Unveiling the mystery behind getting a Michigan Marriage License
How do we get a Michigan Marriage License is the most common question we get asked.
If you're one of our clients, you don't have to worry about it. When it's time to apply we'll email you all the information and links you need.
But, for everyone else, I'll make it real easy for you...
The Who, Where, How, What, etc.
Who needs a Michigan marriage license?
A. Anyone getting married IN the State of Michigan.
If you're a Michigander getting married in a different State, apply in that State, not ours.
Where do I apply or get a Michigan Marriage License?
A. Are you a Michigan Resident? (do either one of you have a MI Drivers License?)
Yes - Apply at the County Clerks' Office in which you LIVE (the one your Driver's License says you live in)
No - Apply at the County Clerks' Office where the wedding CEREMONY will be held.
How do I find out what County my ceremony will be in?
A. If you're one of our clients, we'll tell you. Most of our beach wedding are held in Van Buren County, everything else we do is in Saugatuck or Douglas, which is all Allegan County. Luckily they've updated things and the application is now on line. Here's a link to everything you need to know about getting one from Allegan County. From there follow their instructions, which is basically have your signatures notarized no earlier than 33 days before you're wedding date, and mail it back to them.
You can specify if you want it mailed to you, and to where, or you can pick it up if you're a glutton for punishment. Either way, in three days your Michigan Marriage License is ready. How easy is that!
Otherwise check with your planner, venue, or contracts to find out what County your ceremony will be in counties. Google is always pretty accurate, too. Just remember, this ONLY applies to Out-of-State residents, if you live in Michigan you apply in the County you live in.
I know the County name, how do I find the County Clerk's Office?
A. The State of Michigan provides THIS handy list of links to each County's web site. From there navigate to locate your County's Vital Records Office where all marriage licenses are processed. Be sure to check their requirements, fees, and hours before taking the day off to apply. Most have them online these days.
When should we apply for a Michigan Marriage License
A. In person, no earlier than 33 days prior to the wedding; a Michigan Marriage License is only valid for 33 days and there is a 3 day waiting period. meaning you'll apply one day and go back three business days later to pick it up
A2. Via Mail - return your marriage application 30 days prior to your wedding date; be sure to follow instructions included with your application package.
We advise our clients to bring the entire Michigan Marriage License package they get to the wedding; often times there are instructions, name change documents, mailing or presentation envelopes, we will sort everything out so it's one last thing you have to worry about.
What do we need to bring to apply?
A. As a rule of thumb: two forms of I.D., payment and if applicable divorce decree/death certificates. Always check your County's website or call the Clerk's office to verify your County's requirements before you go.
What if we are getting married within the next 72 hours
A. You'll pay an additional rush processing fee and in some counties you'll need a rider or signed letter from your Wedding Officiant, affirming the wedding will take place in that time frame. Please note: some Counties require the Wedding Officiant to make a personal appearance for the signature. Be sure to call ahead!
What if only one of us lives in Michigan
A. As a couple, you count as a Michigan resident. You need to apply in the County that person lives in, or where their photo I.D. says they do.
One final note to out of state residents
Because you're from out of State, different rules apply to your Michigan marriage license. Unlike a marriage license issued to a Michigan resident, who can get married in any county, non-residents must get their marriage license from the county the marriage ceremony will take place in but, it's only good in that county.
Which also means, that if you use a "back-up" venue for the ceremony that it's in different county, your marriage license won't be valid.
So, if you are from out-of-state just make sure before you apply that your ceremony and back-up venue are in the same county. If you're taking the time to get married in Michigan, might as well make sure it's going to be a legal marriage, no matter what, right?
I hope that helps you navigate your way to applying for your Michigan Marriage License. Remember a few minutes spent double checking with your County Clerk BEFORE you go can save you hours of standing in line; and you can click HERE to find yours.
Do you have a question we didn't answer?
Reposted with permission from Get Hitched Quick MI
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Dream Day Weddings is a boutique wedding planning company, based in Saugatuck, catering exclusively to LGBT and low drama couples. They also work in collaboration with local wedding professionals to create stylized elopements, intimate ceremonies, and beach weddings packages, in Saugatuck, Douglas, and South Haven, Michigan