Marriage License - FAQ's

MARRIAGE LICENSE FAQs

Q: Where can I apply for a marriage license?  
A: You can apply at the Wayne County Clerk's Downtown Detroit, Westland, or Northville Office locations.  

Q: Do both individuals need to be present when applying?
A: No, only one individual needs to be present; the individual picking up the license, however, MUST be a Wayne County resident and present proper I.D.  

**Please note that when you are picking up your license, you must have your receipt.**

Q: What documents do we need to bring with us when applying?
A: 
Each individual must have a CERTIFIED or ORIGINAL COPY (WITH SEAL AND PARENTAL INFORMATION) of their birth certificate. If you do not have a birth certificate, a PASSPORT is acceptable.

**Please see Acceptable Documenation for further information.** 

**PLEASE NOTE: ALL foreign birth certificates MUST be translated into ENGLISH by a CERTIFIED TRANSLATOR in order to be accepted. A NOTARY OTHER THAN THE TRANLATOR must notarize the translator's signature.**

**Birth Registrations, Hospital Certificates, and Baptismal Certificates ARE NOT ACCEPTED.**

Q: Do we each need a Social Security Number?

A: Yes, both individuals are required to include their Social Security Numbers on their application; if you DO NOT have a Social Security number, you must inform the Wayne County Clerk's Office when applying.  

Q: How much does a license cost?
A: You can pay with cash or a credit card when you apply. The fee is $20.00 if one or both individual(s) is a Wayne County resident, or $30.00 if both individuals are out-of-state residents.

**Please note that WE DO NOT ACCEPT PERSONAL CHECKS.**

Q: What is the waiting period for obtaining my marriage license?
A:
 There is a THREE-DAY WAITING PERIOD after the application has been filed. A marriage license is rendered VOID if it is not used (i.e. SOLEMNIZED) within 33 days of the date on the application. Westland Satellite Office only processes Same Day Marriage Licenses till 2:00 pm.


**PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT APPLY MORE THAN 33 DAYS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DATE. In order to WAIVE the THREE-DAY WAITING PERIOD, you must fill out a waiver and pay an ADDITIONAL $10.00. Once this process is completed, you will receive your marriage license ON THE SAME DAY YOU APPLY.

**The license is ONLY VALID in the STATE OF MICHIGAN.**

Q: How old do I have to be in order to get married in the State of Michigan?
A: You must be at least 18 years of age in order to get married in the State of Michigan WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT and at least 16 years of age WITH PARENTAL CONSENT. Parents must appear IN PERSON with proper I.D. in order to legally represent both 16 and 17-year-old applicants. CUSTODIAL PARENTS must ALSO APPEAR IN PERSON WITH PROOF OF CUSTODY and PROPER I.D.**

Q: Do I need a blood test or counseling in order to apply for a marriage license?
A: No. The requirement for premarital counseling for individuals applying for a marriage license has been eliminated. However, applicants WILL be provided with written educational material by the Wayne County Clerk's Office regarding prenatal care and the transmission (and prevention) of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.  

Q: Am I able to get married at the Wayne County Clerk's Office?
A: Yes. The Wayne County Clerk's Office performs PRIVATE, small, civil marriage ceremonies, where our office PROVIDES YOUR WITNESSES. Please note that:

  • You are allowed to bring a MAXIMUM of 6 (six) guests with you for a PRIVATE civil ceremony.
  • The fee for a PRIVATE civil ceremony is $150.00 (includes our witnesses).
  • These ceremonies are ONLY performed at our Downtown Detroit Office.
  • If you call ahead and make an appointment, please have your ENTIRE PARTY PRESENT at your designated time, or you will have to wait until another opening is available.
  • To make an appointment, please call (313) 224-4680.
  • Walk-in PRIVATE civil ceremonies are offered Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM. Please DO NOT arrive ANY LATER THAN 2:15 PM if you would like to participate in a walk-in PRIVATE civil ceremony.

The Wayne County Clerk's Office also performs MASS, civil marriage ceremonies (i.e. multiple couples at once) ON FRIDAYS ONLY at 3 PM, where our office PROVIDES YOUR WITNESSES. Please note that:

  • You are allowed to bring a MAXIMUM of 4 (four) guests with you for a MASS civil ceremony.
  • The fee for a MASS civil ceremony is $100.00 (includes our witnesses).
  • These ceremonies are ONLY performed at our Downtown Detroit Office.
  • You must arrive NO LATER THAN 1 PM on Friday to participate in a MASS civil ceremony.
  • Your ENTIRE PARTY must be PRESENT by 1 PM in order to get married during a MASS civil ceremony.
  • Please call (313) 224-4680 with any further questions.

Q: How do we complete the marriage license when getting married?
A: Print or type the information on all three copies IN BLACK INK ONLY!

A SPOUSE WHO INTENDS TO CHANGE THERE NAME AFTER MARRIAGE MUST SIGN & PRINT ALL THREE DOCUMENTS WITH THE NAME THEY WILL BE USING AFTER THE WEDDING. 

The officiant must enter the name of the city, village, or township, and the name of the county in which the marriage is being performed. The officiant will also document the date of the marriage on the licenses.

The officiant will sign on his/her signature line, as well as type or print his/her name, title and complete address on the designated line.

After your marriage is performed, the Wayne County Clerk’s Office must receive the 1st and 3rd copy WITHIN TEN DAYS. The copies may be mailed to our Downtown Detroit Office, or personally returned TO ANY ONE OF OUR SATELLITE OFFICES.  

Q: How do I change my name after I am married?
A: You must first obtain a CERTIFIED COPY of your marriage license. Upon mailing your completed marriage licenses to the Wayne County Clerk's Office, wait approximately TEN DAYS to return and purchase a certified copy at any one of our locations. If you personally deliver your completed licenses to any one of our locations, you can purchase a certified copy THAT SAME DAY.

There is a $24.00 fee for the first certified copy, and $7.00 for each additional copy.

Please click here to view and/or print the Marriage Certificate Order Form.

Please click here to view and/or print the "Rushed Delivery" Marriage Certificate Order Form.  

Next, you will take the purchased certified copy of your marriage license to your local Social Security Office and complete the necessary form(s). Subsequently, a new card with your changed name, but same number, will be mailed to you. From there, you will go to your local Secretary of State Office to update your other documents (i.e. driver's license, voter registration card, etc.).

  1. **The Social Security Office will not keep your marriage license. If you cannot visit your local office, call 1-800-772-1213 to make arrangements to process by mail. In person or by mail, this service is FREE.**

 

Cathy M. Garrett
Wayne County Clerk
(313) 224-6262

Service Assistant

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