Change to Marriage License Laws effective October 1, 2022:
- Minors under the age of 17 are not 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.
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, however, it is not convenient for you to visit the Clerk's Office in that county, you may apply using a Non-Resident Marriage License Application-Affidavit. You can obtain one from either your county or from the county in which you plan to marry. Call the Clerk's Office for more information.
It is recommended that you contact the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county you plan to marry as each county has different fees.
The Requirements for Kent County are as Follows
- Only one of the parties needs to appear (If not using a non-resident affidavit)
- The fee is $35.00
The Following Information is to be Provided for the Parties
- Full Name
- State of Birth
- Addresses (including County)
- Social Security Numbers (mandatory)
If Previously Married
- Divorced: the day, month and year of the divorce, and the county and state in which each divorce was granted.
- Widowed: the day, month and year of the death, and the county and state in which the death occurred.
The license is issued at the same time the application is taken; however, the license will reflect an effective date of forty-eight hours from the date of issue. The marriage must take place within six months of the effective date.
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 a judge, the Clerk of the Circuit Court, or an appointed, designated Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court may perform civil ceremonies. The cost for a civil ceremony is $25.
Certified copies of the marriage can be obtained once the return has been received by the Clerk's Office from the official for a fee of $5.50 each. You may need a certified copy in order to change a party's last name officially for various agencies.