How to Apply
Applications are received and licenses issued only during regular office hours: Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., except holidays.
- Effective October 1, 2016 only one party is required to apply for a marriage license; however, you must bring photo identification for BOTH parties and have all of the information listed below.
- If you apply in Cecil County you must be married in Cecil County.
- There is a $30.00 fee (fee varies from County to County). Cash, Visa, Mastercard or Discover are acceptable forms of payment.
- A license is not effective until 6:00 a.m. on the second calendar day after the license is issued.
- The license is issued the same day you apply, and it is valid for 6 months (you must be married within 6 months or the license will expire)
Information you will need to apply:One or both parties must appear in person and give, under oath, the following information for both parties:
- Full legal names
- Physical, Permanent Address
- State or Country of Birth
- Social Security Number. Please note this information is required by State Law and will not be displayed on the marriage license.
- If a party was previously married, we will need to know how the marriage ended, i.e., by death or divorce, as well as the exact date (month, day and year) that the event occurred. We also need to know the State or Country in which the event occurred. This information is required for EVERY prior marriage pursuant to Maryland law. Additionally, if a party was divorced or widowed within the last year, a copy of the divorce decree or death certificate must be presented at the time of application.
- Whether the parties are related by blood or marriage and, if so, in which degree of relationship
Marriage of Minors (under age 18)
- Minors under the age of 17 are no longer permitted to get married.
- While only one party is required to apply for a marriage license, each party must provide a copy of an official government-issued birth certificate or other official government-issued document or record demonstrating their age, as well as state issued photo identification.
- An individual 17 years old may not marry unless:
- the individual has the consent of each living parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the minor person either in person or through an affidavit signed under the seal of a notary public; OR
- if a 17 year old female individual does not have the required consent, a certificate from a licensed physician, licensed physician assistant, or certified nurse practitioner that states she has been examined by the physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner and is found to be pregnant or has given birth to a child; AND
- the individual presents a certified copy of an order granting authorization to marry in accordance with the provisions of Title 5, Subtitle 2A of the Family Law Article not earlier than 15 days after the order was issued. To obtain an order granting authorization to marry, a minor who is 17 years old may file a petition with the Civil Department in the Circuit Court in the county in which the minor resides, and an evidentiary hearing on the petition must be held to determine if an order of authorization to marry may be granted.
- If the Court issues an Order allowing them to marry, they cannot apply for the marriage license for 15 days after the date of the Order.
Non-Resident Marriage Application
If you are not a resident of Cecil County and are unable to visit the Office of the Clerk, you may apply using a Non-Resident Marriage Application (application instructions). If you are able to apply in person, this form is not necessary regardless of where you reside.
This form must be taken to the Clerk of the Circuit Court or comparable official where you reside. A "comparable official" would be the public official in the State, County, or Province where you reside who issues marriage licenses or performs the same duties as the Clerk of Circuit Court in Maryland. A notary public's affidavit is not sufficient, since that official, although a public officer, does not perform the same duties and is not comparable to a Clerk of Court in Maryland. Take the completed but not signed Non-Resident Application Form, as well as both parties photo identification and any other supporting documentation necessary (i.e., divorce decree/death certificate if event occurred within the last year) to your local official who issues Marriage Licenses and provide them with a copy of the instructions. It is recommended that you contact the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county where you plan to marry as each county has different fees. For marriages taking place in Cecil County, once the comparable official has placed you under oath and you have signed the affidavit in the presence of that official, and the official has also signed and sealed the affidavit, mail the form to the Circuit Court for Cecil County, Attention: Marriage, 129 East Main Street, Elkton, Maryland, 21921, with a money order or cashier's check payable to “Clerk of Court” in the amount of $30.00. For credit card payments, please use the authorization form. No personal checks will be accepted. Please make sure you include copies of your photo identification and any necessary supporting documentation as referenced above. If the affidavit is not fully completed and executed properly, it will be returned to you via mail.
Note that this provision is a Maryland law. Clerks of Court in Maryland counties will provide this service. Comparable officials in other states, however, are not required to provide the service - Maryland law does not apply outside Maryland - and might refuse to do so. Therefore, you are advised to check with the out-of-state official well in advance of your wedding date to be sure. If no comparable official will provide the service, one of the parties will have to travel to Maryland to make application in person.
