May 15, 2020
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Maryland clerks of circuit courts begin remote processing of marriage licenses during COVID-19
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland courts are now processing all marriage license applications through remote technology. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the clerks of the circuit courts in Maryland have been issuing marriage licenses in emergency cases only, such as instances involving military deployment, severe health issues, or medical insurance issues involving an applicant.
“Clerks of the circuit courts are prepared to handle marriage license applications remotely during the COVID-19 emergency to assist Marylanders in obtaining marriage licenses in time for their upcoming wedding plans,” said Judge Laura Ripken, administrative judge, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County and the Fifth Judicial Circuit, and chair of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges.
The Executive Order Enabling Alternative Processes for Marriage Applications and Ceremonies states that the effect of § 2-402 of the Family Law Article of the Maryland Code (“FL”) is suspended such that a party to be married may apply, for a marriage license by sending to the clerk for the county in which the marriage is to be performed a signed marriage application by mail, courthouse drop box, or email, with payment as directed by that clerk of court. In addition, the information on the application must be sworn under oath before the clerk through the use of video conferencing or by an affidavit included with the application. The Executive Order remains in effect until the COVID-19 state of emergency has been terminated by the Governor.
“Circuit court judges, clerks, and staff are continuing to find innovative ways to incorporate remote processes into daily operations, which now includes marriage license applications,” said Judge Ripken.
Under Maryland statute, Family Law Article §2–402, individuals applying for a marriage license must appear before a circuit court clerk in person and provide, under oath, specific information that is recorded on a marriage license application by the clerk.
“By removing the in-person marriage license application requirement, circuit courts will now be able to process marriage licenses by mail or remotely, which will be a great benefit to couples who have had to cancel or alter their wedding plans due to the COVID-19 emergency,” said Charlene M. Notarcola, Clerk of the Court, Circuit Court for Cecil County, who also serves as chair of the Conference of Circuit Court Clerks. “In addition, as the clerk’s offices prepare to reopen statewide, we remain mindful of the severity of COVID-19 and will have protective barriers at counters as well as health and safety supplies for staff, including disinfecting wipes, masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, along with the ability for court visitors and staff to remain socially distant while at local clerk’s offices.”
For more information or to apply for a marriage license, contact the clerk’s office in the jurisdiction where the marriage will take place. The clerk’s office directory is located at on www.mdcourts.gov,https://www.mdcourts.gov/circuit.
Marriage License Application
Marriage License Application Instructions