How to Get Married in South Carolina

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So, you've planned a lovely wedding, stayed within your budget, and and now you're ready for the actual getting married part of the process. But how? Don't worry, Tulle Nation, I've got you taken care of. Each week this year, I'll be sharing all the information you need to know to get married in one state in the United States. Today, South Carolina!

So, you've planned a lovely wedding, stayed within your budget, and and now you're ready for the actual getting married part of the process. But how? Don't worry, Tulle Nation, I've got you taken care of. Each week this year, I'll be sharing all the information you need to know to get married in one state in the United States. Today, South Carolina!

How to Get Married in South Carolina

Application, ID, and Residency Requirement: To get married in the state of South Carolina, you need to obtain a marriage license. The following requirements apply to both residents and non-residents:

  • The bride and groom must appear together at the office of a South Carolina county probate judge and file a written application. This application asks for the full name, social security number, age, and place of residence of the bride and the groom. It is a sworn statement that must be signed by the bride and the groom and then notarized in the office of the probate judge.
  • Some probate judges require both the bride and groom to show their social security cards.
  • There is a waiting period after the application is filed before the license can be picked up and the marriage can take place. This waiting period varies from county to county, so please contact the appropriate county probate judge at least a week before you plan to get married.
  • No blood test or physical exam is required.
  • South Carolina residency is not required.
  • No proof of divorce is required.
  • The fee for a marriage license varies from county to county.
  • If you are 18 years old or older, you do not need parental consent. But you must provide proof of your age (or simply identification if you're over age 25) by presenting one of the following:
  • Valid driver's license
  • Original birth certificate or a certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Current military identification card
  • Current passport

Couples who attend a "qualifying premarital preparation course" and go on to receive a marriage license in South Carolina can earn a tax break. If they attend six hours of instruction together within 12 months of applying for a license, they can present certification to the probate judge and get a one-time $50 state income tax credit.

Common-law marriages are legal in South Carolina. It is up to the jurisdiction to determine the validity of the marriage. Basically, if both parties live together and call each other husband and wife, the state of South Carolina may deem them married, whether or not a ceremony has taken place.

Under 18: In South Carolina, parental consent can be granted for boys and girls who are at least 16 years old. All minor applicants must file an original birth certificate or a certified copy of their birth certificate, which becomes a part of their permanent application record. The parent or legal guardian of a minor applicant must appear at the same time as the minor to present identification and sign a form consenting to the marriage.

How Much a Marriage License Cost?: In South Carolina, the cost of a marriage license varies from county to county. In Charleston County, the fee is $70; in Williamsburg County, the fee is $25.

Officiants: Ministers of the gospel, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized to administer oaths and spiritual leaders of Native American tribes are the only officiants allowed to perform marriage ceremonies in South Carolina. The officiant must ask for the marriage license to be presented to him before performing the ceremony.

Valid: In South Carolina, there is no expiration date for a  marriage license.

Equality Rights: Same sex marriage is legal in South Carolina.

Name Change: Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed.

It is very important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

How many of you are getting married in South Carolina?