EFFECTIVE JULY 20, 2020 THE COURTHOUSE WILL BE OPEN IN A LIMITED CAPACITY; HOWEVER THE LICENSING DEPARTMENT WILL BE AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY FOR SPECIFIC TRANSACTIONS. PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE AT 410-996-5376 TO DETERMINE HOW TO PROCEED BEFORE COMING TO THE COURTHOUSE. THANK YOU.
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. The Licensing Department also has extended hours the third and fourth Wednesdays of each month until 6:30 p.m. for marriage license applications.
- 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 and Mastercard 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)
- 16 or 17 years old must have the consent of a parent or guardian (Parent or guardian must be with the minor at the time of the application) or have a certificate from a licensed physician on physician's letterhead stating that the physician has examined the woman to be married (not just a blood test) and note the date of delivery or expected date of delivery, and it must be signed by the doctor. You also must provide original state birth certificate and photo identification.
- 15 years old must have the consent of a parent or guardian (parent or guardian must be with the minor at the time of the application) and have a certificate from a licensed physician on physician’s letterhead stating the physician has examined the woman to be married (not just a blood test) and found that she is pregnant or has given birth; the expected date of delivery or the date child was delivered; and must be signed by the doctor. Original state birth certificate and photo identification must also be provided.
- 14 years and younger may not marry.
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 Non-Resident Application Form 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, complete the form in the presence of that official, have that official sign at the appropriate place, and 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.
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.
- 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 (a friend or family member 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 note that we will require 6-8 weeks to do so. You must request a court translator at the time of license application, as there is an additional form for the parties to complete and submit.
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 or Mastercard). 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 email@example.com.
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 (Approximate year at minimum)
- 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.