How do I get a marriage license?
Maryland requires that a marriage license be obtained from the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county where the marriage is to take place. If, however, it is not convenient for you to visit the Clerk's Office in that county, you may apply using a Non-Resident Affidavit. You can obtain one from either your county or from the county in which you plan to marry. Call the Clerk's Office for more information.
It is recommended that you contact the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county you plan to marry as each county has different fees. The requirements for Kent County are as follows:
Only one of the parties needs to appear (If not using a non-resident affidavit)
The fee is $35.00
The following information is to be provided for the parties:
States of birth
Addresses (including County)
Social Security Numbers (mandatory)
If previously married:
if divorced - the day, month and year of the divorce, and the county and state in which each divorce was granted.
if widowed - the day, month and year of the death, and the county and state in which the death occurred.
The license is issued at the same time the application is taken; however, the license will reflect an effective date of forty-eight hours from the date of issue. The marriage must take place within six months of the effective date.
You will be given three copies of the marriage license, which the official performing the ceremony will complete. Instructions for completion and distribution are on the copies of the license.
If you would like a civil ceremony, please note that there are no justices of the peace in Maryland. Only a judge, the Clerk of the Circuit Court, or an appointed, designated Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court may perform civil ceremonies. The cost for a civil ceremony is $25.
Certified copies of the marriage
can be obtained once the return has been received by the Clerk's Office
from the official for a fee of $5.50 each. You may need a certified copy
in order to change a party's last name officially for various agencies.