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Marriage licensing

Marriage licensing

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! King County wants to make applying for and picking up your marriage license quick and easy.

3 Day Waiting Period,
60 Day Expiration

When we issue a marriage license, Washington state law requires a three-day waiting period before you can use it. This waiting period begins on the day your payment of the marriage license fee is processed. Licenses are valid for 60 days after the three-day waiting period.

A license issued today would be valid for use between
DATE and DATE.

 

Applicant Requirements

  • Both applicants must currently be unmarried.
  • Both applicants must be at least 18 years old or can meet the age requirements.
  • Both applicants must not be nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whole or half blood.
  • Both applicants must have current photo ID: U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, U.S. military ID, permanent resident card, driver's license or state photo ID card issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL), or foreign government issued passport.
  • The couple must pay a $69 application fee.

Age Requirements
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old, unless they satisfy the requirements for underage applicants listed below.
  • 17-year-olds can apply if one of the following conditions is met:
    • A parent or legal guardian submits a notarized statement of consent (available at any marriage licensing location). Please bring a certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate or documents establishing legal guardianship.
    • The applicant is legally emancipated and takes the court-certified copy of the emancipation document with them to apply.
  • Applicants under age 17 can apply only when the age requirement is waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides. Each party to the marriage that is under 17 years of age must present a waiver specifically naming them.

Residency and Citizenship Requirements
  • Marriage license applicants do not have to reside in Washington State or King County.
  • A marriage license purchased from any county in Washington State can be used to get married anywhere in Washington State.
  • Applicants do not have to apply for their marriage license in the county where the wedding ceremony will take place.
  • A marriage license obtained in Washington State cannot be used to get married in another state or country.
  • Applicants are not required to have a U.S. Social Security number in order to obtain a marriage license. However, one of the marriage license forms requires the inclusion of one's Social Security number OR the applicant's signature on a declaration that they do not have a U.S. Social Security number. This will not impair the couple's ability to receive their marriage license.

Location

A marriage license purchased from any county in Washington State can be used to get married anywhere in the state. If you plan to marry in another state or country, you must apply for its marriage license and comply with its laws for getting married. A marriage in another jurisdiction is valid in Washington State if it is not prohibited by Washington state law.

  Option 1
Apply online.

  • This process is not available to anyone who answers "yes" to the following questions:
    • Are you under the control of a parent or legal guardian/are you under the age of 18?
    • Are you enrolled in the Address Confidentiality Program?
  • If you answered yes to either of the above questions, you must either apply by mail or contact the office (KCROMarriage@kingcounty.gov) for further instructions.
  • Otherwise, begin the online application process through the King County Online Marriage Kiosk
    • Fill out all required fields for both parties. Required fields are shaded light yellow.
    • You will be prompted to enter your current physical address(es). If you would like your paperwork mailed to a different address, please indicate that in your email (see next step below).
  • After completing the Online Marriage Kiosk, if you would like to complete the process over the phone email us with the following information:
    • The transaction number generated when you clicked "Submit"
    • At least one good telephone number for us to contact to complete payment
  • Recorder's Office staff will call you to accept credit/debit payment within three business days between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
    • If we are unable to reach you, we will leave a voicemail if possible.
    • We will make two attempts to reach you by phone.
    • If we are still unable to make contact, you will receive an email with a deadline to reply by, or we will assume you are no longer interested in proceeding with the marriage application process.
  • If you would like to complete the process in person:
    • Take note of the transaction number generated when you clicked "Submit."
    • Finalize the process at our Seattle office (King County Recorder's Office, 201 S. Jackson St., Ste. 204, Seattle, WA 98104).
      • Both parties must be present with a valid photo I.D. (U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, U.S. military ID, permanent resident card, driver's license, or state photo ID card issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL), or foreign government issued passport.
      • You must bring payment for the $69 application fee (cash, check, money order, debit or credit).

  Option 2
Apply by mail.

  • Complete this Application
  • Have the application notarized (King County does not provide notary service)
  • Send us the original notarized application with a check or money order for $69
    • King County Recorder's Office, 201 S. Jackson St., Ste. 204, Seattle, WA 98104
    • Payable to King County Recorder
    • Starter checks are not acceptable
  • Once we process your Application, we will send it to you via USPS priority mail to either the address listed on the return envelope or the address listed on the Application.
    • Since you do need to provide your residence address on your Application, if you prefer a different address or have a different mailing address for USPS priority mail, please provide that address on a separate note.

