How Much Does a Marriage License Cost?

4 Nov 2023·15 min to read
Articles
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Planning to tie the knot and wondering about marriage license costs? Did you know that these prices vary between states, and even counties within a state? This article will guide you through everything you need to know, from the basic licensing fees in different locations to what additional expenses might come up.

Let's take a deep dive into understanding how much your ticket to matrimonial bliss may cost.

Key Takeaways

  • Marriage license costs vary depending on the location, such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York City, and Bexar County.
  • In Los Angeles, California, a public marriage license costs $91.
  • In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a regular marriage license costs $90.
  • In New York City, a marriage license costs $35.

Marriage License Costs Across Different Locations

Marriage license costs can vary significantly depending on the location, such as Los Angeles, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York City, New York; and Bexar County, Texas.

Los Angeles, California

In the sunny city of Los Angeles, California, engaged couples can expect to pay $91 for a public marriage license. Cash payment is a common method, but they also accept Mastercard and Visa credit cards for convenience.

Fees are payable directly to the county clerk when filing the marriage license application. The cost may seem steep compared to other US cities, but it's all part of tying the knot in this vibrant and lively location!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the cost of a regular marriage license is $90. However, if you are interested in obtaining a Quaker or self-uniting license, the cost is slightly higher at $100.

When applying for a marriage license in Philadelphia, both cash and credit cards are accepted as payment methods. It's important to note that once issued, marriage license applications and records are permanently filed.

So, make sure to have all the necessary documentation and fees ready when planning your wedding in Philadelphia.

New York City, New York

In New York City, the cost of obtaining a marriage license is $35. This fee can be paid using cash or credit card, including Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. It's important to note that the marriage license application and records are permanently filed by the county clerk's office.

Bexar County, Texas

In Bexar County, Texas, the cost of a marriage license is $81. This fee can be paid in cash or by credit card. The county clerk's office accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover for payment.

It's important to note that this fee is non-refundable, so make sure you have all the necessary documents and meet the marriage requirements before applying. Once your application is processed and approved, your marriage license will be issued and recorded permanently by the county clerk's office.

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Types of Marriage Licenses

There are different types of marriage licenses available, including public, confidential, and Quaker or self-uniting licenses. Want to know which one is right for you? Keep reading to find out more!

Public Marriage License

A public marriage license is one of the types of licenses that couples can obtain to legally marry. The cost of a public marriage license varies by state and county, but it generally ranges from $20 to $100.

For example, in Los Angeles County, California, the fee for a public marriage license is $91. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a regular marriage license costs $90. It's important to note that this type of license requires at least one witness during the ceremony and the marriage must be conducted in a public location.

Once obtained, the couple can use their public marriage license to have their union recognized by law.

In addition to paying the fee for a public marriage license, couples may also need to consider other costs associated with getting married. These may include fees for civil ceremonies if they choose not to have a religious or private ceremony and correction fees if there are any mistakes on the application form.

Payment methods vary by location but typically include cash and credit cards like Visa or Mastercard.

Confidential Marriage License

A confidential marriage license is an option available in certain states that allows couples to keep their marriage records private. Unlike a public marriage license, which becomes part of the public record, a confidential marriage license is not available for viewing by the general public.

This type of license may require additional documentation or proof of eligibility, such as residency or age requirements. It's important to note that while a confidential marriage license provides added privacy, it typically does not affect the cost of obtaining a marriage license.

Quaker or self-uniting licenses

Quaker or self-uniting licenses are a unique type of marriage license that is available in some states, including Pennsylvania. These licenses are specifically designed for couples who want to have a non-traditional wedding ceremony and do not wish to be married by an officiant.

With a Quaker or self-uniting license, the couple can marry themselves through a self-uniting ceremony. The cost of obtaining this type of license may vary depending on the location, but in Philadelphia, it typically costs $100.

This option provides flexibility for couples who want to celebrate their commitment in their own way without the need for an outside officiant.

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Additional Costs Associated with Marriage Licenses

There are several additional costs that couples should be aware of when obtaining a marriage license, including civil ceremony fees, payment methods, and potential mistake correction fees.

Civil ceremony fees

Civil ceremony fees are an important consideration when obtaining a marriage license. These fees vary depending on the location and can range from around $50 to $100 or more. For example, in Philadelphia, the cost of a civil ceremony fee is $90 for a regular marriage license and $100 for a Quaker or self-uniting license.

It's worth noting that these fees are separate from the cost of the marriage license itself. Couples should inquire with their local county clerk for specific information regarding civil ceremony fees in their area.

Payment methods

Cash and credit cards are accepted as payment methods for marriage license fees. This allows couples to choose the most convenient option when applying for their license. Whether they prefer to use cash or pay with a credit card, county clerks make it easy to complete the transaction.

So, couples can rest assured that they have flexibility in paying for their marriage license fees.

Mistake correction fees

If you make a mistake on your marriage license application, be prepared for the possibility of incurring correction fees. These fees can vary depending on the location, but it's important to double-check all information before submitting your application to avoid any additional costs.

Remember that marriage license applications and records are permanently filed, so accuracy is key.

Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage License Costs

What payment methods are accepted for marriage license fees?

Legal advice disclaimer

It is important to note that the information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice. The cost of a marriage license can vary depending on the location and specific circumstances.

It is recommended to consult with the county clerk or local authorities for accurate and up-to-date information regarding marriage requirements, fees, and payment methods. Additionally, it is advisable to inquire about any potential fees that may be waived or reduced based on certain conditions such as completion of pre-marital courses.

Availability of license

Marriage licenses are readily available to couples who meet the necessary requirements. Each state has specific guidelines for obtaining a marriage license, including age restrictions and proof of identity.

Most counties have a county clerk's office where couples can apply for a marriage license in person or online. It's important to note that marriage licenses are not typically issued immediately, as there may be a waiting period before the license is granted.

Once obtained, the marriage license is valid for a certain period of time, usually between 30 and 90 days, depending on the state.

Cost variations

Marriage license costs can vary depending on the location and type of license you choose. For example, in New York City, a marriage license will cost you $35, while in Philadelphia, a regular marriage license is priced at $90.

If you opt for a Quaker or self-uniting license in Philadelphia, the cost goes up to $100. In Cook County, Illinois, the fee for a marriage license is set at $60. It's important to note that these prices can change over time and it's always best to check with your local county clerk for the most up-to-date information on marriage license costs.

Conclusion

Marriage license costs can vary depending on the location. From Philadelphia, where a regular license costs $90, to New York City, where it is only $35. Different states have different fees, so it's important to research the specific requirements and costs for your desired location.

Don't forget that additional fees may apply for services such as correction of mistakes or civil ceremonies. Make sure to plan ahead and budget accordingly when obtaining a marriage license.

FAQs

1. How much does a marriage license cost?

The cost of a marriage license varies, but typically includes fees for the application form, issuance charges, and processing fee.

2. What is the process to get a marriage license?

The marriage license process involves filling out an application form, providing necessary documents for validation, and paying the registration expenses.

3. Can any part of the wedding legal documentation cost be waived?

Some places may waive fees under specific conditions like for Quaker or self-uniting licenses; it's best to check with your local government body like NYCgov.

4. Does a money order work as payment for a marriage certificate?

Yes! Typically, you can use money orders as means to pay your marriage permit price or other related costs such as registration and processing fees.

5. How long until my Marriage License expires?

Marriage licenses have varying validity periods depending on location-specific rules after which they expire if not used.

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