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Getting married in Michigan

IMPORTANT NOTE: Marriage laws and license requirements change continually, so please check the latest information with your local marriage license bureau office or county clerk's office before making your wedding or travel plans, and before inviting your guests.

Applicants intending to marry must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk in the county in which one of the parties lives (or, if both parties are non-residents, in the county where the marriage is to be performed), and deliver it to the person who is to solemnize the marriage, before the marriage can be performed.

Both applicants are not required to appear in person at the time of applying. However, the person who appears will be required to complete all information about both applicants:

  • A photocopy of the front and back of the other person's driver's license
  • Full names, addresses, dates and places of birth
  • Bride's name after marriage

Who may apply for a marriage license

The bride and groom do not have to be a resident of Michigan.

Applicants 18 years of age may marry without parental consent.

Applicants 16 years of age may marry with parental or legal guardian written consent.

Applicants under the age of 15 may marry with parental consent and probate court permission.

Marriage of a minor: The legal marriage of a minor releases the minor from his or her parental control.

Cousin marriages are not permitted.

ID requirements

Picture ID such as a driver's license is required. Identification requirements vary in each county. A valid drivers license or certified copy of birth certificate may be requested.

The bride and groom should know their Social Security numbers.

Previous marriages

Applicants need to know the date and how the last marriage ended. You may need to bring proof of a divorce.

Blood tests and other tests

No tests are required.

Marriage ceremonies and witnesses

No particular form or oath is required. The parties merely solemnly declare that they take each other as husband and wife before at least two witnesses and the person officiating. Witnesses have to be at least 18 years of age. Some counties follow this law more strictly than others.

A special law allows "the people called Friends or Quakers" and "people of any other particular denomination, having, as such, any peculiar mode of solemnizing marriages" to solemnize their marriages in their own manner.

Officiants

Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following:

Federal, probate, district, and municipal judges, and district court magistrates, in their court area; mayors, in their city; Wayne County clerks; Ministers of the gospel who is ordained or authorized by his or her church to perform marriages and who is a pastor of a church in this state, or continues to preach the gospel in this state; Non-resident ministers of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is authorized to solemnize marriages by his or her state's laws.

Fees

$20 for residents, and $30 for non-residents. $15.00 of it is allocated for family counseling services. Wayne County is authorized to charge more. A probate court may waive the marriage license fee in cases of undue hardship.

Solemnization fee: Mayors and Wayne County clerks are specifically authorized to collect a fee (set by their city, or county commissioners) for solemnizing marriages. The money is to be turned in to the government. There are no specific provisions concerning fees charged by others.

Waiting period

There is a three day waiting period. The county clerk can waive the 3 day waiting period for good and sufficient cause.

Validity of license

The license is valid for 33 days.

The license can only be used within the State of Michigan.

Copy of marriage certificate

After the wedding ceremony the person who solemnizes the marriage fills in (typed or legibly printed) the certificate with the time and place of the marriage and the names and residences of the two witnesses, and signs it. The part marked "duplicate" is given to the newlyweds, and the original must be mailed to the county clerk that issued it within 10 days. The clerk records the information in a registration book, and mails it on to the state registrar. The person who performs the marriage must also keep a record in a book used expressly for that purpose. The license, when fully filled out, thus serves a double purpose and becomes the certificate.

Vital Records
3423 North Martin Luther King Boulevard
P.O. Box 30195
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 335-8656

For more information

Here is a list of county clerk's offices in Michigan:

Alcona County Clerk
Harrisville, MI
989.724.6807

Alger County Clerk
Munising, MI
906.387.2076

Allegan County Clerk
Allegan, MI
616.673.0450

Alpena County Clerk
Alpena, MI
517.356.0115

Antrim County Clerk
Bellaire, MI
231.533.6353

Arenac County Clerk
Standish, MI
989.846.4626

Baraga County Clerk
L'Anse, MI
906.524.6183

Barry County Clerk
Hastings, MI
616.945.1285

Bay County Clerk
Bay City, MI
989.895.4280

Benzie County Clerk
Beulah, MI
231.882.9671

Berrien County Clerk
St. Joseph, MI
616.983.7111

Branch County Clerk
Coldwater, MI
517.279.4306

Calhoun County Clerk
Marshall, MI
616.781.0730

Cass County Clerk
Cassopolis, MI
616.445.8621

Charlevoix County Clerk
Charlevoix, MI
231.547.7200

Cheboygan County Clerk
Cheboygan, MI
231.627.8808

Chippewa County Clerk
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
906.635.6300

