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King County Executive
Dow Constantine

Marriage licensing: what couples need to know for Dec. 6, 7, and 8


King County preparing to issue hundreds of marriage licenses when new law goes into effect


Hundreds of couples are expected when a new voter-approved law enabling marriage equality takes effect on Dec. 6. The King County Recorder’s Office will open at 12:01 a.m. on that date to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“As King County Executive, I plan to be there at midnight to congratulate the happy couples and sign commemorative items with the Governor's pen - the same pen she used to sign the marriage equality bill earlier this year,” said Executive Dow Constantine.

The Executive plans to share his good wishes with couples waiting in line before and after a special midnight ceremony in the Recorder’s Office, at which he will administer the oath and sign the first marriage licenses for a group of same-sex couples recommended by community leaders.

Once the ceremony is complete, marriage licenses for all couples in line will be issued from a temporary annex that will be established down the hall from the Recorder’s Office, enabling the main office to continue serving customers with other business.

Numbered tickets will be issued to applicants lining up on the North Plaza (James Street side) of the Administration Building, starting at 10:00 p.m. on Dec. 5, two hours before the office opens. Marriage licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. All couples who are inside the official queuing area two hours before closing time will be served.

Before arriving at the Recorder’s Office, couples should download and complete a marriage license application from, and bring the completed form with them along with photo identification and the license fee of $64, payable by cash or check only.

Because space is extremely limited, only couples applying for a marriage license can be accommodated in the queuing area and licensing annex. A photo station will be established in the fourth floor lobby on the Fifth Avenue side of the Administration Building. Family and friends can greet exiting couples there and take pictures with the couple and their newly-issued marriage license.

To help gauge interest in the event, licensing officials urge couples to register for the licensing events on the King County Facebook page at Registering for a Facebook “event” does not guarantee a spot in the line or a marriage license. Couples can also signal their interest for the Dec. 7 or 8 events by clicking the small "By King County, WA" link under the title at the top of the Facebook page.

People in line on Dec. 6, 7, or 8 will also be able to “check in” on Facebook at the Recorder’s Office via QR codes posted around the Administration Building.

In addition to Facebook, King County will be on Twitter at @kcnews, Throughout the day on Dec. 6, get real-time updates as events unfold, check the status of the wait in line, and much more. Executive Constantine will also be tweeting at @kcexec, Follow the hashtag #MEDayWA to join in the conversation.

As always, weapons, alcohol, and illegal drugs are strictly prohibited on King County property. Out of consideration for others in line, couples are asked to refrain from bringing large signs, noisemakers, and similar items with them to apply.

The Recorder’s Office in the Administration Building will be the only location in King County where licenses can be obtained in person on these three days:

  • Thursday, Dec. 6, from 12:01 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday Dec. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All couples applying for a marriage license on these dates, regardless of gender, will need to wait in line. After this special event, marriage licenses will again be available at all normal locations, including the Recorder’s Office downtown and at Community Service Centers located throughout King County, which are listed at

Timeline for Wednesday, Dec. 5 into Thursday, Dec. 6 - These plans are subject to change, especially in the case of severe weather.



10:00 p.m.

Numbered tickets issued to couples arriving at the King County Administration Building on the north side (James Street side) of the Administration Plaza.

12:01 a.m.

In the Recorder’s Office, Executive Constantine will administer the oath and sign marriage licenses for a group of couples recommended by community leaders.


12:10 a.m. thru 6:30 p.m.

Marriage license issuance continues in the Recorder’s Office annex for couples in line.

4:30 p.m.

Line will be closed to new arrivals. All couples inside the official queuing area will be served.

6:30 p.m.

Recorder’s Office closes for the day.


Timeline for Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8

6:30 a.m.

Official queuing area opens on North Plaza.

8:30 a.m.

Recorder’s Office opens.

4:30 p.m. (Fri.)

2:30 p.m. (Sat.)

Line will be closed to new arrivals. All couples in the official queuing area will still be served.

6:30 p.m. (Fri.)

4:30 p.m. (Sat.)

Recorder’s Office closes for the day. Office will be closed on Sunday, normal hours will resume on Monday.

For more information on the marriage licensing process, especially the procedures for Dec. 6, 7, and 8, please visit

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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