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Marriage FAQ

Marriage FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Download the marriage license application form. The partner who cannot apply in person must complete their affidavit in front of a notary public. The partner who can apply in person must bring the original application to our office. If both partners are unable to come to our office, give the original application to a third party who can apply for the marriage license on their behalf.

No, a faxed application or affidavit will not be accepted to apply for a marriage license. It must be the original, signed, and notarized document for it to be accepted.

Check if your certificate has been processed by searching our online records. If your record shows a "Marriage Certificate" Doc Type, then you can request a copy.

If you were married prior to 1991, you can request copies from the Washington State Digital Archives.

If you or your partner want to change your last name after marriage, take a certified copy of your marriage license to any organization that you need to notify, including but not limited to 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 court-ordered name changes at 206-205-9200.

As long as the relative or friend meets the criteria for wedding officiants described in Washington state law, they can officiate without any further registration with King County or Washington State.

State law does not specify the age of witnesses; however, the person is witnessing a civil contract. As such, a witness is deemed "competent" for this purpose usually at the age of 18. If applicants wish to have persons under the age of 18 witness the ceremony, we recommend they have two other witnesses who are over 18 also observe the exchange of vows and sign the marriage certificates. More than two witnesses may sign the certificate.

Prior to the wedding, you may come into our office to complete an Affidavit of Loss and we can replace the documents that were lost or damaged. We charge $1 for each document being replaced. If you are unable to come in person, you may complete the Affidavit of Loss in front of a notary public and mail it to our office with payment.

If you think your completed marriage certificate has been lost, you should first check with your officiant to see if or when they returned it to our office. If it has been more than 30 days since your wedding and the certificate still has not been recorded, then contact our office and we will determine if an Affidavit of Loss is appropriate.

No. The license validity period is mandated by Washington State law and cannot be waived for any reason. Keep in mind the license is considered valid between the first and last dates referenced on the license.

Immediately following the ceremony, the couple, the officiant, and at least two witnesses must sign the license. It is the officiant's responsibility to complete and return the marriage certificate to King County within 30 days after the ceremony. Walk into our office to drop it off in person or use the self-addressed envelope provided in your application packet to return it by mail.

No, under Washington state law, that wedding will not be recognized as legal or official for civil purposes. You will need to purchase a marriage license and have another ceremony within the validity dates of the license, and for civil purposes, this date will be your official wedding date.

Some jurisdictions require a Single Status or No Impediment document stating that neither party to a planned marriage is currently married. If you are a resident of King County who needs such a document, you can request a Single Status search in person at the King County Customer Service Center:

  • King County Recorder's Office
  • 201 S. Jackson St., Suite 204
  • Seattle, WA 98104
You can also request a search by mail at the address above. You must submit a Single Status request form and a copy of your photo ID. We will send you a letter that states whether or not we found any marriage records. The charge is $8 for every five years searched. Please know that search results are limited to King County only. You may also check with the Washington State Center for Health Statistics for a search of state-recorded marriage certificates.

Note that Washington State does not require a Single Status or No Impediment document stating that neither party is currently married in order to obtain a marriage license.

No. Washington State does not require a Single Status or No Impediment document stating that neither party is currently married in order to obtain a marriage license. If you are getting married in another jurisdiction, you will need to check with them to see if they require such a document.

Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Customer Service:

Marriage Licensing:
Monday - Friday
Recording ends at 3:30 p.m.
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