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Marriage License Myths

marriage license

There are several popular preconceptions about filing for a marriage license that should be addressed. Always consult your local and state laws regarding proper documentation and requirements, but here are some common myths about getting a marriage license.

You will have to take a blood test. This one depends on your county marriage license application requirements, but usually you won’t. It used to be the case that everyone needed a blood test and in some cases, a test for venereal disease. But that is not the case in many states today, and you should inquire first.

You must apply for the license in the county in which you live. This one is not true. You should apply for a marriage license in the county you will be married in; of course you want to check to ensure you have all the proper documentation.

You have to be married in a church or by the Justice of the Peace for your marriage to be legal. Anyone who is an authorized to perform a marriage can do so. The common term is “officiant.” Whether you have your ceremony in a church, in a courthouse, or in an open field doesn’t matter; what matters is that the person performing the ceremony is a recognized officiant, and that that person files your marriage license with the county clerk’s office after your ceremony.

You will need a copy of your current vaccinations and immunizations. Again, this tradition has largely fallen by the wayside. While this used to be true decades ago, this is generally not the case now. Though nearly every state has done away with this requirement, check with your county marriage license filing requirements to be sure.

If you are related in any way, you cannot marry. This is true only in cases of close family members, such as sisters and brothers. Some states also prevent first cousins from marrying. But generally, past the first cousin relation there are no issues with obtaining a marriage license.

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