Pennsylvania Marriage License Laws and Requirements

Congratulations on your decision to get married! This is one of the most important and stressful decisions you can make! After all, deciding to get married is one thing. Actually knowing what to do so that you can actually, legally, call yourself someone's husband or wife is quite another. Sadly, it is more complicated than just having a fancy party in which you wear fancy clothes. At the same time, when you know what to do, the process isn't nearly as scary! Here is how to make sure that the state of Pennsylvania, will consider you legally married.

Who is allowed to get married in Pennsylvania?

Any individuals over the age of 18 are allowed to get married, provided that they are not already married to someone else. Marriage can only be between two people (sorry those of you who might be polyamorous).

Is same sex marriage allowed in Pennsylvania?

At this time Pennsylvania does not recognize or allow same sex marriage. It also does not recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships.

What if I am not yet 18?

Pennsylvania does allow people who aren't yet 18 to get married.

If you are 16-17, depending upon the county in which you are applying, you will need to provide either written consent from your parent or legal guardian or have your parent or legal guardian go with you to give consent when you file. If your parent or guardian needs to appear with you, he or she will need to be able to provide valid identification as well as legal proof of parentage or guardianship.

If you are age 15 (or younger than fifteen), your parent will need to appear at the time you apply for your marriage license. You will also need to get your marriage application approved by a judge from the Orphans' court.

There are extra fees for marriage applications filed by people under the age of eighteen. They vary from county to county so check with your local Orphan's Court to find out what the actual fees are. Fees must be paid in cash. There are also extra fees if your parent or guardian does not reside within the county in which you are filing your application.

When in doubt, call ahead!

Can I marry my cousin?

Nope! And, before you ask, there is no way to get around this.

What if I am already married to another person

You cannot be married at the time that you file your marriage application. You are going to need to get divorced or file for an annulment.

What if I have already been married (but am not now)?

It depends on the situation.

If you were married but got divorced or had the marriage annulled, you will need to provide legal proof that the divorce or annulment has been processed and finalized. Your divorce settlement should work here.

If you were married but your spouse has passed away, you will need to show the death certificate for that spouse at the time that you file for your application.

What if I used to have a different name?

It doesn't matter why the name you have now is not the same as the name you used to have. You must provide legal proof that you have officially and legally changed your name to whatever it is that you are using now at the time you apply to get married. This is almost always a certified decree of the court.

Can I get married as soon as I file?

No. There is a mandatory waiting period of a minimum of three days that must pass between the time you file your application and when your marriage can be legalized. If you anticipate a problem and need to have the waiting period waived, you need to notify the court in advance. You can usually do this by mailing in proof of your anticipated wedding date (like an invitation).

There are circumstances in which the waiting period can be waived, but you almost always have to ask for this well in advance of your wedding date. Call your local Orphan's Court or Marriage License Bureau to get the details on what you need to do for your county.

My marriage license application is good forever, right?

No! You have to wait three days but you only have sixty days from the time you file your marriage license application to have your ceremony officiated and have the license filed with the court and made legal. If more than sixty days passes, you must fill out another application and pay the fees all over again.

Is my marriage license county specific?

No! You can apply for a marriage license in any county and have it made official in any county. This makes it much easier if you plan to have your ceremony in another part of the state. Your marriage license cannot be made official outside of Pennsylvania, though! If you want to get married outside of the Pennsylvania state lines, you will need to contact that state and see what kind of laws they have for marriage licenses.

What if I don't want to go through the hassle of a ceremony? can't I just have a common law marriage?

Unless you declared yourself married by common law prior to 2005, you cannot simply have a common law marriage and be done with it. Pennsylvania stopped issuing common law marriage certificates as of January 1, 2005.

How do I apply for a Pennsylvania marriage license?

You and your future spouse must visit the Marriage License Bureau (or Orphan's Court) and fill out the application together. Proxies are not allowed.

You will both need to have two forms of identification. The first is a current and valid form of photo identification. This can be your driver's license, state issued ID card, passport, military ID, etc. The second is either your social security card or an official document that contains your social security number (like a W-2, tax forms, etc).

If one of you doesn't currently have a social security number, you are going to need to be able to provide a birth certificate or some other form of official identification.

