How to Get Married in Washington

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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, Washington!

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, Washington!

How to Get Married in Washington

Application, ID, and Residency Requirement: Washington State marriage licenses become valid for use three days after applying for the application. Under no circumstances will the three-day waiting period be waived. If a couple applies for their marriage license less than three days before their established wedding date, they will need to have a separate ceremony within the period the license is valid (in which the parties assent or declare, in the physical presence of the officiant and at least two attending witnesses, that they take each other to be spouses). The marriage license forms will be completed and signed using this date.

A marriage license purchased from any county in Washington State can be used to get married anywhere in Washington State. The permanent record of the marriage certificate will be recorded with the county from which the marriage license was purchased.A Washington State marriage license can be used to get married only within Washington State. A wedding ceremony on a boat must be in Washington waters.

Both applicants must be currently unmarried. Both parties must be at least 18 years of age or can meet the age requirements. The parties are not nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whole or half blood. A marriage between two persons that is valid in another jurisdiction is valid in Washington State if the marriage is not prohibited by Washington State law.

To apply for a license in person, both parties must go to any one of our sites, bring photo ID and complete the application. NOT required to apply: witnesses, blood tests, birth certificates (unless applicant is under 18), or divorce papers (divorce must be final and filed).

To apply for a license by mail, download a Marriage License Application. Both affidavit sections must be completed (using current, full, legal names), signed and notarized, and the original document sent to your county. Send completed and notarized applications, along with your fee – payable to your county. No cash or personal checks. We recommend calling the Seattle office to verify receipt of the application: 206-296-4021, or if calling long distance, 1-800-325-6165, and ask to be transferred to the marriage license desk.

Under 18: Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, unless they satisfy the requirements for underage applicants:

  • Seventeen-year-old parties can apply if one of the following conditions is met:
    1. A parent or legal guardian submits a notarized statement of consent (available at any marriage licensing location).
      • Please bring a certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate or documents establishing legal guardianship.
    2. The applicant is legally emancipated and takes the court-certified copy of the emancipation document with them to apply.
  • Parties under age 17 can apply only when the age requirement is waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides. Each party to the marriage that is under 17 years of age must present a waiver specifically naming them.
  • King County residents should call King County Superior Court, Family Court Section, 206-296-9390 for information.

How Much a Marriage License Cost?: In Washington, a marriage license costs $64.00 (cash or local check only, no debit or credit cards).

Officiants: In Washignton, officiants can be:

  • Justices of the Washington State Supreme Court
  • Judges of the Washington State Court of Appeals
  • Judges of the superior courts and superior court commissioners in Washington State.
  • Judges of courts of limited jurisdiction (district courts or municipal courts) in Washington State.
  • A pro-tem Washington State judge cannot perform a wedding ceremony in Washington State
  • Any regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest of any church or religious denomination.
  • A minister from a church in another state can perform a wedding ceremony in Washington State and is not required to register with the State in order to do so.
  • Washington State does not license persons to perform weddings. In this sense, the word, 'license', is not an official governmental function of issuing a license or permission to perform weddings, but more a function of recognition by the religious affiliation. If the minister or priest is recognized as ordained or granted the power by the religious organization to officiate wedding ceremonies, that person is 'licensed' to do so in Washington State.
  • Washington State does not grant a one-day license for persons to perform wedding ceremonies.
  • A ship captain can not perform a wedding ceremony simply by virtue of being a ship captain; however, if the ship captain otherwise meets the requirements, as above, he/she can do so.
  • Neither the couple nor the two witnesses can officiate the wedding ceremony, even if they meet the requirements of the law to officiate weddings.

Valid: In Washington, a license is valid within sixty (60) days after the license is issued.

Equality Rights: Same sex marriage is legal in Washington.

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 Washington?