Pennsylvania requires all engaged couples to meet certain requirements. If you plan to get married in Pennsylvania, you and your significant other will have to file a joint application for a marriage license prior to the wedding ceremony in order to have the union legally recognized by the state.
Keep reading to learn how to apply for a marriage license in PA. Here are some easy steps to follow:
- Make sure that you and your significant other meet the age requirements to get married in Pennsylvania. In order to get married in Pennsylvania, you and your significant other must be at least 18 years-old with a government-issued photo ID as evidence of age, or follow the procedures for an underage marriage.
- It is legal to get married in PA if you are 16 or 17 years old, but parental consent is required before a marriage license can be issued. An original copy of the underage bride’s or groom’s birth certificate is also required. If either party is under 16, parental consent is required, along with an order of approval from a judge of the Orphans Court.
- Gather all required documents before you apply for your marriage license. In addition to a government issued photo ID, there are several other documents that you may need depending on your situation. You need two forms of ID. The first is a current and valid form of photo identification. This can be your driver’s license, state issued ID card, passport, military ID, etc. The second is either your social security card or an official document that contains your social security number (like a W-2, tax forms, etc). If one of you doesn’t currently have a social security number, you are going to need to be able to provide a birth certificate or some other form of official identification. Other things to you need to know:
- Both parties must also provide evidence that any prior marriages have been legally ended through divorce, annulment or death. The bride and groom may not be legally married to any other individual at the time of application.
- If you and/or your significant other were married before, you will need to bring appropriate documentation to prove that you are no longer married. This documentation could be an official divorce decree, annulment decree or death certificate.
- Same sex marriage is legal in Pennsylvania as of May 20, 2014.
- If you or your significant other is a foreign national, you must present a valid and unexpired passport at the time you apply for the license.?
- If one of the applicants does not speak English, a 3rd party translator who is at least 18 years old must be present at the time of the application. Applicants are not allowed to translate for each other.
- First cousins who are blood relatives are not eligible to get married under the laws of PA.
- You can apply for a marriage license in any county and have it made official in any county. This makes it much easier if you plan to have your ceremony in another part of the state. Your marriage license cannot be made official outside of Pennsylvania, though! If you want to get married outside of the Pennsylvania state lines, you will need to contact that state and see what kind of laws they have for marriage licenses.
- Plan to submit your marriage license application at least three days before your wedding. Most Pennsylvania counties require a 72-hour waiting period following the date of the most recent application. Check with your local office of vital statistics for specific application deadlines and estimated processing time.
- Visit your county courthouse or district justice office to complete and submit the marriage license application. Both you and your significant other are required to be present at the time of signing the marriage license. Remember to bring all of the documents and people that you have determined you will need in order to apply for a marriage license.
- Complete the application. You must use blue or black ink and print clearly. Make sure that all of the information that you write while filling out the application is true and accurate. Read through the application after you have finished it to make sure there are no mistakes.
- Pick up your marriage license when it is ready. Since PA requires a 72 hour waiting period, it will take at least three days to get your license. It may take four or five days depending on when you apply for a license. For example, if you apply for your license on a Wednesday, you may not get your license until Monday because the office will be closed for the weekend.
- Get married within 60 days of receiving the marriage license. Pennsylvania marriage licenses are valid for 60 days, during which time the marriage must be solemnized and the completed marriage license returned to the county register of wills.
Allegheny County Recorder City-County Building
414 Grant St
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Armstrong County Register & Recorder
500 Market St
Kittanning, PA 16201
Beaver County Recorder of Deeds
P.O. Box 537
Beaver, PA 15009
Bedford County Recorder of Deeds Register of Wills
200 South Juliana St
Bedford, PA 15522
Butler County Recorder of Wills
124 W Diamond St
Butler, PA 16001
Fayette County Register-Wills
61 E Main St
Uniontown, PA 15401
Greene County Recorder of Deeds
Greene County Court House
Waynesburg, PA 15370
Indiana County Register
825 Philadelphia St
Indiana, PA 15701
Washington County Recorder
1 S Main St, # 1002
Washington, PA 15301
Westmoreland County Registrar of Wills
301 Courthouse Sq.
Greensburg, PA 15601
How do I Obtain a Copy of My Marriage Record in PA?
In Pittsburgh the marriage record bureau is located within the department of court records. The address is:
Department of Court Records
Marriage License Bureau/Marriage Records Section
1st floor – City Country Building
414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412.350.4232 – www.alleghenycounty.us/wo
Office Hours: Mo – Fr from 8:30am – 4:30 pm. Closed on Holidays
In PA, the Clerk of Orphan’s Court Division of each county is responsible for maintaining the records of all marriage in the country where the marriage license was issued. In Allegheny County, there are two ways to obtain a record of a marriage that took place after a marriage license was issued in Allegheny County.
- Search and/or order marriage record(s) using the website, dcr.alleghenycountry.us An email address and a credit or debit card is required to pay the fees. If your marriage license was issued in Allegheny County on January 1, 1996 or later, you can search and/or order your marriage record online. If you marriage license was issued prior to January 1, 1996, you can order a marriage record online. There is a search fee even if the marriage record search is unsuccessful.
- Come into the office and apply in person. All requests must provide the couple’s complete names at the time the marriage application was completed and the year of the marriage, as well as the appropriate fee.
Couples who wish to obtain a copy of a marriage record from a county in PA other than Allegheny County may do so by contacting the county from which their marriage license was issued. It is important to remember that a marriage record is maintained in the country where the marriage license was issued.
Please note that there are two types of marriage records available. The 1st is plan copy which is used for person and historical use. The 2nd is referred to as a “Triple-Seal” copy which can be used for any legal matter in or out of the Commonwealth of PA. Please be sure to check with your local office for any changes or additional questions.