A couple needs to provide required documentation, complete the application form, show evidence of any required tests or premarital counseling, and pay the required fees. The regulations and charges for applying for a marriage license differ widely between countries and even within countries.
In most states and countries, you are breaking the law if you lie when you fill out your marriage license application. The legal consequences of giving false information on a marriage license application include being charged with a misdemeanor or with perjury.
After completing the marriage application form and swearing that the information provided is true, a couple will be given a marriage license. Some jurisdictions issue the marriage license immediately while others have a waiting period.
Receiving the marriage license does not mean you are married. In order to be legally married in most locales, you must have a wedding ceremony performed by an authorized officiant and the marriage license needs to be registered with the governmental authority that issued the marriage license.