Getting Your Marriage License: What is a Marriage License?

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2005

What is a Marriage License?
As unromantic as it may sound, marriage is a legal union that must be sanctioned by the state where it takes place. Only once you have met certain conditions will the state issue a license allowing you to marry. The requirements -- which can include submitting proof of identity and age, taking a blood test, and paying a fee -- vary from state to state, but one constant remains: If you don't have a marriage license because you didn't apply for one, did not apply in time, or did not meet the requirements, you will not be legally married even if you have a ceremony.

Getting Your Marriage License

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