Civil Ceremonies Performed by the Clerk
- There is a $30.00 fee due at the time of the ceremony. Cash, Visa and Mastercard are acceptable forms of payment.
- Ceremonies must be scheduled in advance. To schedule a civil ceremony at the courthouse, please call 410-996-5376. Please note that you must obtain your marriage license prior to scheduling a civil ceremony at the courthouse.
- Location - The ceremony will be performed in the Clerk’s Office Ceremony Room.
- Civil ceremonies are performed Monday through Friday (except for State and Federal holidays) every half hour from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. No witnesses are required; however, our ceremony room can accommodate up to thirty (30) people. If you plan on having a large number of guests attend your ceremony, please advise the clerk’s office at the time of scheduling.
- *It is important for the parties to be able to understand and communicate with the officiant. If one or both parties to the marriage does not speak English or is deaf, you will be required to either bring a translator with you (an adult friend or family member over the age of 18 and fluent in both languages is fine) to assist with translating the ceremony, or the Clerk’s Office can arrange for a translator for you. If you wish for the Court to arrange for a translator, please complete and submit the Request for Spoken Language Interpreter. https://www.mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/court-forms/courtforms/joint/ccdc041.pdf/ccdc041.pdf.
- Photography/Video Recording is permitted during a civil ceremony however, you must receive consent from the presiding officiant for their inclusion in photographs/video recordings. We ask that you please respect their wishes. Please visit the following link for more information: https://www.mdcourts.gov/reference/cellphonenotice
This office holds the records for marriages that have taken place in Cecil County only. If you were married in another county or Baltimore City, you would need to contact their Licensing Department for your record. Certified copies may be obtained from the Licensing Department in person, mail, email, or fax. Cost for certified copies is $5.50 each. Please complete the Request for Certified Copy of Marriage License. Acceptable forms of payments are cash (in office requests only - do not send cash through the mail), money order or credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Discover). The form is a fillable PDF which allows you to type directly into the document. You must have Adobe Reader version 5.1 or higher to use the fillable function. To download a free copy or upgrade to a newer version, visit the Adobe web site. Adobe Reader does not allow you to save the information you input into a form. Print an extra copy of the completed application form before exiting.
In person requests are taken at Clerk of the Circuit Court, 129 East Main Street, Room 108, Elkton, Maryland 21921.
Mail requests are sent to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Cecil County, Attn: Licensing Department/Marriage, 129 East Main Street, Elkton, MD 21921
Email requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fax requests to 1-800-569-0648.
If you email or fax your request, you must use the Request for Certified Copy of Marriage License form referenced above, and payment must be by credit card.
Information needed for all requests:
- Names of both individuals at the time they were married
- Date of Marriage (if you can not remember the exact date, just give us your best estimate as to the year of marriage or even a date range [i.e., 1985 to 1990] – we just need a starting point for our research)
- A money order payable to Clerk of the Court or credit card information and authorization (cost of certified copies is $5.50 each). Please note we do not accept personal checks.
- Return address for mailing copies
- A telephone number or email address in the event we have questions regarding your request
Correction to a Marriage Record
Correction to Marriage Records must be requested in writing along with supporting documentation (for example: birth certificate to prove your name is spelled differently than what is shown on your marriage record). Please submit our Correction Request form and deliver or mail to our office at 129 East Main Street, Elkton, Maryland 21921. If you require certified copies of the corrected marriage record, please use the Request for Certified Copy of Marriage License Form referenced in the Certified Copies section above.
Foreign License Recordation
If a couple has been married in another country and one of the parties is a citizen of Cecil County, Maryland, the couple may record the marriage (“Foreign marriage”) at the License Department. The parties must provide a certificate of marriage signed by the individual who performed the marriage or an official certified copy of the marriage record. If the certificate is not in English, a translated copy must be provided. There is no fee to record a foreign marriage.
Our marriage records date back to 1777. If you wish to perform a genealogy search of our records yourself, you may do so by appointment only. Please contact our office to arrange a date and time to perform your search.
For further information on obtaining a marriage license or questions about civil ceremonies, please call 410-996-5376.