How do I get a marriage license?
Maryland requires that a marriage license be obtained from the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county where the marriage is to take place. If you are not a resident of Charles County, AND it is not convenient for you to visit the Clerk's Office, you may apply for a marriage license using a Non-Resident Marriage License Application-Affidavit.
It is recommended that you contact the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county where you plan to marry as each county has different fees. The requirements for Charles County are as follows:
- Only one of the parties needs to appear.
- The fee is $40.00. Cash or credit card (Visa and MasterCard) accepted. Exact change will speed your transaction.
- ID is required.
The Following Information Must be Provided by Either Applicant
- The full name of each party.
- The place of residence of each party.
- State of birth of each party.
- The age of each party, Valid government issued photo ID required for both parties (copy or digital image acceptable)
- Whether the parties are related by blood or marriage and if so, in which degree of relationship.
- The marital status of each party.
- Whether either party was married previously, and the date and place of each death or judicial determination that ended any former marriage (bring divorce decrees or court orders from ALL previous marriages).
- The social security number of each party. (note: this will be kept in a secure area of the computer and will not be made available for public inspection)
The license is issued at the same time the application is taken; however, the license will reflect an effective date and time at 6:00 a.m. on the second day after issue and will be valid for 6 months. This means that for a Saturday wedding, you must apply for a license no later than the close of business on Thursday.
You will be given three copies of the marriage license, which the official performing the ceremony will complete. Instructions for completion and distribution are on the copies of the license. If you would like a civil ceremony, please note that there are no justices of the peace in Maryland. Only the Clerk of the Circuit Court, or an appointed, designated Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court, or a judge may perform civil ceremonies.
Marriage of Minors (under age 18)
Change to Marriage License laws effective October 1, 2022:
- While only one party is required to apply for a marriage license, each party must provide a copy of an official government-issued birth certificate or other official government-issued document or record demonstrating their age.
- Minors under the age of 17 are no longer permitted to get married.
- An individual 17-year-olds may not marry unless:
- the individual has the consent of each living parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the minor person either in person or through an affidavit signed under the seal of a notary public; OR
- if the individual does not have the required consent, a certificate from a licensed physician, licensed physician assistant, or certified nurse practitioner that states the woman to be married has been examined by the physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner and is found to be pregnant or has given birth to a child; AND
- the individual presents a certified copy of an order granting authorization to marry in accordance with the provisions of Title 5, Subtitle 2A of the Family Law Article not earlier than 15 days after the order was issued. To obtain an order granting authorization to marry, a minor who is 17 years old may file a petition in the Circuit Court in the county in which the minor resides, and an evidentiary hearing on the petition must be held to determine if an order of authorization to marry may be granted.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Family Law §5-2A-01, 5-2A-02, 5-2A-03, 5-2A-04
In Charles County, the Clerk of the Court and his designated deputies perform civil ceremonies at the Courthouse between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the exception of Holidays. Appointments are required. Upon request, the Clerk of the Court will perform civil marriage ceremonies outside, weather permitting. The fee charged for a civil ceremony is $25.00, payable at the time of the ceremony. Cash or credit card (Visa and MasterCard) accepted. Exact change will speed your transaction.
Certified Copies of Marriage Licenses
Certified copies may be obtained from the Clerk's Office or you may request a certified copy by mail. Mail your request to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Circuit Court for Charles County, Marriage Records Department, 200 Charles Street, LaPlata, Maryland 20646.
Please Include in Your Request
- Names of individuals at the time they were married
- Date of marriage
- A check or money order in the amount of $5.50 for the certified copy and .50 per page for copy fee, made payable to "Clerk of Court"
- Your return address
For further information on obtaining a copy of a marriage license or questions about civil ceremonies, please call the Clerk's Office at 301-932-3255.