Obtaining the license is just the first step in making your marriage official. Select the "Have the ceremony" tab to review the next step.

Who can officiate the ceremony?
State law prescribes who can perform a marriage ceremony: active and retired Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals judges, Superior Court judges, Superior Court commissioners, and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction, as well as any regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest of any church or religious denomination. See Chapter 26.04 of Washington state law for a complete list.

Ministers from any state may perform marriage ceremonies, but the ceremony must be performed in the State of Washington. Neither person getting married may perform the ceremony.

To schedule a marriage ceremony with a judge, you will need to contact them for their availability. Names and contact information for judges that perform ceremonies is available on court websites, or by reaching out to your preferred courthouse directly.

What do we do with the marriage certificate on the day of the ceremony?

Immediately following the ceremony, the couple, the officiant, and two witnesses must sign the marriage certificate. It is the officiant's responsibility to complete and return the license to King County within 30 days after the ceremony.

What do we do with the marriage certificate?

Immediately following the ceremony, the couple, the officiant, and two witnesses must sign the license. It is the officiant's responsibility to complete and return the license to King County within 30 days after the ceremony. The officiant can drop it off in person at the King County Customer Service Center or use the self-addressed envelope provided in your application packet to mail it.


How can we verify if our marriage certificate has been processed?

If you were married in 1991 or later, check if your certificate has been processed by searching online records. If your record shows a "Marriage Certificate" Doc Type, then you can request a copy.

If you were married in 1990 or earlier, you can request copies from Washington State Digital Archives.


How do I change my name?

All marriage license documents are signed with one's current legal name, never the intended new name.

There is no legal requirement for a name change after getting married; it is a right a couple may choose to exercise.

If you or your spouse want to change your surname after marriage take a certified copy of your marriage license to any organization that you need to notify, such as the ones listed below. If you want to change your first or middle name or create a new last name, check with King County District Court for details on a court-ordered name change.

Washington state law does not impose a time limit after the wedding by which a name change must be accomplished. However, if you are making the change more than a year after your wedding, check with each agency to determine if a certified copy of your marriage license will suffice to change your name with them.

Things to remember

  • Don't wait until the last minute! Due to staffing, the Recorder's Office cannot guarantee a three-day turnaround. We may run a few days behind processing marriage applications and marriage certificates, especially during peak periods of the year.
  • Please print legibly or type the information on your application. This cuts down on data entry errors.
  • Your application should reflect your current full, legal names, not the name(s) you intend to take after marriage.
  • Your application must be notarized.
  • Please include at least one phone number where you can be reached during the day.
  • Enclose a check or money order for $69 payable to King County. The check or money order must include your address. Starter checks are not accepted.
  • Please provide a physical mailing address where we should return your packet. P.O. boxes are not acceptable. If you do not include a return address, we will use the one on the application.
  • Packets will be returned by USPS Priority Mail or FedEx once your application has been processed.
  • If you have questions, please contact us at kcrocust@kingcounty.gov or 206-477-9521.

Have questions?

Check out our frequently asked questions for information such as how to get copies of your marriage license or certificate, if a child can be a witness, and many more.

Join the Line with QLess

Spend less time in line at the King County Customer Service Center by joining the virtual queue with QLess. Here's how:

  1. Join the line or make an appointment with this link or by texting the phrase Join the CSC Line to 206-539-0413. You can also use the QLess smartphone app available on most app stores.
  2. Wait where you want - we'll send you texts about your place in line and when it's time to start heading toward our counter at the King County Customer Service Center.
  3. When it's your turn, we'll text you to let you know exactly where to go. If you're already at the Customer Service Center, you can watch the screens in the lobbies for your name and which counter to visit.
You can also join the queue by visiting the Customer Service Center in person and using the QLess Kiosks in the South or East Lobbies.
Marriage-equality-event

Eager spouses-to-be lined up to be among the first marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in King County starting at midnight on December 6, 2012.

The contents of this webpage are not intended as a comprehensive digest on marriage licensing and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your legal rights or obligations, we encourage you to seek the advice of an attorney.
 

Customer Service
206-477-6620

Marriage Licensing
206-477-9521

Phone Service Hours:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

 
kcrocust@kingcounty.gov
 
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Recording ends at 3:30 p.m.
 
Holidays and Site Closures
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