Maryland Courts

Marriage License Information


Obtaining a License

  • At least one of the parties to be married must appear in person at the office of the Circuit Court Clerk for the county in which the wedding will take place to make application. (In Cecil County, both parties must appear) (If neither party is a resident of the county, application may be made by mail - see Non-Resident Application below for more information)
  • The license is valid only in the county in which it was issued (The ceremony must be performed in the same county in which the license was issued)
  • A license is not effective until 6:00 a.m. on the second calendar day after the license is issued. (Example: License issued October 18th takes effect at 6:00 a.m. on October 20th)
  • The license is issued the same day you apply, and is valid for 6 months (you must be married within 6 months or the license will expire)

Information You Must Provide at Time of Application for License

Fee of $60.00 CASH ONLY in Washington County (fees vary from county to county). Photo Identification is required for applicants aged 21 and younger.

The following information is required for each party:

  • Full Name
  • Current Street Address
  • Age 
  • State of Birth (Country if born outside United States)
  • Social Security Number
  • Marital status (Single, Divorced, Widow or Widower)
  • If either party has been married before, the county, state, and date of EACH divorce or death of spouse
  • Whether the parties are related by either blood or marriage

Non-Resident Application

If neither party to be married is a resident of the county in which the ceremony will take place, Maryland law allows application for a marriage license to be made by mail as follows:

  • Take the Non-Resident Affidavit form to the Clerk of Court or comparable official in the county in which you reside. Complete the form in the presence of that official, have that official sign at the appropriate place, and mail the form with a money order or cashier's check in the appropriate amount ($60.00 for a license from Washington County), payable to Clerk of Court, to the Clerk of Circuit Court for the Maryland county in which you plan to be married.
  • Note that this provision is a Maryland law. Clerks of Court in Maryland counties will provide this service. Comparable officials in other states, however, are not required to provide the service - Maryland law does not apply outside Maryland - and might refuse to do so.  Therefore, you are advised to check with the out-of-state official well in advance of your wedding date to be sure. If no comparable official will provide the service, one of the parties (both parties in Cecil County) will have to travel to Maryland to make application in person.  Comparable officials would include: Clerk of a Court; Recorder of Deeds; Prothonotary. A Notary Public is not a comparable official.

Marriage of Minors (Under Age 18)

  • 16 or 17 years old must have the consent of a parent or guardian (parent or guardian must be with the minor at the time of application) OR have a certificate from a licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner, on the physician’s or nurse practitioner’s letterhead, stating that the physician or nurse practitioner has examined the woman to be married and found that she is pregnant or has given birth to a child.  The certificate must be signed by the physician or nurse practitioner.  (Certificates signed by midwives or nurses are not sufficient.)
  • 15 years old must have the consent of a parent or guardian (parent or guardian must be with the minor at the time of application) AND have a certificate from a licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner, on the physician’s or nurse practitioner’s letterhead, stating that the physician or nurse practitioner has examined the woman to be married and found that she is pregnant or has given birth to a child.  The certificate must be signed by the physician or nurse practitioner.  (Certificates signed by midwives or nurses are not sufficient.)
  • 14 years of age and younger may not marry in Maryland.

Civil Ceremonies Performed by the Clerk

  • There is a $25.00 cash (no checks are accepted) fee collected at the time of the ceremony
  • No appointment necessary
  • Marriage hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday, except holidays
  • Location - The ceremony will be performed in the Court House 
  • Cameras are permitted in the courthouse for Marriage Ceremonies

Copies of Marriage Records

Certified copies may be obtained either in person or by mail. To obtain copies by mail, send your written request to Clerk of the Circuit Court, 24 Summit Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740. Please include in your request:

  • Names of both parties (Names must be those used at the time of application for the marriage license in question, not those used after the marriage)
  • Date of Marriage (Approximate year at minimum)
  • A check or money order in the amount of $5.50 for each certified copy requested, payable to "Clerk of Circuit Court."

Non-certified copies are also available. Follow the same instructions as for certified copies, but specify that you do not need the copy certified. Non-Certified copies are $.50 each.

More Information

For further information on obtaining a marriage license or questions about civil ceremonies, please call 301-790-7991.