If you're getting married in the state of West Virginia you must first apply for a wedding license at any in-state county clerk office. These offices are usually located at a county courthouse or within the court house complex. 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 $56.00 dollars. If the couple is willing to complete marriage counseling, the fee will be reduced to $36. Accepted forms of payment are cash.
Are there any special residency conditions for in-state or out-of-state residents?
West Virginia residents must apply for a marriage license in the county in which one or both live. Two non West Virginia residents may apply in any county. Once a marriage license is obtained, either by residents or non-residents, it may be used anywhere in West Virginia. The license will be completed by the marriage celebrant and returned for filing to the county clerk that issued the license. Marriage licenses issued by another state must not be used for marriage in West Virginia. Likewise, marriage licenses issued by a county in West Virginia must not be used for marriage in another state.
After I submit my application how long do I have to wait before I receive my marriage license?
As long as both parties to the marriage are 18 years of age or older, or otherwise emancipated from their parents, there is no waiting period before the license is issued. If one or both of the parties to the marriage are under 18 years of age, there is a 3 day waiting period before the license will be issued. The waiting period can be waived by a judge.
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 license will expire 60 days from the date it is issued. Once it expires, it can no longer be used to get married.
What happens if my marriage license expires before I get a chance to use it?
Unfortunately, you'll just have to get a brand new one as your expired one will no longer be recognized as valid by the state nor by the person who will be responsible for officiating your marriage.
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, parental consent forms must be signed. You will need a certified copy of your birth certificate. A minor who is pregnant still requires parental consent.
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 you were previously married, the date of your divorce or the date of your spouse's death must be provided. Bring a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate. If necessary, a copy of your divorce records or spouse's death certificate can be ordered from your local vital records office and mailed to you.
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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia. 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia. This is unsurprising as only one-fifth of the country currently recognizes common law marriage.
Can I get married to my cousin?
First cousin marriages are not allowed. Second cousin, third cousin, etc., marriages are allowed.
Same Sex Marriage
Are same sex marriages legal?
Yes, same-sex marriages are allowed and legally recognized in West Virginia.
Where to Go
Where do I physically need to go to get my marriage license?
West Virginia has 55 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.
Philippi, WV 26416
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Madison, WV 25130
Wellsburg, WV 26070
Huntington, WV 25701
Clay, WV 25043
Fayetteville, WV 25840
Petersburg, WV 26847
Lewisburg, WV 24901
Romney, WV 26757
New Cumberland, WV 26047
Moorefield, WV 26836
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Ripley, WV 25271
Charles Town, WV 25414
Charleston, WV 25301
Weston, WV 26452
Hamlin, WV 25523
Logan, WV 25601
Fairmont, WV 26554
Moundsville, WV 26041
Point Pleasant, WV 25550
Welch, WV 24801
Princeton, WV 24740
Keyser, WV 26726
Williamson, WV 25661
Morgantown, WV 26505
Union, WV 24983
Berkeley, WV 25411
Summersville, WV 26651
Wheeling, WV 26003
Franklin, WV 26807
St Marys, WV 26170
Marlinton, WV 24954
Kingwood, WV 26537
Winfield, WV 25213
Beckley, WV 25801
Elkins, WV 26241
Harrisville, WV 26362
Hinton, WV 25951
Grafton, WV 26354
Middlebourne, WV 26149
Buckhannon, WV 26201
Wayne, WV 25570
New Martinsville, WV 26155
Elizabeth, WV 26143
Parkersburg, WV 26102
Pineville, WV 24874