Getting married in the states of the US is a long process. It takes quite much time to obtain a marriage license. The state of Pennsylvania is not an exception, as well. So, before solemnizing your marriage ceremony you must obtain a Pennsylvania marriage license.
In fact, it is not very hard to get a marriage license in Pennsylvania. You will simply need to meet several requirements that are proposed by the County you apply to.
So, let’s cover all the details that will be inevitable for getting the marriage license. As when you know more things about the process, the process itself becomes easier.
People who are relatives by blood may not marry each other in Pennsylvania. The state of Pennsylvania prohibits the marriage of first cousins, as well. You can find other policies and prohibitions in the Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills Office.
Types of marriage licenses in Pennsylvania
In the State of Pennsylvania, there are two types of marriage licenses:
The self-uniting or civil marriage license does not require any religious representative who will conduct the marriage ceremony. For the civil marriage license, you may contact a Magistrate or District Justice. The fees for this license vary.
On the other hand, the traditional or religious marriage license requires a religious representative to solemnize the marriage ceremony. This is according to Pennsylvania law Title 23, Section 1503.
Keep in mind that the person who is going to solemnize your marriage ceremony must be authorized by Pennsylvania law Title 23, Section 1503. If not, the legality of your marriage may be put under suspicion. Besides, you will be responsible for all the issues concerning your marriage license.
In Pennsylvania, people can apply for a marriage license when they are at least 18 years old. This rule is both for male and female applicants. However, there are several exceptions in certain situations:
There are several documents that you will have to take with you while applying for the marriage license:
In the application form, the applicant must fill out the personal information. It includes name, address, education level, and occupation information. The state of PA requires some family history information. It is for the purpose of mentioning genealogy. This information includes the full names of parents, their birthplace, and their residence (city and state). If the mother’s name is different from the married name, the maiden name must be also included. Moreover, the applicant should mention the current occupation of both parents.
If the applicant gets married a second or more time, he or she must bring proof of death record and/or the original divorce decree. The latter must be a certified copy or sealed by the County that submitted the marriage license. The state of PA does not accept photocopies. The female applicant who has retaken her maiden name must present the required documentation to prove it.
For getting a marriage license in PA, the applicants may apply to
The address is:
414 Grant Street, First Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2469, or
It is better to apply for the license before 2-4 weeks from the marriage day.
After applying for the marriage license, the applicants may wait about three days. Within three days they will get an answer to their application. And, the marriage license will either be issued or declined.
The PA marriage license is valid for 60 days from the issue day. That is to say, the parties are better to solemnize their marriage within 60 days.
Depending on different Counties, the fees for marriage licenses vary. However, on average the PA marriage license costs from $70 to $80. There is an additional fee for the divorce decree (if any), which is $10. The couples must pay the fees either in cash or by credit card.
If you want to get your PA marriage license online, it is not a big deal. You should complete an Online Marriage License Application.
After submitting the application, you will have a WEBEX video conference. During this video conference, they will finalize the results of your application. You and your partner must join the conference from the same location and together. As soon as the WEBEX video conference ends, you will receive the answer via mail.
Please, note that even if you submitted the application form online, you must appear in person and get your marriage license. You and your partner must go to the Department of Court Records Marriage License Bureau and complete the process.
In Pennsylvania, marriage records are open to the public. In case of providing one spouse’s complete name, the year of the marriage, as well as the appropriate fee, the applicant may obtain a copy of the marriage license. There are two ways of obtaining marriage records: applying for them online or in person.
If you choose to apply online, you should provide an email address and pay the fee. Even if the search was unsuccessful, the fee is a must.
In case of applying for the marriage record in person, you may go to the Marriage Records Department on the 1st Floor of the City-County Building.
There are two types of marriage records in PA. The first one is a plain copy of the marriage record. It can not be operated for official use, only for historical and personal. And, the second one is a “Triple-Seal” copy. This one is for any legal matter in or out of state.
There are different uses when you may need a copy of the marriage license. So, before requesting it, you should choose which type of marriage record you need: