N.C. Marriage License Information

Are you confused as to the process of obtaining a marriage license in North Carolina? Well, you are not alone. Most couples have questions about the process. We are pleased to be able to help you through the process. Below are some typical questions and answers to help you better understand the process of obtaining your marriage license.

The rules for getting a marriage license depend upon the state you will be married in. For states other than North Carolina the website below provides information for all states of the U.S., and also provides a list of the county offices where you can go to apply for your license:
Click Here.

In order to get married, you need to apply and receive a marriage license. This is the document that allows you to officially tie the knot under the law. The rules for acquiring your marriage license may vary. Below is a overview of the North Carolina's marriage laws. You should check with your city's marriage bureau at your clerk of court's office to find out what your local rules are.

In North Carolina, your marriage license is good for sixty days from the day you apply for it. This means that you must be married with in this sixty day period, otherwise your license will expire. You may apply in any county in the state and bring the license with you to the ceremony. This means if you live in North Carolina you may obtain your license in your home county and bring it with you. If you are from out of state, then you can call the clerk of court in area were you wish to be married and ask or you may look online for marriage license information in your state.

When you apply for your license, you'll not only need photo identification, a birth certificate and if you have been divorced, you will need official proof of your divorce. There is also a nominal fee which must be paid.

And, believe it or not, just because you have your marriage license sent to you in the mail does not mean you are officially married. You need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman sign the document. On your wedding day, you'll give your celebrant your marriage license, then after the ceremony, he or she will sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.

ID Requirement Picture ID is required of each, i.e. Drivers License and certified copy of Birth Certificate. If you are over 21 then you must also show proof of a Social Security Number (see below).
Residency Requirement Do not have to be a resident of North Carolina.
Divorced? If the bride or groom has been divorced, he or she must know the month and year of the last divorce. If there has been a divorce within the last 60 days, the state requires a copy of the divorce decree signed by the judge.
Application Requirement
  • Both parties to a marriage should appear in person to obtain the license. If one of the parties is unable to appear, the other party to the marriage must appear in person and present a sworn and notarized affidavit from the other member of the party, prior to the issuance of the license. Affidavit forms are available in the Register of Deeds Office.
  • North Carolina law requires all applicants to show proof of a Social Security number, or documentary proof of their Social Security number, i.e. W-2 form, payroll stub, or a statement from the Social Security Office stating their Social Security number.
  • If a Social Security number has never been issued or the applicant is not eligible for a Social Security number, the applicant will be required to present a completed affidavit, signed and notarized, at the time of applying for the marriage license. The affidavit form is available in the Register of Deeds Office.
Under 18?
  • All applicants, including those not present, must provide a form of identification.
  • Applicants 21 and over may use a valid driver's license, valid Military I.D, State ID, passport or certified birth certificate.
  • Applicants 18 to 20 must present a certified copy of their birth certificate.
  • Applicants 16 and 17 must present a consent form signed by the parent, individual, agency or institution having legal custody or serving as the legal guardian of the underage party. A certified copy of the birth certificate is also required. The consent form must be notarized.
  • Applicants 14 and 15 must provide a certified copy of the court order authorizing the marriage. A certified copy of the birth certificate is also required.
  • A marriage license may not be issued to applicants under 14 years of age.
Fees $50 - Cash Only.($20.00 of which will be used for domestic violence programs).
There is an additional $10.00 fee to obtain a certified copy of the marriage certificate. This is well worth doing as it would be needed for things like changing your name, or social security records.
Waiting Period No waiting period.
Blood Tests No tests.
Marriage Ceremony Marriage ceremonies may be either religious or civil.
  • A religious ceremony is performed by an ordained minister.
  • A civil ceremony is conducted by a magistrate, the only civil officer authorized to perform marriages.

There must be two witnesses at any marriage ceremony, whether it is civil or religious.

Common Law Marriage Common law marriage, which is recognized in some states, involves a couple living together and holding themselves out to everyone as man and wife. Even though there is no marriage ceremony or certificate, this marriage is considered valid in those states that recognize common law marriage. North Carolina is not one of those states, and no amount of living together in this state can result in a valid marriage, without a valid marriage ceremony.
Cousin Marriage Yes. First cousins may marry, but double first cousins may not. Double first cousins are very rare, as the couple have to be related as cousins through both parents.
Same Sex Marriage No.
Officiants Any ordained minister of any faith who is authorized to perform marriages by his church may do so. Ministers must complete the marriage license and return it to the register of deeds who issued it.
Valid Your License is valid for 60 days after that you must re-apply.
The license can only be used within the State of North Carolina.

Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

If you find anything that needs correction or additions send an email via our contact page.

 

Please note that we strongly recommend that you request a "Registered" or "Certified" copy of your marriage license as not all counties return a copy of the completed license to the couple.

North Carolina Clerk's Office

County Location Phone
Alamance Graham, NC 336.570.6565
Alexander County Taylorsville, NC 828.632.3152
Alleghany Sparta, NC 336.372.4342
Anson Wadesboro, NC 704.694.3212
Ashe Jefferson, NC 336.246.1841
Avery Newland, NC 828.733.8260
Beaufort Washington, NC 252.946.2323
Bertie Windsor, NC 252.794.5309
Bladen Elizabeth Town, NC 910.862.6710
Brunswick Bolivia, NC 910.253.4429
Buncombe Ashville, NC 828.255.5642
Burke Morganton, NC 828.438.5450
Cabarrus Concord, NC 704.788.8112
Caldwell Lenoir, NC 828.757.1310
Camden Camden, NC 252.335.4077
Carteret Beaufort, NC 252.728.8474
Caswell Yanceville, NC 336.694.4193
Catawba Newton, NC 828.465.1573
Chatham Pittsboro, NC 919.542.8235
Cherokee Murphy, NC 828.837.2613
Chowan Edenton, NC 252.482.2619
Clay Hayesville, NC 828.389.0087
Cleveland Shelby, NC 704.484.4834
Columbus Whiteville, NC 910.640.6625
Craven New Bern, NC 252.636.6617
Cumberland Fayetteville, NC 910.678.7775
Currituck Currituck, NC 252.232.3297
Dare Manteo, NC 252.473.3438
Davidson Lexington, NC 336.474.2643
Davie Mocksville, NC 704.634.2513
Duplin Kenansville, NC 910.296.2108
Durham Durham, NC 919.560.0480
Edgecombe Tarboro, NC 252.641.7924
Forsyth Winston-Salem, NC 336.727.2259
Franklin Louisburg, NC 919.496.3500
Gaston Gastonia, NC 704.866.3181
Gates Gatesville, NC 252.357.0850
Graham Robbinsville, NC 828.479.7971
Granville Oxford, NC 919.693.6314
Greene Snow Hill, NC 252.747.3620
Guilford Greensboro, NC 336.373.7556
Halifax Halifax, NC 252.583.2101
Harnett Lillington, NC 910.893.7540
Haywood Waynesville, NC 828.452.6635
Henderson Hendersonville, NC 828.697.4901
Hertford Winton, NC 252.358.7850
Hyde Swanquarter, NC 252.926.3011
Iredell Statesville, NC 704.872.7468
Jackson Sylva, NC 828.586.7532
Johnston Smithfield, NC 919.989.5160
Jones Trenton, NC 252.448.2551
Lee Sanford, NC 919.774.4821
Lenior Kinston, NC 252.559.6420
Lincoln Lincolnton, NC 704.736.8530
Macon Franklin, NC 828.349.2095
Madison Marshall, NC 828.649.3131
Martin Williamston, NC 252.792.1683
Mc Dowell Marion, NC 828.652.4727
Mecklenburg Charlotte, NC 704.336.2443
Mitchell Bakersville, NC 828.688.2139
Montgomery Troy, NC 910.576.4271
Moore Carthage, NC 910.947.-6370
Nash Nashville, NC 252.459.9836
New Hanover Wilmington, NC 910.341.4531
Northampton Jackson, NC 252.534.2511
Onslow Jacksonville, NC 910.347.3451
Orange Hillsborough, NC 919.732.8181
Pamlico Bayboro, NC 252.745.4421
Pasquotank Elizabeth City, NC 252.335.4367
Pender Burgaw, NC 910.259.1225
Perquimans Hertford, NC 252.426.5660
Person Roxboro, NC 336.597.7221
Pitt Greenville, NC 252.830.4130
Polk Columbus, NC 828.894.8450
Randolph Asheboro, NC 336.318.6960
Richmond Rockingham, NC 910.997.8250
Robeson Lumberton, NC 910.671.3045
Rockingham Wentworth, NC 336.342.8820
Rowan Salisbury, NC 704.638.3102
Rutherford Rutherfordton, NC 828.287.6155
Sampson Clinton, NC 910.592.8026
Scotland Laurinburg, NC 910.277.2575
Stanly Albemarle, NC 704.983.7235
Stokes Dan Bury, NC 336.593.2811
Surry Dobson, NC 336.366.8150
Swain Bryson City, NC 828.488.9273
Transylvania Brevard, NC 828.884.3162
Tyrell Columbia, NC 252.796.2901
Union Monroe, NC 704.283.3843
Vance Henderson, NC 252.438.4155
Wake Raleigh, NC 919.856.5460
Warren Warrenton, NC 252.257.3265
Washington Plymouth, NC 252.793.2325
Watauga Boone, NC 828.265.8052
Wayne Goldsboro, NC 919.731.1449
Wilkes Wilkesboro, NC 336.838.2052
Wilson Wilson, NC 252.399.2935
Yadkin Yadkinville, NC 336.679.4225
Yancey Burnsville, NC 828.682.2174