Marriage License Information

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

Obtaining a License

CHANGES EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2022 ARE HIGHLIGHTED

  • 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.  If it is inconvenient for either party to appear in person in that county, application can be made by mail IF neither party is a resident of that county. (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: For a Saturday wedding the license must be issued by close of business on Thursday.)
  • The license is issued the same day application is made, and is valid for 6 months. (You must be married within 6 months or the license will expire.)

Information Required at Time of Application for License
Fee of $60.00 payable by CASH, CERTIFIED CHECK OR CREDIT CARD (no personal checks) in Washington County. (Fee amount vary from county to county.)

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
  • A copy of an official government-issued birth certificate or other official government-issued document or record demonstrating the age of BOTH applicants.

Non-Resident Application

Maryland requires that a marriage license be obtained from the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in the county where the wedding is to take place.  If it is inconvenient for either party to appear in person in that clerk’s office, application can be made by mail IF neither party is a resident of that county, using the Non-Resident Affidavit form, 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 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 (Age 17)

A 17-year-old applicant must:

  • Have the consent of EACH living parent, guardian or legal custodian of the minor person either in-person or through an affidavit executed under the seal of a notary public
    --OR--
  • Have a certificate from a licensed physician, licensed physician’s assistant, or certified nurse practitioner that states that the woman to be married has been examined by the licensed physician, licensed physician’s assistant or certified nurse practitioner and is found to be pregnant or has given birth to a child. (Certificates signed by midwives or nurses are not sufficient.)
    --AND--
  • Present 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 must 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 may be granted.
    READ THE LAW:  MD Code, Family Law §5-2A-01, 5-2A-02, 5-2A-03, 5-2A-04

     
  • An individual under the age of 17 may not marry.

Civil Ceremonies Performed by the Clerk

  • Appointments are required:  Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – noon & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • AFTER making application for a marriage license, click here to schedule your Civil Ceremony
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to appointment
  • Report to Room #212 to pay the required $25.00 ceremony fee payable by CASH, CERTIFIED CHECK OR CREDIT CARD (no personal checks)
  • Access to the Marriage Room restricted to nine persons
  • Cameras are permitted

Copies of Marriage Records

Certified copies and/or plain copies may be obtained either in person or by mail. To obtain copies of Washington County marriage records by mail, send your written request to Clerk of the Circuit Court, 24 Summit Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

Fees for copies of marriage records are:

  • $5.50 for each certified copy requested;
  • $ .50 for each plain (not certified) copy requested;

Use this request form, or write a request including:

  • 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."

More Information

For further information on obtaining a marriage license or questions about civil ceremonies, please call 301-790-7991 Ext. 1.