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:
- A photocopy of the front and back of the other person’s driver’s license.
- Full names
- addresses, dates and places of birth
- Bride’s name after marriage
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:
- Wayne County clerks
- Ministers of the gospel, anywhere in the state, “if the minister is ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of the denomination, and is a pastor of a church in this state, or continues to preach the gospel in this state”;
- Non-resident ministers of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is authorized to solemnize marriages by his or her state’s laws.
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
- Alcona County Clerk Harrisville, MI 989.724.6807
- Alger County Clerk Munising, MI 906.387.2076
- Allegan County Clerk
- Allegan, MI 616.673.0450
- Alpena County Clerk Alpena, MI 517.356.0115
- Antrim County Clerk Bellaire, MI 231.533.6353
- Arenac County Clerk Standish, MI 989.846.4626
- Baraga County Clerk L’Anse, MI 906.524.6183
- Barry County Clerk Hastings, MI 616.945.1285
- Bay County Clerk Bay City, MI 989.895.4280
- Benzie County Clerk Beulah, MI 231.882.9671
- Berrien County Clerk St. Joseph, MI 616.983.7111
- Branch County Clerk Coldwater, MI 517.279.4306
- Calhoun County Clerk Marshall, MI 616.781.0730
- Cass County Clerk Cassopolis, MI 616.445.8621
- Charlevoix County Clerk Charlevoix, MI 231.547.7200
- Cheboygan County Clerk Cheboygan, MI231.627.8808
- Chippewa County Clerk Sault Ste. Marie, MI 906.635.6300
- Clare County Clerk Harrison, MI 989.539.7131
- Clinton County Clerk St. Johns, MI
- Crawford County Clerk Grayling, MI 989.344.3200
- Delta County Clerk Escanaba, MI 906.789.5105
- Dickinson County Clerk Iron Mountain, MI 906.774.0988
- Eaton County Clerk Charlotte, MI 517.543.7500
- Emmet County Clerk Petoskey, MI 231.348.1744
- Genesee County Clerk Flint, MI
- Gladwin County Clerk Gladwin, MI 517.426.7351
- Gogebic County Clerk Bessemer, MI 906.663.4518
- Grand Traverse County Clerk Traverse City, MI 231.922.4760
- Gratiot County Clerk Ithaca, MI 517.875.5215
- Hillsdale County Clerk Hillsdale, MI 517.437.3391
- Houghton County Clerk Houghton, MI 906.482.1150
- Huron County Clerk Bad Axe, MI 989.269.9942
- Ingham County Clerk Mason, MI 517.676.7201
- Ionia County Clerk Ionia, MI 616.527.5322
- Iosco County Clerk Tawas City, MI 989.362.3497
- Isabella County Clerk Mt. Pleasant, MI 517.772.0911
- Jackson County Clerk Jackson, MI 517.788.4265
- Durham Town Clerk Durham, CT 860.349.3452
- Kalamazoo County Clerk Kalamazoo, MI 616.383.8840
- Kalkaska County Clerk Kalkaska, MI 231.258.3300
- Kent County Clerk Grand Rapids, MI 616.336.3550
- Keweenaw County Clerk Eagle River, MI 906.337.2229
- Lake County Clerk Baldwin, MI 231.745.4641
- Lapeer County Clerk Lapeer, MI 810.667.0356
- Leelanau County Clerk Suttons Bay, MI 231.256.9824
- Lenawee County Clerk Adrian, MI 517.264.4606
- Livingston County Clerk Howell, MI 517.546.0500
- Luce County Clerk Newberry, MI 906.293.5521
- Mackinac County Clerk St. Ignace, MI 906.643.7300
- Macomb County Clerk Mt. Clemens, MI 586.469.5120
- Manistee County Clerk Manistee, MI 231.723.3331
- Marquette County Clerk Marquette, MI 906.225.8330
- Mason County Clerk Ludington, MI 231.843.8202
- Mecosta County Clerk Big Rapids, MI 231.592.0783
- Menominee County Clerk Menominee, MI 906.863.9968
- Midland County Clerk Midland, MI 517.832.6739
- Missaukee County Clerk Lake City, MI 231.839.4967
- Monroe County Clerk Monroe, MI 734.240.7020
- Montcalm County Clerk Stanton, MI 989.831.7339
- Montmorency County Clerk Atlanta, MI 517.785.8022
- Muskegon County Clerk Muskegon, MI 231.724.6221
- Newaygo County Clerk White Cloud, MI 231.689.7235
- Oakland County Clerk Pontiac, MI 248.858.0572
- Oceana County Clerk Hart, MI 231.873.4328
- Ogemaw County Clerk West Branch, MI 517.345.0215
- Ontonagon County Clerk Ontonagon, MI 906.884.4255
- Osceola County Clerk Reed City, MI 231.832.6104
- Oscoda County Clerk Mio, MI 989.826.1110
- Otsego County Clerk Gaylord, MI 517.732.6484
- Ottawa County Clerk Grand Haven, MI 616.846.8310
- Presque Isle County Clerk Rogers City, MI 800.334.569
- Roscommon County Clerk Roscommon, MI 989.275.5923
- Saginaw County Clerk Saginaw, MI 989.790.5251
- St. Clair County Clerk Port Huron, MI 810.985.2200
- St. Joseph County Clerk Centreville, MI 616.467.5602
- Sanilac County Clerk Sandusky, MI 810.648.3212
- Schoolcraft County Clerk Manistique, MI 906.341.3618
- Shiawassee County Clerk Corunna, MI 517.743.2242
- Tuscola County Clerk Caro, MI 517.672.3780
- Van Buren County Clerk Paw Paw, MI 616.657.8218
- Washtenaw County Clerk Ann Arbor, MI 734.994.2501
- Wayne County Clerk Detroit, MI 313.224.6262
- Wexford County Clerk Cadillac, MI 231.779.9450