Minnesota Marriage License Information, Laws and Requirements FAQ

Disclaimer: The information here, including the list of MN county clerk offices, is correct to the best of our knowledge. Please notify us if any information is found to be inaccurate or out of date.

In most circumstances you may apply for a marriage license at any MN county clerk office where you plan to be married. These offices are usually located in the county probate court or circuit court. This document outlines the procedures you must follow to obtain your license.


Obtaining a Marriage License

What is the cost of a marriage license?

The Minnesota marriage license fee is $115.00 dollars.

Do both parties need to appear when applying?

Yes, both parties must appear in person to sign the application. However, if this is not possible you can obtain an affidavit at the County office or website for the non-appearing party to sign in the presence of a Notary Public.


Residency Requirements

What are the residency requirements for Minnesota?

None. You do not have to be a previous or current resident of Minnesota to obtain a marriage license that is valid statewide.


Waiting Period

Is there a waiting period from the application date to the date the license is issued?

No, as of August 1st, 2016 there is no longer a waiting period in Minnesota. However not all government centers or DMV licensing offices are able to issuing the license and certificate directly so there may be a delay if the have to mail it to you.


License Expires

How long does a marriage license remain valid once it’s been issued?

Your license will expire 6 months from the date it is issued.


Age Requirement

What is the minimum age a man or woman may marry?

You must be 18 years old 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. If you are under 16 you can not marry without a court order.


Blood Tests and Physical Exams

Are blood tests and physical exams required?

No blood test or physical exam is required.


Divorced and 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.


Name Change

Am I required to change my name?

No, name change by either the bride or groom is optional. However, if you decide to change your name at a later date you will need to meet the residency and witness requirements, file for a name change and pay the proper filing fees (currently $250).

What’s the process of legally changing my last name after marriage?

Following your wedding ceremony, you will receive a marriage certificate, which is a piece of paper proving that you are legally married. This certificate will serve as evidence of your marriage, which you’ll need when you begin the process of notifying several government agencies about your name change, as well as any non-government institutions that you do business with (i.e., banks, employers, credit cards, memberships, etc).


Miscellaneous Questions

Who can perform a legal marriage?

Either a judge or an ordained minister who is registered to perform legal marriages in Minnesota.

Are witness required?

Yes, two witnesses, age 16 or older are required to sign the marriage certificate along with the officiant.

Are same sex marriages legal?

Yes, as of August 1st, 2013 same-sex marriages are legal in Minnesota.

Are proxy marriages legal?

No, marriage by proxy is not allowed.

Are cousin marriages legal?

No, cousin marriages are not allowed.

Are common law marriages legal?

No, common-law marriages are not legal.

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