What Information Do You Need to Get Married at the Justice of the Peace?

by Katrina Grant

Planning a wedding is stressful and time-consuming. You'll want to make sure that you are prepared for every aspect of the wedding. The most important part is obtaining a marriage license. There are certain other steps you'll need to take to make your marriage legal.

Applying for the marriage license

Before you can get married, you'll need to apply for the marriage license. The time that you have to file for the license before you can get married varies by state, so check with your local marriage bureau before filing an application. You'll also want to check with the marriage bureau whether you need to make an appointment to apply for the license.

When you go to the municipal office to file the application, bring the following documents with you: driver’s license, birth certificate, a utility bill and, if you have been divorced, your divorce papers. You will also need someone to be a witness, and he or she will need proper identification. If the justice of the peace will be marrying you, be sure to make an appointment to arrange this. You'll need to pick up your marriage license before the ceremony.

Day of your marriage

When the day arrives to get married before the justice of the peace, come prepared. You are going to need a witness again, and he or she will again need proper identification. You'll also need to bring the marriage license with you along with your proper identification. After the ceremony, everyone will sign the proper paperwork and the license will be processed accordingly.

After your marriage

After the ceremony, make sure that the justice of the peace files the paperwork within the correct timeframe. Timeframes vary by state, so you'll need to check what it is where you got married. Regardless, filing on time is very important. If the license isn't filed on time, the marriage could become null and void.

Once the paperwork is filed with the state by the justice of the peace, it takes several weeks for your marriage certificate to be ready. You can pick it up in the municipality where you were married. Once again, bring proper identification. Usually, you also need a form of payment.

About the Author

Katrina Grant has been a writer since 2007, with work that appears on her style blog and on eHow.com. Grant is currently a graduate student at Rowan University majoring in writing arts with a journalism concentration.