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Obtaining your Marriage License

Who must apply

Both individuals must appear in person to complete the application for marriage.

 

Fees

The fee for the marriage license varies from county to county.  Tioga County’s Fee is $35.00 cash.

 

Age Requirements

Both the female and the male must be 18 years of age.  If you are under 18 years of age the law requires the consent of one parent or guardian.  I f you are under 16 years of age the law requires the consent of one parent or guardian, plus approval of a judge.

Must show proof of age, driver’s license or birth certificate.

 

Who may not marry

Blood relatives down to and including first cousins, MAY NOT marry under the laws of Pennsylvania.

 

When to apply

At least three days prior to the marriage ceremony.  However, it is recommended that you apply for your license two weeks prior to the scheduled wedding.

 

Waiting Period Required

There is a three day waiting period from the date of your application to the date of issuing the license.  For example, if your application is made on:

MONDAY:   You may pick up your license on Thursday.

TUESDAY:   You may pick up your license on Friday.

WEDNESDAY , THURSDAY OR FRIDAY:   You may pick up your license on Monday.

 

Where to apply

Office of the Clerk of Orphans’ Court of any county of Pennsylvania .

 

Proof of identification

Both applicants must show valid government issued photo identification such as drivers license, passport, etc.  Additional proof of identity may be required upon circumstances.

 

Remarriages

Applicants who have been previously married must provide information regarding the dissolution of most recent marriage.

 

INFORMATION YOU MUST SUPPLY INCLUDES:

 

If you are divorced

Must present Original Final Decree with raised seal of the court or a certified copy with the raised seal of the court from the Clerk of Courts Office of the county where the divorce took place.

 

If you have had an annulments

The same information is required as for divorces.

 

If you are Widowed

Death Certificate of the deceased spouse.

 

 

 

Valid marriage licenses

       Your license may be used for your marriage ceremony performed anywhere within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by an officiant meeting the requirements of Pennsylvania laws to perform such services.

        Once you have received your marriage license it is valid for up to sixty (60) days from the issuing date.  The marriage license must be presented to the person officiating your marriage ceremony.

 

 

DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

 

Applicants are advised that persons who have been ordained over the Internet may not be persons permitted to perform marriages in Pennsylvania. A recent Court decision held that persons ordained over the Internet are not ministers as defined in the marriage law of Pennsylvania IF they do not regularly preach to a congregation that regularly meets at a place of worship.  You are advised to consult an attorney concerning the legality of such marriages.

 

 

This office will not determine what is/is not a church and/or congregation.

 

PLEASE BE ADVISED:  IF you choose to be married by someone other than the officiants specifically listed as authorized by PA law, the burden of proof will be on you regarding the legality of your marriage - should future issues arise that require a determination of the marriage's validity.

 

To be recognized as legal by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, marriages must be performed under a valid marriage license duly issued by a Clerk of Orphans’ Court & MUST BE OFFICIATED by one of the following individuals specifically recognized under PA law as authorized to officiate, to wit:

 

§ 1503. Persons qualified to solemnize marriages.

(a) General rule.--The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part:

  1. A justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth.
  2. A former or retired justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth who is serving as a senior judge or senior district justice as provided or prescribed by law.
  3. An active or senior judge or full-time magistrate of the District Courts of the United States for the Eastern, Middle or Western District of Pennsylvania.
  4. An active or senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who is a resident of this Commonwealth.
  5. A mayor of any city or borough of this Commonwealth.
  6. A minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation.

(b) Religious organizations.--Every religious society, religious institution or religious organization in this Commonwealth may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.  (Amish & Quakers if you are a member)

(c) Marriage license needed to officiate.--No person or religious organization qualified to perform marriages shall officiate at a marriage ceremony without the parties having obtained a marriage license issued under this part.

 

Effective 01/01/05

Common Law marriage is no longer valid in Pennsylvania.