Getting Married in NC 2016-11-14T08:37:11+00:00

Getting Married in NC

ID Requirement:

Types of identification accepted are a current and valid government issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, etc. You will also need proof of your social security number. If you don’t have  Social Security card, a W2 or 1040 will do.

Residency Requirement:

Do not have to be a resident when getting married in NC.

If Divorced:

If the bride or groom has been divorced, he or she must know the month and year of the last divorce. If there has been a divorce within the last 60 days, the state requires a copy of the divorce decree signed by the judge.

Application Requirement:

Both parties to a marriage should appear in person to obtain the license. If one of the parties is unable to appear, the other party to the marriage must appear in person and present a sworn and notarized affidavit from the other member of the party, prior to the issuance of the license. Affidavit forms are available in the Register of Deeds Office.

Click Here To Locate Your Local Register Of Deeds Office

North Carolina law requires all applicants getting married in NC to show proof of a Social Security number, or documentary proof of their Social Security number, i.e. W-2 form, payroll stub, or a statement from the Social Security Office stating their Social Security number.
If a Social Security number has never been issued or the applicant is not eligible for a Social Security number, the applicant will be required to present a completed affidavit, signed and notarized, at the time of applying for the marriage license. The affidavit form is available in the Register of Deeds Office.

Under 18:

All applicants getting married in NC, including those not present, must provide a form of identification.

  • Applicants 21 and over may use a valid driver’s license, valid Military I.D, State ID, passport or certified birth certificate.
  • Applicants 18 to 20 must present a certified copy of their birth certificate. Applicants 16 and 17 must present a consent form signed by the parent, individual, agency or institution having legal custody or serving as the legal guardian of the underage party. A certified copy of the birth certificate is also required. The consent form must be notarized.
  • Applicants 14 and 15 must provide a certified copy of the court order authorizing the marriage. A certified copy of the birth certificate is also required.

A marriage license may not be issued to applicants under 14 years of age.

How Much a Marriage License Cost?

$60 – Cash Only.

Waiting Period:

No waiting period.

Blood Tests:

No tests.

Marriage Ceremony:

  • Marriage ceremonies may be either religious or civil.
  • A religious ceremony is performed by an ordained minister.
  • A civil ceremony is conducted by a magistrate, the only civil officer authorized to   perform marriages.
  • There must be two witnesses at any marriage ceremony, whether it is civil or religious.

Common Law Marriage:

Common law marriage, which is recognized in some states, involves a couple living together and holding themselves out to everyone as man and wife. Even though there is no marriage ceremony or certificate, this marriage is considered valid in those states that recognize common law marriage. North Carolina is not one of those states, and no amount of living together in this state can result in a valid marriage, without a valid marriage ceremony.

Cousin Marriage:

Yes. First cousins MAY marry, but DOUBLE first cousins may not. Double first cousins are very rare, as the couple have to be related as cousins through both parents.

Same Sex Marriage:

Yes! At last North Carolina sees to be embracing marriage equality but do check with your chosen register of deeds in advance.
Remember, you can get your license in any county and use it in any other county in the state.


Any ordained minister of any faith who is authorized to perform marriages by his church may do so. Ministers must complete the marriage license and return it to the register of deeds who issued it.


License is valid for 60 days.
The license can only be used within the State of North Carolina.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage:

NC Vital Records
P.O. Box 29537
Raleigh, NC 27626-0537
Phone: (919) 733-3526

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.

Changing Your Name After Marriage? Click Here For More Information

Getting Married In NC - Sample Marriage License

Instructions to Couples from New Hanover County Register of Deeds (but applies well across the state) are shown below:
(Click Here for the PDF version)