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How to Get Married in Washington

Washington Marriage License Information

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Seattle Skyline

The Seattle Space Needle is viewed during dusk with Mt. Rainier in the background May 30, 2000 in Seattle, Washington.

Photo: Dan Callister / Newsmakers / Getty Images

Washington state has many beautiful locales where you can get married. The laws of the state are similar to other states but Washington does have a three-day waiting period. We wish you much happiness and joy as you begin your lifetime journey together!

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

News Updates:

Many counties, such as King County, will have extended hours December 6-8, 2012, to handle the expected large numbers of same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses.

 

ID and Residency Requirement:

Most counties in Washington state require a picture id. You should know your Social Security numbers. You do not have to be a resident of Washington in order to get married in the state.

Previous Marriages:

A divorce must be final and filed before applicants can apply for a license.

Covenant Marriage Option:

No.

Waiting Period:

Washington state has a three-day waiting period.

Fees:

The cost of applying for a marriage license in Washington state varies from county to county. The average application fee is $64. Many counties will not accept personal checks or credit cards but will accept cash. We suggest you call to verify how the county prefers payment before applying for your marriage license.

Same Sex Marriages:

Yes. The 2012 legislative session passed a bill that allows all couples, regardless of gender, to marry. After Referendum 74, which opposed the bill, was certified by the Office of the Secretary of State, the issue was placed on the November 2012 ballot. The measure passed and went into effect on December 6, 2012.

Previously, in July 22, 2007, gays, lesbians and unmarried seniors in domestic partnerships have rights that include hospital visitation, inheriting property without a will, emergency health care, funeral arrangements, adoption, child custody, community property, and disposition of remains. Washington's "everything-but-marriage" law was approved by Washington state voters in November 2009. To qualify for these rights, couples have to register with the Office of the Secretary of State.

Information about State Registered Domestic Partnerships and Domestic Partnership Registration Forms
Review the Law

 

Proxy Marriage:

No. However, if both of you cannot apply for your marriage license application at the same time, you may be able to apply through an Absentee Marriage Application. Contact the county offices where you plan on getting married for more information about this option.

Cousin Marriage:

No.

Common Law Marriage:

No.

Under 18:

Applicants between 17 and 18 years of age need to have a parent (legal custodian) present with them to provide their consent. If you are under 17 years old, you will need to have the age requirement waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides. Proof of age such as a driver's license or birth certificate is also required along with the written permission of the family court. Emancipated minors must present court emancipation papers specifically allowing the minor to marry.

Officiants:

Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

Witnesses:

You need to have two witnesses at your marriage ceremony.

Miscellaneous:

The Washington state marriage license is valid only in the state of Washington. You cannot use the marriage license to get married in other states or countries.

The marriage license is valid for 60 days. What this means is you two have 60 days to get married and have your marriage license officially recorded. If you wait past that time frame, you can't get married without applying for and paying for another marriage license.

Still Confused About Getting Married in Washington?

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

Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

Washington Dept. of Health
Center for Health Statistics
P.O. Box 9709
Olympia, WA
(360) 236-4300 Info

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.

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.

 

A Few Counties in Washington State

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