Marriage laws


Marriage Laws of the Fifty States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico

This table links to the marriage laws of the states and attempts to summarize some of their salient points. Those interested in the marriage law of a particular jurisdiction should review its law directly rather than rely on this summary which may not be fully accurate or complete.

Related LII materials include:

StateCommon Law MarriageAge of consent to marryMedical examsMarriage license
Age with parental consentAge without parental consentMax. period between exam and licenseScope of medical examWaiting period before licenseDuration of license validity (expiration)
Alabama- Title 30, Chapter 1Yes16 a, b18---30 days
Alaska- Title 25, Chapter 5No16 c18--3 days, d3 months
Arizona- Chapter 1, Article 1No16 c (2)18---1 year
Arkansas- Title 9, Subtitle 2, § 11No

Male- 17 c, e Female- 16 c, e

California- Family Code, §§ 300-500Nob, g 1830 days, d, h--90 days
Colorado- §§ 14-2-105 thru 14-2-110Yes16 c18---30 days
Connecticut- Title 46b, § 815eNo16 c (2)18-i4 days, d65 days
Delaware- Title 13, Chapter 1No

Male- 18 e Female- 16 e

18--24 hours, j30 days
Florida- Title 43, Chapter 741No16 a, e18---60 days
Georgia- §§ 19-3-1 thru 19-3-68No gg16 e, k18-i3 days, l30 days
Hawaii- § 572No15 k18------30 days
Idaho- § 32-301 thru 32-501No gg16 c18-m, n--
Illinois- Chapter 750, CS 5, Part IINo16 o18-p1 day60 days
Indiana- Title 31, Article 11No gg17 e18-q-60 days
Iowa- Chapter 595Yes16 k18--3 days-
Kansas- Chapter 23, Article 1Yes16 c (2)18--3 days, d6 months
Kentucky- Chapter 402No18 k18---30 days
Louisiana- Title IV, Chapter 1 (Civil Code 86)No18 c1810 days---
Maine- Title 19, Chapter 23No16 c18--3 days, d, f90 days
Maryland- §§ 2-201 thru 2-503No16 e, r18--48 hours, d6 months
Massachusetts- Title III, Chapter 207NoMale-14 k Female-12 k183-60 days, s-3 days, f60 days
Michigan- Chapter 551No1618--3 days, d33 days after application
Minnesota- Chapter 517No16 k18--5 days, d6 months
Mississippi- Title 93, Chapter 1Nog, k

Male-17 Female-15

30 dayst3 days, d-
Missouri- Chapter 451No15 u18---30 days
Montana- Title 40, Chapter 1Yes16 k18-t-180 days
Nebraska- Chapter 42No1719-i-1 year
Nevada- Title 11, Chapter 122No16 c18---1 year
New Hampshire- Title 43, Chapter 457NoMale- 14 v Female- 13 v18--3 days, d, f90 days
New Jersey- Title 37No16 c, e18--72 hours, d30 days
New Mexico- Chapter 40, Article 1No16 e, u1830 dayst--
New York- Domestic Relations (Chapter 14), Articles 1 and 2No16 v18-w24 hours60 days
North Carolina- Chapter 51No16 e18----
North Dakota- Chapter 14-03No1618---60 days
Ohio- Title 31, Chapter 3101No ggMale-18 k Female-16 c, e18--5 days, d, x60 days
Oklahoma- 43-3No gg16 c, e1830 days, dty30 days
Oregon- Title 11-106No17 z18--3 days, d60 days
Pennsylvania- Title 23, Part 1No gg16 u1830 dayst3 days, d60 days
Rhode Island- Title 15, Chapters 15-1 thru 15-3Yes

Ma1e- 18 u Female- 16 u

18-aa-3 months
South Carolina- Title 20, Chapter 1Yes16 e18--1 day-
South Dakota- Title 25, Chapters 1 and 2No16 e18---20 days
Tennessee- Title 36, Chapter 3No16 u18--3 days, d, bb30 days
Texas- Title 1, Subtitles A and BYes16 k, v18--cc30 days
Utah- Title 30, Chapter 1Yes16 a18 dd---30 days
Vermont- Title 15, Chapter 1No16 k1830 days, dt1 day, d-
Virginia- Title 20, Chapter 2No16 a, e18-ee-60 days
Washington- Title 26, Chapter 4No17 u18-ff3 days60 days
West Virginia- Chapter 48, Article 1No18 e18-t3 days, d-
Wisconsin- Chapter 765 thru 767No1618-n5 days, d30 days
Wyoming- Title 20, Chapter 1No16 u18-i--
District of Columbia- Division VIII, Title 46, Subtitle 1, Chapter 4Yes16 a1830 dayst3 days, d-
Puerto RicoNoMale-18 c, e, u Female-16 c, e, uMale- 21 Female- 21 e-t--

