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:
- the LII "Law about ..." marriage page
- the LII pages summarizing the divorce laws of the states and the adoption laws of the states
- the State Statutes by Topic page
- the LII State Law pages
|State||Common Law Marriage||Age of consent to marry||Medical exams||Marriage license|
|Age with parental consent||Age without parental consent||Max. period between exam and license||Scope of medical exam||Waiting period before license||Duration of license validity (expiration)|
|Alabama- Title 30, Chapter 1||Yes||16 a, b||18||-||-||-||30 days|
|Alaska- Title 25, Chapter 5||No||16 c||18||-||-||3 days, d||3 months|
|Arizona- Chapter 1, Article 1||No||16 c (2)||18||-||-||-||1 year|
|Arkansas- Title 9, Subtitle 2, § 11||No||18||-||-||f||-|
|California- Family Code, §§ 300-500||No||b, g||18||30 days, d, h||-||-||90 days|
|Colorado- §§ 14-2-105 thru 14-2-110||Yes||16 c||18||-||-||-||30 days|
|Connecticut- Title 46b, § 815e||No||16 c (2)||18||-||i||4 days, d||65 days|
|Delaware- Title 13, Chapter 1||No||18||-||-||24 hours, j||30 days|
|Florida- Title 43, Chapter 741||No||16 a, e||18||-||-||-||60 days|
|Georgia- §§ 19-3-1 thru 19-3-68||No gg||16 e, k||18||-||i||3 days, l||30 days|
|Hawaii- § 572||No||15 k||18||-||-||----||30 days|
|Idaho- § 32-301 thru 32-501||No gg||16 c||18||-||m, n||-||-|
|Illinois- Chapter 750, CS 5, Part II||No||16 o||18||-||p||1 day||60 days|
|Indiana- Title 31, Article 11||No gg||17 e||18||-||q||-||60 days|
|Iowa- Chapter 595||Yes||16 k||18||-||-||3 days||-|
|Kansas- Chapter 23, Article 1||Yes||16 c (2)||18||-||-||3 days, d||6 months|
|Kentucky- Chapter 402||No||18 k||18||-||-||-||30 days|
|Louisiana- Title IV, Chapter 1 (Civil Code 86)||No||18 c||18||10 days||-||-||-|
|Maine- Title 19, Chapter 23||No||16 c||18||-||-||3 days, d, f||90 days|
|Maryland- §§ 2-201 thru 2-503||No||16 e, r||18||-||-||48 hours, d||6 months|
|Massachusetts- Title III, Chapter 207||No||Male-14 k Female-12 k||18||3-60 days, s||-||3 days, f||60 days|
|Michigan- Chapter 551||No||16||18||-||-||3 days, d||33 days after application|
|Minnesota- Chapter 517||No||16 k||18||-||-||5 days, d||6 months|
|Mississippi- Title 93, Chapter 1||No||g, k||
|30 days||t||3 days, d||-|
|Missouri- Chapter 451||No||15 u||18||-||-||-||30 days|
|Montana- Title 40, Chapter 1||Yes||16 k||18||-||t||-||180 days|
|Nebraska- Chapter 42||No||17||19||-||i||-||1 year|
|Nevada- Title 11, Chapter 122||No||16 c||18||-||-||-||1 year|
|New Hampshire- Title 43, Chapter 457||No||Male- 14 v Female- 13 v||18||-||-||3 days, d, f||90 days|
|New Jersey- Title 37||No||16 c, e||18||-||-||72 hours, d||30 days|
|New Mexico- Chapter 40, Article 1||No||16 e, u||18||30 days||t||-||-|
|New York- Domestic Relations (Chapter 14), Articles 1 and 2||No||16 v||18||-||w||24 hours||60 days|
|North Carolina- Chapter 51||No||16 e||18||-||-||-||-|
|North Dakota- Chapter 14-03||No||16||18||-||-||-||60 days|
|Ohio- Title 31, Chapter 3101||No gg||Male-18 k Female-16 c, e||18||-||-||5 days, d, x||60 days|
|Oklahoma- 43-3||No gg||16 c, e||18||30 days, d||t||y||30 days|
|Oregon- Title 11-106||No||17 z||18||-||-||3 days, d||60 days|
|Pennsylvania- Title 23, Part 1||No gg||16 u||18||30 days||t||3 days, d||60 days|
|Rhode Island- Title 15, Chapters 15-1 thru 15-3||Yes||18||-||aa||-||3 months|
|South Carolina- Title 20, Chapter 1||Yes||16 e||18||-||-||1 day||-|
|South Dakota- Title 25, Chapters 1 and 2||No||16 e||18||-||-||-||20 days|
|Tennessee- Title 36, Chapter 3||No||16 u||18||-||-||3 days, d, bb||30 days|
|Texas- Title 1, Subtitles A and B||Yes||16 k, v||18||-||-||cc||30 days|
|Utah- Title 30, Chapter 1||Yes||16 a||18 dd||-||-||-||30 days|
|Vermont- Title 15, Chapter 1||No||16 k||18||30 days, d||t||1 day, d||-|
|Virginia- Title 20, Chapter 2||No||16 a, e||18||-||ee||-||60 days|
|Washington- Title 26, Chapter 4||No||17 u||18||-||ff||3 days||60 days|
|West Virginia- Chapter 48, Article 1||No||18 e||18||-||t||3 days, d||-|
|Wisconsin- Chapter 765 thru 767||No||16||18||-||n||5 days, d||30 days|
|Wyoming- Title 20, Chapter 1||No||16 u||18||-||i||-||-|
|District of Columbia- Division VIII, Title 46, Subtitle 1, Chapter 4||Yes||16 a||18||30 days||t||3 days, d||-|
|Puerto Rico||No||Male-18 c, e, u Female-16 c, e, u||Male- 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.