The best thing to do if you want to make sure your bases are covered here, is to call your local marriage license bureau or orphan's court and ask them what you should bring in.

Are blood tests required?

Nope!

How much does it cost?

The fees vary from city to city and from county to county. Contact your local officials before you go in to make sure that you know how much you will be expected to pay. This is important because the office will not take credit cards or checks. You must pay your fees in cash at the time that you are applying. So call ahead and make sure you visit the ATM before you go in to fill out your application!

Who can marry us?

Within the state of Pennsylvania, you have a few options when it comes to ceremony officiants. You have the typical religious officiants (priests, ministers, rabbis, pastors, etc). You can also get married by a judge or a justice of the peace.

You can also sometimes perform your own marriage ceremony! It's true! Within the state of Pennsylvania, it is sometimes possible to self-officiate your marriage ceremony. The rules on this vary from one area to another so make sure that you call the Marriage License Bureau or Orphan's Court before you go in to find out what those requirements are. It is important to find this out beforehand because you have to state that you plan on self-officiating before you apply for your marriage license (and you almost always have to pay an additional fee).

What about getting ordained online?

This is iffy. Sometimes the state will recognize the authority of a web-based ordained minister and sometimes they will not. There have been cases in which a marriage license wasn't validated because the minister didn't have an actual congregation. Check with your local authorities! Do not assume that, since this is usually allowed in most other places in the United States that it will be allowed in your city or county.

Are proxy marriages allowed in Pennsylvania?

Sorry, no.

What if I am changing my name?

After you get married you'll receive a marriage certificate which will serve as proof of your marriage. This document will be useful when notifying the necessary government agencies of your new name, as well as any non-government agencies. If you need help to streamline the name change process you can use an online name change service to help you get going.

Where do I need to go to apply for my license?

Simply choose the location below that's closest to you.

