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Getting Married in Iowa

For those people who are thinking about getting married in Iowa, they should know that the Hawkeye State is a welcoming place for those thinking of tying the knot in the state. As always, understand that each Iowa County may have a set of marriage laws and regulations that vary slightly from the overall body of state laws and regulations as they pertain to becoming married in Iowa, so it's always a good idea to check at a third party source.

What's for certain is that most marriage experts recommend that preplanning begin at least 30 days earlier before heading to the clerk's office to examine something like Iowa marriage applications or Iowa marriage licenses. Many a person has shown up at the clerk's office without the right documentation and then turned away so don't let this happen to you.

Forms, Licenses and Information for the Hawkeye State


There is no residency requirement in the state of Iowa as far as doing what it takes to get married in Iowa, and this can be a circumstance that makes it quite convenient to tie the knot in this locale. Additionally, be prepared to show photo identification and a Social Security number in order to be able to apply for a marriage license. An exciting development in the recent past is that the state of Iowa now allows same-sex marriages, which places it among several other states in the country that now allow such ceremonies to be performed within their borders.

Iowa has a waiting period of three business days from the issuance of the license before people can go out and have the marriage solemnized. For those extremely eager to be married after a night of great fun and enjoyment, this could serve to put a damper on the ability to go about getting married in Iowa but the state may be doing those couples a favor by making them cool their heels just a bit before taking the big plunge.

Fees for Iowa marriage licenses run around $30 throughout all of the counties, and it is usually cash and carry, though there are several counties that will have higher or lower fees and might take checks or credit cards. There are websites out there exist that can help a person lineup all of this from start to finish, if it is too time-consuming for a person to accomplish on his or her own.

There is no requirement for a blood test or other public health examination prior to applying for the marriage license. Also, the state allows marriage performers to be those who are ordained or licensed clergymen of any religious denomination and also Justices of the peace in the state.

For those persons who have been previously married, and the divorce was within 60 days of the application for marriage, a certified copy of the divorce decree will need to be presented. For those who have had divorces or marriages that ended longer than 60 days prior, it will be necessary to supply the date of the divorce or the date of the spouse's death in the unfortunate event that the previous marriage ended due to that unfortunate circumstance.

For persons who are younger than 18 years of age, which in Iowa means those who are 16 or 17 years (there is no provision made for marriage younger than that), parental consent will need to be provided. Just check one of the websites listed above for the hyperlinks to the specific forms or go to one of several websites which exist to help expedite this matter for people contemplating getting married at such a young age.

Iowa is one of the few states that requires a witness when it comes to Iowa marriage applications, and one must accompany the person applying for the application and the witness must be 18 years of age or older. Iowa marriage licenses are also valid for 60 days from date of issuance and the license can only be used within the state itself.

At the ceremony, the marriage license will not be considered valid until the clergymen or other official who has performed the ceremony has signed it in person. Additionally, he or she will be required to send it to the state of Iowa marriage license issuing organization in the applicable county or within the state, in certain circumstances.

The state takes seriously its duty to ensure that those who want to be married in Iowa be allowed to do so has conveniently and quickly as possible. As long as everything has been taken care of beforehand, things should go very smoothly and without stress.