after marriage.
What if I have been married before?
If either party is divorced or widowed, applicant must provide the month/year the last marriage ended. A 30 day waiting period is required once a divorce is finalized for an applicant to re-marry.
How Early Do We Need to Get Our Marriage License?
Once marriage license is issued it is only good for 30 DAYS. Marriage MUST take place within that 30 day time period or license must be returned!
Do I Need to Bring Witnesses?
Missouri State Law Dictates that 2 witnesses must sign the marriage license in order for it to be valid. There is no stipulation of age requirement – CHILDREN may be witnesses. We provide witnesses if you are not bringing anyone along with you to the ceremony.
Returning the License to Be Recorded.
Many counties require that only the wedding officiant may return the marriage licenses. In Camden County it is not necessary; however, our officiant does immediately return all certificates for filing. If you would like to do this yourselves is it an available option.