Clare County Clerk
Harrison, MI
989.539.7131

Clinton County Clerk
St. Johns, MI
989.224.5140

Crawford County Clerk
Grayling, MI
989.344.3200

Delta County Clerk
Escanaba, MI
906.789.5105

Dickinson County Clerk
Iron Mountain, MI
906.774.0988

Eaton County Clerk
Charlotte, MI
517.543.7500

Emmet County Clerk
Petoskey, MI
231.348.1744

Genesee County Clerk
Flint, MI
810.257.3282

Gladwin County Clerk
Gladwin, MI
989.426.7351

Gogebic County Clerk
Bessemer, MI
906.663.4518

Grand Traverse County Clerk
Traverse City, MI
231.922.4760

Gratiot County Clerk
Ithaca, MI
517.875.5215

Hillsdale County Clerk
Hillsdale, MI
517.437.3391

Houghton County Clerk
Houghton, MI
906.482.1150

Huron County Clerk
Bad Axe, MI
989.269.9942

Ingham County Clerk
Mason, MI
517.676.7201

Ionia County Clerk
Ionia, MI
616.527.5322

Iosco County Clerk
Tawas City, MI
989.362.3497

Isabella County Clerk
Mt. Pleasant, MI
517.772.0911

Jackson County Clerk
Jackson, MI
517.788.4265

Kalamazoo County Clerk
Kalamazoo, MI
616.383.8840

Kalkaska County Clerk
Kalkaska, MI
231.258.3300

Kent County Clerk
Grand Rapids, MI
616.632.7590

Keweenaw County Clerk
Eagle River, MI
906.337.2229

Lake County Clerk
Baldwin, MI
231.745.4641

Lapeer County Clerk
Lapeer, MI
810.667.0356

Leelanau County Clerk
Leland, MI
231.256.9824

Lenawee County Clerk
Adrian, MI
517.264.4606

Livingston County Clerk
Howell, MI
517.546.0500

Luce County Clerk
Newberry, MI
906.293.5521

Mackinac County Clerk
St. Ignace, MI
906.643.7300

Macomb County Clerk
Mt. Clemens, MI
586.469.5120

Manistee County Clerk
Manistee, MI
231.723.3331

Marquette County Clerk
Marquette, MI
906.225.8330

Mason County Clerk
Ludington, MI
231.843.8202

Mecosta County Clerk
Big Rapids, MI
231.592.0783

Menominee County Clerk
Menominee, MI
906.863.9968

Midland County Clerk
Midland, MI
517.832.6739

Missaukee County Clerk
Lake City, MI
231.839.4967

Monroe County Clerk
Monroe, MI
734.240.7020

Montcalm County Clerk
Stanton, MI
989.831.7339

Montmorency County Clerk
Atlanta, MI
517.785.8022

Muskegon County Clerk
Muskegon, MI
231.724.6221

Newaygo County Clerk
White Cloud, MI
231.689.7235

Oakland County Clerk
Pontiac, MI
248.858.0572

Oceana County Clerk
Hart, MI
231.873.4328

Ogemaw County Clerk
West Branch, MI
517.345.0215

Ontonagon County Clerk
Ontonagon, MI
906.884.4255

Osceola County Clerk
Reed City, MI
231.832.6104

Oscoda County Clerk
Mio, MI
989.826.1110

Otsego County Clerk
Gaylord, MI
517.732.6484

Ottawa County Clerk
Grand Haven, MI
616.846.8310

Presque Isle County Clerk
Rogers City, MI
800.334.5698

Roscommon County Clerk
Roscommon, MI
989.275.5923

Saginaw County Clerk
Saginaw, MI
989.790.5251

St. Clair County Clerk
Port Huron, MI
810.985.2200

St. Joseph County Clerk
Centreville, MI
616.467.5602

Sanilac County Clerk
Sandusky, MI
810.648.3212

Schoolcraft County Clerk
Manistique, MI
906.341.3618

Shiawassee County Clerk
Corunna, MI
517.743.2242

Tuscola County Clerk
Caro, MI
517.672.3780

Van Buren County Clerk
Paw Paw, MI
616.657.8218

Washtenaw County Clerk
Ann Arbor, MI
734.994.2501

Wayne County Clerk
Detroit, MI
313.224.6262

Wexford County Clerk
Cadillac, MI
231.779.9450

 

 
 
 

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