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How to Get Married in Michigan

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Baraga State Park, Michigan

Enjoy Baraga State Park, Michigan, in autumn.

Photo: Steve Satushek / The Image Bank / Getty Images
Michigan is one of the few states that still requires a waiting period before you can get married. You have to wait three (3) days after you apply for your marriage license.

Related Articles: Marriage License Laws | Benefits of Being Married | Secret Marriages | Getting Married 101 | Your Name Change Options

Residency Requirement in Michigan:

You do not have to be a resident of Michigan, but there is an additional fee for non-residents.

Residents need to apply for their marriage license in the county in which one of them lives. Non-residents need to apply for their marriage license in the county where they plan on getting married.

"Even though you apply for your marriage license in the county you live in, you can get married any place in Michigan."
Source: Macomb County Web Site

Previous Marriage:

You need to know the date (mm/dd/yy) and how the last marriage ended. If it was within the last 6 months, you will need to bring proof of the divorce that can be left with the Clerk.

One reader noted: "At least in Muskegon County, regardless of when the divorce was finalized, a copy of the divorce degree needs to be presented. (found out the hard way.)"

ID Requirement in Michigan:

Picture id such as Drivers License. You can also use Military ID, DD 214, You must also have a certified copy of your birth certificates.

You will also need to know your parents addresses, and your mothers' maiden names. Foreign birth certificates need to be translated into English, and be notarized.

Covenant Marriage Option:

No.

Waiting Period:

There is a three (3) day waiting period in Michigan. The waiting period does not include the application day. The waiting period may be waived by the county clerk for "good and sufficient cause shown."

Fees in Michigan:

$20 if you are a resident of Michigan. $30 for non-residents. Some counties may charge more. Bring cash. Most counties do not accept checks.

Requirements and fees may vary as each county in Michigan could have their own requirements.

Other Tests:

None.

Proxy Marriages:

No. However, only one of you need to be present and have all required documentation when applying for a marriage license. You will need to show a photocopy of the front and back of your partner's driver's license.

Cousin Marriages:

No.

Common Law Marriages:

No, unless entered into the relationship prior to January 1, 1957.

Same Sex Marriages:

No. In November, 2004, voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

Under 18:

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can get married with parental consent. Your parents must appear with their own identification and if a custodial parent, proof of their custody. If you are 15 or younger, you will need both parental consent and the approval of the probate court.

Secret Marriages:

Back in 1897, secret marriages were approved. If a couple requests a secret marriage, if permitted by a judge, after the ceremony is solemnized, the officiant returns the certificate, but the judge may seal the file and allow no publicity about the marriage.
What Qualifies One for a Secret Marriage?

Witnesses:

Witnesses do not have to be 18 years of age, but they do need to be able to understand what they are witnessing, and to be able to sign their legal signature.

Officiants:

Marriages may be performed by federal, probate, district, and municipal judges, and district court magistrates, in their court area; mayors, in their city; County clerks; ministers and pastors of the gospel, both resident and non-resident. The Michigan Statutes also have a provision that allows for marriages to "be solemnized in the manner heretofore used and practiced in their respective societies or denominations."

Miscellaneous:

License is valid for thirty (30) days.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

Vital Records
3423 North Martin Luther King Boulevard
P.O. Box 30195
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 335-8656

Still Confused About Getting Married in Michigan?

If you are still confused about the different terms used in the marriage license application process, check out these articles:
PLEASE NOTE:
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.

This 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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