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How to Register for a Marriage in the USA

by Andrea Helaine

In order to prepare for a marriage in the United States, you must first register for marriage with your local government. State laws regarding marriage change frequently and have different requirements for paperwork, fees and waiting periods.

Call your local government office, such as the registrar or office of public records.

Ask how many months of a waiting period you have before you can register your wedding. Some governments require three months before the wedding date, while others only require a few days.

Request a list of necessary documents and required fees that the office deems necessary in order to apply for a marriage license or find them online at the office's website.

Prepare a list of the necessary documents, such as proof of birth name or legal name, proof of address, age and proof of any previous marital history, such as divorce paperwork or a death certificate if applicable.

Bring the fees necessary to register for marriage in the U.S., such as payment via cash or credit cards. Personal checks are often not accepted.

Bring a copy of the church's articles of incorporation, a statement with the location, information about the church's founding and the approximate size of the congregation if you choose to provide information to your church.

Complete the registration by signing the registry and paying the applicable fee.

Items you will need
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of divorce or death
  • Cash or credit card

About the Author

Andrea Helaine has a Bachelor of Philosophy in theology and is currently finishing her thesis course for a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. Helaine has been writing professionally for over 10 years and has been published in several anthologies and is currently breaking into the screenwriting market.

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