Obtaining a Marriage Licenses In Washington, DC During Corona Virus Pandemic

Due to the COVID19 pandemic and significant changes to office operations, there will be a delay in the processing time. DC Couples Can Now Get a Marriage License Online. The Marriage Bureau will immediately begin processing marriage applications remotely.

Effective immediately, the Marriage Bureau is processing applications for marriage licenses,remotely. To begin the application process, please complete and submit the online application at https://www.dccourts.gov/form/marriage-application. You can use a computer or mobile device (iPad, Tablet or smartphone) to complete and submit the application. A representative from the Marriage Bureau willthen contact you to complete the application process.

If you are not able to apply online, contact the Family Court Call Center at 202-879-1212 for assistance. If you require a marriage license for an emergency matter (health insurance,childbirth, immigration, etc.), please submit an email to the Clerk of the Court’s Office at emergencycertifiedcopies@dcsc.gov or call the office at 202-879-1400.

 
General Information

The Marriage Bureau issues marriage licenses and certified copies and authorizes religious and civil celebrants to perform weddings in the District of Columbia. Click on the left tabs for more information on marriage licenses, civil wedding ceremonies, certified copies, and authorizations to celebrate marriages.

The Marriage Bureau is located in the Moultrie Courthouse, JM 690.

Other responsibilities of the Marriage Bureau include the following:

  • Filing, docketing, and file maintenance of all District of Columbia marriage records from 1811 to the present, and assisting the public in their review

  • Answering questions about marriage license application procedures

  • Assisting members of the public who wish to correct a marriage record

How to obtain a Marriage License

You may apply for a marriage license in two ways:

In all instances, you must show proof of age for both parties through one of the following documents:

  • US valid driver’s license,

  • Government-issued non-driver’s ID, or

  • Passport.

The minimum age for marriage in the District of Columbia is 18 years, or 16 years with the consent of a parent or guardian.

The marriage license application fee is $45.00 (this fee will be waived if the applicant’s’ original DC Domestic Partnership Certificate and is presented at the time of application). All fees must be paid in cash, credit card or by check or money order (made payable to Clerk, DC Superior Court).

The Marriage license can be issued the same day you apply, if all required information is included in the application, along with officiant name (if relevant), payment, and proof of age documents. Once issued, a marriage license does not expire.

A third party may apply on a couple’s behalf but must bring the couples’ identifications and the payment.

 
Court Officiant

You may request a civil wedding with a court official – Please see the Civil Wedding Ceremonies section. We will attempt to perform the ceremony on or near the date you request (please allow at least ten business days after license is issued).

 
Other Officiants

Religious celebrants and judges other than those of the DC Courts must be authorized by the Court and registered by the Marriage Bureau in order to perform legal marriages in the District of Columbia. The full name of the intended celebrant must be given at the time of the application. Please see the Application for Authorization to Celebrate Marriages.

 
Self-Officiants

A self-officiating ceremony occurs when one of the parties performs the ceremony. For self-officiating ceremonies, both parties must be present when picking up the license.

 
Civil Wedding Ceremonies

If you wish to be married at the courthouse, fill out a Civil Wedding Request Form. Please specify the date and time you would like to be married.

The civil wedding calendar is generally booked two to three weeks in advance. Please apply and confirm a date and time for your civil wedding with the court prior to finalizing your plans.

The marriage ceremony room holds approximately 10 to 15 guests. A court official will perform your marriage ceremony.

You can receive a certified copy of your marriage license the same day. The cost for the certificate is $10.00. There is no fee for the marriage ceremony.

 
How to Request a Certified Copy of a Marriage License

Please submit the following information to request a copy of your marriage license: (full names, maiden names, and the date of the marriage for both parties.

The fee is $10, paid by cash, credit card, check or money order. Money orders or checks should be made payable to ‘Clerk, DC Superior Court.’

You may either visit the Marriage Bureau or send payment and receive a copy by mail. After submitting the request, please send payment to:

District of Columbia Superior Court
Marriage Bureau – JM 690 500 Indiana Av. NW Washington, DC 20001

 
Application for Authorization to Celebrate Marriages

Pursuant to the “Marriage Officiant Amendment Act of 2013” (DC Code § 46-406), the following persons or organizations are authorized or are candidates for authorization to perform marriages in the District of Columbia:

  1. A judge or retired judge of any court of record

  2. The Clerk of the Court of such deputy clerks of the Courts as may, in writing be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge of the Court

  3. A minister, priest, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination or society ($35 fee & application required)

  4. For any religious society which does not by its own custom require the intervention of a minister for the celebration of marriages, a marriage may be solemnized in the manner prescribed and practiced in that religious society, with the license issued to, and returns to be made by, a person appointed by the religious society for that purpose ($35 fee & application required)

  5. A civil celebrant ($35 fee & application required)

  6. A temporary officiant ($25 fee & application required)

  7. Members of the Council

  8. The Mayor of the District of Columbia or

  9. The parties to the marriage (both parties to the marriage must apply in person with a valid government issued identification).

The Officiant Application or the Temporary Officiant Application may be submitted as needed with the application fee in the Marriage Bureau in Room JM-690 of the Moultrie Courthouse.

 

Photo credit: Alica Keiser Photography

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