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North Carolina Wedding Laws

The state of North Carolina has rules and regulations regarding marriage licenses. All individuals that are planning to get married in North Carolina must apply for a marriage license. A marriage license is a legal document, issued by the Register of Deed's office, that allows individuals to marry. A marriage license does not guarantee marriage. Once the marriage license has been received, a justice of the peace or officiant will need to sign the legal document as a witness of the marriage. This occurs on the wedding day, after the ceremony has taken place. It is a good idea to apply for a marriage license approximately 4-6 weeks before the date of the wedding to ensure timely processing and arrival. A marriage license is only valid for 60 days in North Carolina and may not be used in any other state. It is very important to call your local clerk's office prior to applying for a marriage license in the state of North Carolina because county and state laws are subject to change.

How old do I need to be to get married in North Carolina?

In order to get married in the state of North Carolina, individuals must be atleast 14 years of age. Applicants under the age of 18 must have parental consent to marry & a consent form must be signed.

Do I have to be a resident of North Carolina to get married in the state?

No. Anyone can get married in North Carolina as long as requirements are met.

Is there a fee to get a marriage license?

Yes. The current fee for a marriage license is $50. Only cash will be accepted.

Does the state of North Carolina mandate blood tests prior to receiving a marriage license?

No. The state does not require blood tests to apply for a marriage license or to get married. First cousins may marry in the state of North Carolina.

How long is the waiting period for a marriage license in North Carolina?

The state of North Carolina has not set a waiting period for individuals applying for a marriage license.

Is same sex marriage legal in North Carolina?

No. North Carolina does not allow same individuals of the same sex to become married.

What forms of identification are needed to apply for a marriage license?

A picture identification, certified birth certificate and social security card. If both applicants are not able to attend when obtaining the marriage license, the attending individual must show a sworn and notarized affidavit from the absent party. The Register of Deeds keeps affidavit forms in their office. In addition to the information needed above, applicants aged 14 and 15 must show a copy of the court order prior to obtaining a marriage license. In addition to the information needed above, applicants aged 16 and 17 must present a notarized copy of the consent form, signed by the parent or guardian, prior to obtaning a marriage license.

I have been divorced in the past. Are there any rules regarding divorce in North Carolina?

If either applicant has been divorced, the date of the divorce must be considered. If the divorce has been within 60 days, the state of North Carolina requires a coy of the divorce decree, which must be signed by the judge.

How many witnesses must I have at my wedding?

The state of North Carolina requires two (2) witnesses present at all wedding ceremonies.

Is common law marriage legal and/or acceptable in the state of North Carolina?

North Carolina does not consider common law marriage a valid marriage, unless a marriage license and ceremony have been obtained.