Why & Where Are Blood Tests Required for Marriage Licenses?

by Hazel Baker

In most states, blood tests are not a requirement for marriage licenses. In some states, however, these tests must be completed before a marriage license can be issued. If you are planning on obtaining a marriage license in any of these states, make an appointment with your doctor or at the county clerk’s office to obtain the required tests.

Jurisdictions Requiring Blood Tests

Jurisdictions that require both parties to take blood tests before a marriage license can be issued include, as of 2010, the District Of Columbia, Georgia, Oklahoma and Mississippi. In Montana, a blood test is required for the woman only.

What Is Tested For

States that require blood tests before issuing a marriage license test for the presence of syphilis, a highly infectious, sexually transmitted disease that causes painful sores and can also be transmitted to unborn babies via infected mothers.

Where to be Tested

Blood tests can be performed by private physicians or by the county health department. Once the results are sent back to the county clerk’s office, a marriage license is automatically issued if both parties test negative.

If a Test is Positive

If one or more of the parties test positive, a marriage license may be refused. In some cases, a license can be issued if both parties are informed of the test results and still wish to marry.

Considerations

Learning as much about your partner’s health history prior to applying for a marriage license is important, both for your health and for the health of any future children that may result from the marriage.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Hazel Baker has been writing professionally since 2003. She covers e-commerce, technology and legal topics for various online publications. Baker has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in history from Point Loma Nazarene University.