---- indicates that the authors of this table were unable to locate any information regarding the topic

  • (a)   Parental consent not required if minor was previously married.
  • (b)   Other statutory requirements apply.
  • (c)   Younger parties may marry with parental consent.
  • (c) (2) Younger parties may marry with parental and judicial consent.
  • (d)   Waiting period may be avoided
  • (e)   Younger parties may obtain license in case of pregnancy or birth of child.
  • (f)   Parties must file notice of intention to marry with local clerk.
  • (g)   No age limits
  • (h)   When unmarried man and unmarried woman, not minors, have been living together as man and wife, they may, without health certificate, be married upon issuance of appropriate authorization.
  • (i)   Venereal disease and rubella (for female)
  • (j)   Residents, before expiration of 24 hour waiting period; non-residents, before expiration of 96 hour waiting period.
  • (k)   Parental consent and/or permission of judge required.
  • (l)   Unless parties are 18 years of age or more, or female is pregnant, or applicants are the parents of a living child born out of wedlock.
  • (m)   Rubella for female; there are certain exceptions, and district judge may waive medical examination on proof that emergency exists.
  • (n)   Applicants must receive information on AIDS and certify having read it.
  • (o)   Judicial consent may be given when parents refuse to consent.
  • (p)   Venereal diseases; test for sickle cell anemia given at request of examining physician.
  • (q)   Any unsterilized female under 50 must submit with application for license a medical report stating whether she had immunological response to rubella, or a written record that the rubella vaccine was administered on or after her first birthday. Judge may by order dispense with these requirements.
  • (r)   If parties are at least 16 years of age, proof of age and consent of parties in person are required. If a parent is ill an affidavit by the incapacitated parent and a physician's affidavit required.
  • (s)   Doctor's certificate must be filed 30 days prior to notice of intention.
  • (t)   Venereal diseases. In WV and OK, Circuit court judge may waive requirement
  • (u)   Younger parties may obtain license in special circumstances.
  • (v)   Below age of consent parties need parental consent and permission of judge, no younger than 14 for males and 13 for females.
  • (w)   Tests for sickle cell may be required.
  • (x)   Applicants under age 18 must state that they have had marriage counseling.
  • (y)   If one or both parties are below the age for marriage without parental consent, three day waiting period.
  • (z)   If a party has no parent residing within state, and one party has residence in state for six months, no permission required.
  • (aa)   Physical examination and blood test required; offer of HIV counseling required.
  • (bb)   Unless parties are over 18 years of age.
  • (cc)   72 hour waiting period following issuance of license.
  • (dd)   Authorizes counties to provide for premarital counseling as a requisite to issuance of license to persons under 18 and persons previously divorced.
  • (ee)   Required offer of HIV test, and/or must be provided with information on AIDS and tests available.
  • (ff)   No exam required, but parties must file affidavit of non-affiliction with contagious venereal disease.
  • (gg)   No common-law marriage can be entered into, but these states recognize common law marriages that were entered into before these dates:
    • Georgia- entered into prior to January 1, 1997 are recognized,
    • Idaho- entered into prior to January 1, 1997 are recognized,
    • Indiana- entered into prior to January 1, 1958 are recognized,
    • Ohio- entered into prior to October 10, 1991 are recognized,
    • Oklahoma - entered into prior to November 1, 1998 are recognized, current situation unclear,
    • Pennsylvania- entered into prior to September 17, 2003 (see PNC Bank Corp. v. W.C.A. B ., 831 A.2d 1269 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003) or possibly January 1, 2005 (see 2004 House Bill No. 2719) are recognized.
  • (hh)  Minimum age for common-law marriage determined to be 12; legislature instituted minimum age of 18 for marriages begun on or after September 1, 2006

Source: Based in part on a chart in the World Almanac and Book of Facts, World Almanac Books, 1999. Entries have been updated through a review of the statutes and links added to permit direct consultation of the state statutes.