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Washington DC Marriage

UPDATED: December 2, 2010

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Washington DC marriage laws require couples to obtain a valid marriage license before tying the knot. Certain restrictions apply for minors and previously married individuals. Also, Washington DC recognizes common law marriages. For more on the particulars of Washington DC marriage laws and the requirements for obtaining a Washington DC marriage license, see the information below.


Washington DC Marriage Consent Laws

  • With Parental Consent: 16 and 17 year-olds can obtain a marriage license in Washington DC only by first getting parental consent, either written or in person. Minors younger than 16 cannot obtain a marriage license in Washington DC.

  • Without Parental Consent: Adults 18 and older may marry in Washington DC without parental consent.


Washington DC Common Law Marriage

Washington DC recognizes common law marriages. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a common law marriage in Washington DC requires two elements: (1) an express mutual agreement by the couple, followed by (2) cohabitation as husband and wife.


Washington DC Marriage License

  • Residency: No residency requirement.

  • Tests: No longer required.

  • Identification Required: Valid photo ID and certified birth certificate.

  • Appearance/Proxy: No proxy marriages available in Washington DC. Both parties must be present at the time of application.

  • Previous Marriages: Previously married individuals must provide a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate proving the end of the previous marriage.

  • Length of License: No expiration.

  • Fees: $45, payable in cash only, and includes a certified copy of the marriage certificate.

  • Authorized Washington DC Officiants: Any ordained minister.


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