Adams County , Recorder Of Deeds

County Courthouse,Rm 102
Gettysburg, PA 17325

717-334-6781

Allegheny County Recorder , City-County Building

414 Grant St
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

412-350-4230

Armstrong County , Register & Recorder

500 Market St
Kittanning, PA 16201

724-543-2500

Beaver County , Recorder Of Deeds

P.O. Box 537
Beaver, PA 15009

724-728-5700

Bedford County , Recorder Of Deeds

200 South Juliana St
Bedford, PA 15522

814-623-4833

Berks County , Marriage License Borough
County Recorders Office

Sixth And Court St
Reading, PA 19601

610-478-6617

Blair County Prothonotary

423 Allegheny St
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

814-693-3080

Bradford County , Register & Recorder

301 Main St
Towanda, PA 18848

570-265-1703

Bucks County , Orphans Court

Administration Building
Doylestown, PA 18901

215-348-6257

Butler County , Recorder Of Wills

124 W Diamond St
Butler, PA 16001

724-284-5354

Cambria County , Recorder Of Wills

200 S Center St
Ebensburg, PA 15931

814-472-1440

Cameron County , Recorder Of Deeds

County Court House
Emporium, PA 15834

814-486-3349

Carbon County , Recorder of Wills

Route 209
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

570-325-2261

Centre County , Marriage License

414 Holmes Ave # 2
Bellefonte, PA 16823

814-355-6724

Chester County , Recorder Of Deeds

High And Market St
Westchester, PA 19380

610-344-6335

Clarion County , Recorder Of Deeds

Court House
Clarion, PA 16214

814-226-4000

Clearfield County , Recorder Of Deeds

P.O. Box 361
Clearfield, PA 16830

814-765-2641

Clinton County , Recorder Of Deeds

230 E Water St
Lock Haven, PA 17745

570-893-4010

Columbia County , Marriage 0

35 W Main
Bloomsburg, PA 17815

570-389-5615

Crawford County , Clerk Of Courts

903 Diamond Park
Meadville, PA 16335

814-333-7442

Cumberland County , Register of Wills

Court House
Carlisle, PA 17013

717-240-6345

Dauphin County , Register-Wills

Front & Market Sts., #103
Harrisburg, PA 17108

717-257-1591

Delaware County , Register of Wills

Courthouse #107
Media, PA 19063

610-891-4400

Elk County , Recorder Of Deeds

P.O. Box 314
Ridgway, PA 15853

814-776-5349

Erie County , Marriage Bureau

140 West 6th St
Erie, PA 16501

814-451-6264

Fayette County , Register-Wills

61 E Main St
Uniontown, PA 15401

724-430-1206

Forest County Recorder

526 Elm St
Tionesta, PA 16353

814-755-3526

Franklin County , Clerk Of Court

157 Lincoln Way East
Chambersburg, PA 17201

717-261-3805

Fulton County , Clerk of Ophans Courts

Fulton County Court House
Mc Connellsburg, PA 17233

717-485-4212

Greene County , Recorder Of Deeds

Greene County Court House
Waynesburg, PA 15370

412-852-1171

Huntingdon County , Register

223 Penn St
Huntingdon, PA 16652

814-643-2740

Indiana County Register

825 Philadelphia St
Indiana, PA 15701

724-465-3860

Jefferson County Recorder

200 Main St
Brookville, PA 15825

814-849-1610

Juniata County , Register-Wills

P.O. Box 68
Mifflintown, PA 17059

717-436-7709

Lackawanna County , Register-Wills

200 N Washington 0 3
Scraton, PA 18503

570-963-6702

Lancaster County , Register-Wills

50 North Duke St
Lancaster, PA 17603

717-299-8243

Lawrence County , Marriage 0

30 Court St
Newcastle, PA 16101

724-656-2440

Lebanon County Marriage License , Municipal Building Room 107

400 South Eighth St
Lebanon, PA 17042

717-228-4414

Lehigh County , Marriage License

P.O. Box 1548
Allentown, PA 18105

610-782-3173

Luzerne County , Register-Wills

200 N River St
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711

570-825-1668

Lycoming Marriage License

48 W 3rd St
Williamsport, PA 17701

570-327-2262

Mc Kean County , Register-Wills

Box 3426
Smethport, PA 16749

814-887-3260

Mercer County , Register of Wills

N. Diamond St
Mercer, PA 16137

724-662-3800

Mifflin County , Recorders Office

20 N Wayne St
Lewistown, PA 17044

717-242-1449

Monroe County Recorder , Recorder's Office

7th & Monroe
Stroudsburg, PA 18360

570-420-3400

Montgomery County , County Recorders

Courthouse
Norristown, PA 19404

610-278-3000

Montour County Registrar

29 Mill St
Danville, PA 17821

570-271-3012

Northampton , Prothonotary-Civil

669 Washington St
Easton, PA 18042

610-559-3095

Northumberland , Marriage 0

2nd & Market St
Sunbury, PA 17801

570-988-4143

Perry County , Register of Wills

P.O. Box 223
New Bloomfield, PA 17068

717-582-2131

Philadelphia License & Inspection

City Hall, Room #154
Philadelphia, PA 19106

215-686-2233

Pike County , Marriage License

412 Broad St
Milford, PA 18337

570-296-7231

Potter County Register

1 E 2nd St, # 20
Coudersport, PA 16915

814-274-8370

Schuylkill County , Register of Wills

Second And Laurel
Pottsville, PA 17901

570-622-5570

Snyder County , Register-Wills

P.O. Box 217
Middleburg, PA 17842

570-837-4226

Somerset Marriage License

111 E Union St
Somerset, PA 15501

814-445-2096

Sullivan Register & Recorder

Main St
Courthouse

La Porte, PA 18626

570-946-7351

Susquehanna , County Register

Maple Ave
Montrose, PA 18801

570-278-4600

Tioga County , Prothonotary's Office

116 Main St
Wellsboro, PA 16901

570-724-9281

Union County , Register/Recorder

103 South 2nd St
Lewisburg, PA 17837

570-524-8761

Venango County , Clerk Of Courts

Liberty St
Franklin, PA 16323

814-432-9577

Warren County , Register of Wills

Court House
Warren, PA 16365

814-723-7550

Washington County Recorder

1 S Main St, # 1002
Washington, PA 15301

724-228-6775

Wayne County , Register of Wills

Court St
Honesdale, PA 18431

570-253-5970

Westmoreland County , Registar Of Wills

301 Courthouse Sq
Greensburg, PA 15601

724-830-3177

Wyoming County Register , Wyoming Court House

1 Court House Sq
Tunkhannock, PA 18657

570-836-3200

York County , Marriage License

28 East Market St
York, PA 17401

717-771-9615