The Marriage License
Here's what you need to know to make the marriage legal in Michigan.
In order to get married, you need to apply and receive a marriage license. The rules for acquiring your marriage license varies from state to state, so you should check with your city's marriage bureau at your clerk of court's office to find out what your local rules are.
You'll typically need to apply for your marriage license at least one month before your wedding ceremony. You'll traditionally need to send in your birth certificates, tax information, and other official documents. You don't, however, want to apply for your marriage license too early. In some states, the licenses do expire, if you don't get married within a few months.
Below you will find some specific Marriage requirements for Michigan.
ID Requirement: Picture ID such as a driver's license. You should know your Social Security numbers.
Residency Requirement: You do not have to be a resident of Michigan, but the fee is $10 more for non-residents. Residents need to apply for their marriage license in the county in which one of them lives. Non-residents need to apply for their marriage license in the county where they plan on getting married.
Application Requirement: Applicants intending to marry must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk in the county in which one of the parties lives (or, if both parties are non-residents, in the county where the marriage is to be performed), and deliver it to the person who is to solemnize the marriage, before the marriage can be performed. Both applicants are not required to appear in person at the time of applying. However, he or she will be required to complete all information about both applicants:
Identification requirements vary in each county. A valid drivers license or certified copy of birth certificate may be requested.
Waiting Period: 3 days. The county clerk can waive the 3 day waiting period for "good and sufficient cause shown."
Fees: $20 for residents, and $30 for non-residents. $15.00 of it is allocated for family counseling services. Wayne County is authorized to charge more. A probate court may waive the marriage license fee in cases of undue hardship.
Blood Tests: No tests
Under 18: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can get married with parental consent. Your parents must appear with their own identification and if a custodial parent, proof of their custody. If you are 15 or younger, you will need both parental consent and the approval of the probate court.
Marriage of a Minor: The legal marriage of a minor "shall release such minor from parental control."
Common Law Marriage: No. However, the State does recognize common law marriages that are valid in other states, or unless parties entered into the relationship prior to January 1, 1957. .
Solemnization Authority: Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following:
Solemnization Form: No particular form or oath is required. The parties merely solemnly declare that they take each other as husband and wife before at least two witnesses and the person officiating. A special law allows "the people called Friends or Quakers" and "people of any other particular denomination, having, as such, any peculiar mode of solemnizing marriages" to solemnize their marriages in their own manner.
Solemnization Fee: Mayors and Wayne County clerks are specifically authorized to collect a fee (set by their city, or county commissioners) for solemnizing marriages. The money is to be turned in to the government. There are no specific provisions concerning fees charged by others.
Certificate: After the wedding ceremony the person who solemnizes the marriage fills in (typed or legibly printed) the certificate with the time and place of the marriage and the names and residences of the two witnesses, and signs it. The part marked "duplicate" is given to the newlyweds, and the original must be mailed to the county clerk that issued it within 10 days. The clerk records the information in a registration book, and mails it on to the the state registrar. The person who performs the marriage must also keep a record ''in a book used expressly for that purpose. The license, when fully filled out, thus serves a "double purpose" and becomes the certificate.
Officiants: A minister of the gospel who is ordained or authorized by his or her church to perform marriages and who is a pastor of a church in this state, or continues to preach the gospel in this state may perform marriages. Ministers must complete a marriage certificate and give one to the couple. Another marriage certificate must be returned to the county clerk who issued the license within 10 days after the marriage.
Valid: License is valid for 33 days.
The license can only be used within the State of Michigan.
Second Marriage: You need to know the date (mm/dd/yy) and how the last marriage ended. If it was within the last 6 months, you will need to bring proof of the divorce that can be left with the Clerk.
Same Sex Marriages: No. In November, 2004, voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.
Michigan County Clerk's Office
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**As with any other laws, marriage laws can change so we advise you to check with the county, city, or town clerk.**« Back To Articles