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District of Columbia Marriage License Laws -- Washington D.C.


Photo © Larry Stritof
Photo © Larry Stritof

ID Requirement in D.C.:

You will need to show proof of age by providing your driver's license, birth certificate, or passport. Additionally, you must both provide your social security number, address, date of birth, and home and work telephone numbers.

Residency Requirement in the District of Columbia:

You do not have to be a resident of the District of Columbia.

Previous Marriages:

Although it may not be required, we recommend that you have with you the original or a certified copy of your divorce decree or the death certificate of a deceased spouse. The marriage application only requires the city and state where the marriage ended.

Premarital Education in District of Columbia:


Waiting Period in D.C.:

Although the official wording is "By law, three full days must pass between the day of application to the day that the license can be issued", give yourselves 5 days before the actual date of your wedding ceremony. You have to have your receipt with you to pick up your license.

Fees in District of Columbia:

$35 plus $10 for the Certificate of marriage. This may change. Check with the marriage office to verify fees charged. The Marriage Bureau in DC only accepts cash or money orders (made out to Clerk, D.C. Superior Court.)

Other Tests in D.C.:

Although at one time, couples needed to have a certified blood test for (VDRL) syphilis, "Pursuant to the Marriage Amendment Act of 2008, DC Law 17-222, effective September 11, 2008, a blood test is no longer a requirement obtain a marriage license in the District of Columbia."
Source: Superior Court of DC -- Marriage Bureau Section

Proxy Marriage in District of Columbia:


Cousin Marriage in District of Columbia:


Common Law Marriage in District of Columbia:

Yes. "The elements of common-law marriage in the District of Columbia are an express mutual agreement, which must be in words of the present tense, followed by cohabitation as husband and wife."
Source: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Same Sex Marriages in D.C.:

Yes. "Pursuant to the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, A18-248, effective March 3, 2010, same sex couples may apply for marriage licenses in the District of Columbia."
Source: DC Marriage Bureau

Under 18 in District of Columbia:

You will need signed parental or guardian consent forms if you are under 18 years of age. If you are under 16 years of age, you cannot marry in the District of Columbia.

Officiants in District of Columbia:

Any ordained minister, and justices of the peace. There is an application fee of $35 in cash for authorization to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

Before 1980: Marriage Bureau & Special Services
500 Indiana Ave. NW, Rm4335
Washington, DC 20001

After 1980: Vital Records Department
825 North Capitol Street NE
1st Floor, Room 1312
Washington, DC 20002
202-783-1809 for credit card orders
Fax: 202-783-0136


Please note that we make every effort to offer you common-sense marriage advice and helpful information about marriage on this website, but we are not attorneys and the articles on the site are not to be construed as legal advice.

The information in this article was accurate when it was published. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

The marriage site has a world-wide audience and marriage laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. When in doubt, seek legal counsel.

Please notify us of any oversights or errors.

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