If you're getting married in the state of South Carolina you must first apply for a wedding license at any in-state county clerk office. These offices, some of which are referred to as the "marriage license bureau," are usually located in the county probate court or circuit court. This document outlines the requirements you must adhere to in order to get a valid marriage license that can be used statewide. Let's begin…
Cost of Your License
How much does a marriage license cost?
The marriage license fee is roughly $25.00 dollars, although fees may vary from county to county. Out of state applicants will be charged a higher fee than in-state residents. Accepted forms of payment are cash.
Are there any special residency conditions for in-state or out-of-state residents?
There are none. You do not have to be a previous or current resident of South Carolina to obtain a marriage license that will be valid statewide.
After I submit my application how long do I have to wait before I receive my marriage license?
There is a mandatory 1 day waiting period before your license is issued to you. In most states, the waiting period does not include Saturdays, Sundays or federal holidays. In some instances, the day the application is filed is not included within the waiting period timeline.
Is there a waiting period from the moment the license is given to me to the date I'm allowed to actually marry?
No, you can get married immediately after your marriage license is issued.
How long will my marriage license remain valid once it's been issued?
Your marriage license will never expire once it's been issued.
What happens if my marriage license expires before I get a chance to use it?
This scenario wouldn't apply to you because, as stated above, your license will not expire once it's been issued to you.
How old must I be to get married?
You must be at least 18 years of age or older to marry without parental consent. A birth certificate may be necessary to show proof of age.
What if one or both of us is younger than 18?
If either partner is under 18, one parent or legal guardian must be present. If a parent can not be present, due to death, separation, divorce or other circumstances, proper evidence must be presented for verification. You will need a certified copy of your birth certificate.
Are blood tests and physical exams required?
No blood test or physical exam is required.
Divorced or Widowed Applicants
What if one or both partners have been divorced or have had a spouse die?
If previously married, the date of divorce or date of spouse's death must be provided.
Marriage Name Change
How do I legally change my name before or after I get married?
When you are married, you will receive a marriage certificate, which is a piece of paper proving that you are legally married. This document will serve as evidence of your marriage, which you'll need to complete the process of notifying several government agencies about your name change, as well as any non-government institutions that you do business with (ie, banks, employers, credit cards, memberships, etc).
There is an online marriage name change kit that you can use and complete before or after your marriage takes place. It's applicable for South Carolina or any other state in the union. Completing all the necessary name change documentation prior to your wedding is recommended in order to expedite the name change process.
What is a proxy marriage?
A proxy marriage, also known as a "proxy wedding," is when one or both partners to be married are unable to physically attend the ceremony. The missing person, or persons, will have someone "stand in" for them and serve as their "proxy."
Can I get married by proxy if I'm unable to to be present for the ceremony?
No, getting married by proxy is not allowed in South Carolina. There are actually only five states left that do allow marriage by proxy.
Common Law Marriage
What is a common law marriage?
The term "common law marriage" refers to an informal marriage, based upon cohabitation and a mutual understanding by both partners, rather than getting married through a civil or religious ceremony. The latter, more common approach, would require an actual South Carolina marriage license.
Is a common law marriage a legal option for me instead of undergoing a conventional marriage?
No, common-law marriages are not allowed in South Carolina. This is unsurprising as only one-fifth of the country currently recognizes common law marriage.
Can I get married to my cousin?
Yes, cousin marriages (first, second, etc) are allowed to take place.
Same Sex Marriage
Are same sex marriages legal?
Yes, same-sex marriages are allowed and legally recognized in South Carolina.
Where to Go
Where do I physically need to go to get my marriage license?
South Carolina has 46 offices where a marriage license can be acquired. Simply choose a location below to visit. Phone numbers as well as map and accompanying driving direction links are provided for every address.
Abbeville, SC 29620
Aiken, SC 29801
Allendale, SC 29810
Anderson, SC 29622
Bamberg, SC 29003
Barnwell, SC 29812
Beaufort, SC 29901
Moncks Corder, SC 29461
St Matthews, SC 29135
Charleston, SC 29401
Gaffney, SC 29342
Chester, SC 29706
Chesterfield, SC 29709
Clarendon, SC 29102
Walterboro, SC 29488
Darlington, SC 29532
Dillon, SC 29536
St George, SC 29477
Edgefield, SC 29824
Winnsboro, SC 29180
Florence, SC 29501
Georgetown, SC 29442
Ridge # 1200
Greenville, SC 29601
Greenwood, SC 29646
Hampton, SC 29924
Conway, SC 29526
Ridgeland, SC 29936
Camden, SC 29020
Lancaster, SC 29720
Laurens, SC 29360
Bishopville, SC 29010
Lexington, SC 29072
Marion, SC 29571
Bennettsville, SC 29512
Mc Cormick, SC 29835
Newberry, SC 29108
Walhalla, SC 29691
Orangeburg, SC 29116
Pickens, SC 29671
Columbia, SC 29202
Saluda, SC 29138
Spartanburg, SC 29301
Sumter, SC 29150
Union, SC 29379
Kingstree, SC 29556
York, SC 29745