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Getting Married in Washington

Before you begin your plans to get married in Washington it is imperative that you know the Washington marriage laws before you apply for a marriage license. Every state in the US have procedures for applying for marriage licenses -- this simply means that the marriage rules that apply in certain states may not apply in the state of Washington. Washington is one of the easier states to obtain marriage licenses in.

In order to acquire a Washington marriage license, you would be asked to provide the following:

  •     Some counties in Washington may require that you produce picture identification. Some counties will require your social security numbers (you should know your social security numbers)
  •     You or your prospective spouse do not have to be a resident of Washington in order to get married in Washington State.
  •     In cases of previous marriages; a divorce must be final and filed before you can apply for a Washington marriage license.
  •     The Washington state marriage license becomes valid for use after the third day (3 days waiting period) of application and remains valid for a period of 60 days. The marriage ceremony must be performed within the 60-day period; else, the couple will have to apply for another marriage license.
  •     The three-day waiting period will not be waived for any reason whatsoever.
  •     The cost for applying for a Washington marriage license varies from county to county, some counties will charge about $42 while other counties may charge $62 or more -- some counties accept cash only and will not accept credit cards or checks.
  •     Marriage to your cousin is absolutely prohibited in Washington

The Washington Department of Health, Centre for Health Statistics, will offer you more information on how to get marriage certificates in Washington State.  

Getting Married in the Evergreen State


Couples who have decided to get married in Washington will find the state very wonderful indeed. Washington is a beautiful state located in the Northwest of the United States; Washington is also home to Seattle which is also known as the biggest little city in the United States. For couples that are looking for a little something extra, they will find out that Washington sure has a lot to offer.

Make sure you and your spouse decide a wedding date. Deciding on a date is usually the first step to take before applying for a Washington marriage license. Make sure you find and give adequate notice to the person you want to perform the marriage ceremony. In Washington State, any number of the people can perform the ceremony such as; county clerks, judges, clergy members. You should choose where you want the wedding ceremony and reception to take place and book the venue long before the wedding (before someone other couple does). In order to cut costs you should consider choosing a location that is a short distance from where the wedding ceremony will be held -- that is, if the wedding ceremony and reception is not taking place in the same venue.
For couples that want to keep their marriage quiet, they must have at least two witnesses at their marriage ceremony.

Washington marriage license applicants who are 17 and 18 years old would be required to have a parent or legal guardian present with them in order to give their consent. If a marriage applicant is under the age of 17, he or she will need to have the age requirement waived by a superior court judge of the county where both parties reside. The court will require proof of age such as a birth certificate or drivers' license that is also needed along with the written consent of the family court. In order to be allowed to enter into a marriage in the state of Washington, an emancipated minor must provide the court with emancipation papers.

Always keep this in mind; when you sign a marriage certificate, you are signing a very legal and binding contract. Like every other contract, you should understand that specific conditions MUST be met, because a marriage creates not just a bond between two people, but certain responsibilities for each partner. Because the state of Washington is party to the contract (marriage), the court approval is needed in order to change or dissolve marriage.

The Washington State Laws on Marriage will provide you with all the information you need regarding marriage laws in Washington. With the Washington Vital Records , you can review and obtain marriage records easily.