Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! King County wants to make applying for and picking up your marriage license quick and easy.
3 Day Waiting Period,
60 Day Expiration
When we issue a marriage license, Washington state law requires a three-day waiting period before you can use it. Licenses are valid for 60 days after the three-day waiting period.
A license issued today would be valid for use between DATE and DATE.
Pick your wedding ceremony date and the dates below it will show when you should apply for your marriage license.
You must obtain your license between DATE and DATE.
- Both applicants must currently be unmarried.
- Both applicants must be at least 18 years old or can meet the age requirements.
- Both applicants must not be nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whole or half blood.
- Both applicants must have current photo ID: U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, U.S. military ID, permanent resident card, driver's license or state photo ID card issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL), or foreign government issued passport.
- Applicants must be at least 18 years old, unless they satisfy the requirements for underage applicants listed below.
- 17-year-olds can apply if one of the following conditions is met:
- A parent or legal guardian submits a notarized statement of consent (available at any marriage licensing location). Please bring a certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate or documents establishing legal guardianship.
- The applicant is legally emancipated and takes the court-certified copy of the emancipation document with them to apply.
- Applicants under age 17 can apply only when the age requirement is waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides. Each party to the marriage that is under 17 years of age must present a waiver specifically naming them.
Residency and Citizenship Requirements
- Marriage license applicants do not have to reside in Washington State or King County.
- A marriage license purchased from any county in Washington State can be used to get married anywhere in Washington State.
- Applicants do not have to apply for their marriage license in the county where the wedding ceremony will take place.
- A marriage license obtained in Washington State cannot be used to get married in another state or country.
- Applicants are not required to have a U.S. Social Security number in order to obtain a marriage license. However, one of the marriage license forms requires the inclusion of one's Social Security number OR the applicant's signature on a declaration that they do not have a U.S. Social Security number. This will not impair the couple's ability to receive their marriage license.
A marriage license purchased from any county in Washington State can be used to get married anywhere in the State. If you plan to marry in another state or country, you must apply for its marriage license and comply with its laws for getting married. A marriage in another jurisdiction is valid in Washington State if it is not prohibited by Washington state law.
The fastest way to obtain a marriage license is to submit the application online and then pick up and pay for the license in our office at least 3 days prior to the wedding.
- You and your partner must both be present
- You and your partner must both bring current photo ID
- U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, U.S. military ID, permanent resident card, driver's license or state photo ID card issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL), or foreign government issued passport
- Pay $67 per application
- Personal checks, cashier's checks, and money orders (payable to King County Recorder)
- Credit/debit cards (If using a card, a convenience fee of 2.35% is charged by our banking provider. No portion of the fee goes to King County. The minimum charge to use a card is $2.00. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.)
- Cash (in-person only)
If both you and your partner cannot be present to pick up the license at least 3 days before the wedding, then you must apply by mail.
- Complete this Application
- Have the application notarized (King County does not provide notary service)
- Send us the original notarized application with a check or money order for $67
- King County 500 4th Ave Room 430, Seattle, WA 98104
- Payable to King County Recorder
- Starter checks are not acceptable
- Check to see if your application has been processed by searching our online records. If your record shows a “Marriage Application” Doc Type, then your license is ready for pick up.
- You or someone you authorize must pick up the license at our downtown Seattle office (500 4th Ave Room 430, Seattle, WA 98104).
Obtaining the license is just the first step in making your marriage official. Select the "2. Have the ceremony" tab to review the next step.
Who can officiate the ceremony?
State law prescribes who can perform a marriage ceremony: active and retired Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals judges, Superior Court judges, Superior Court commissioners, and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction, as well as any regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest of any church or religious denomination. See Chapter 26.04 of Washington state law for a complete list.
Ministers from any state may perform marriage ceremonies, but the ceremony must be performed in the State of Washington. Neither the bride nor the groom may perform the ceremony.
To schedule a wedding with a judge click on the links below for instructions and contact information:
What do we do with the marriage certificate on the day of the ceremony?
Immediately following the ceremony, the couple, the officiant, and two witnesses must sign the marriage certificate. It is the officiant's responsibility to complete and return the license to King County within 30 days after the ceremony.
What do we do with the marriage certificate?
Immediately following the ceremony, the couple, the officiant, and two witnesses must sign the license. It is the officiant’s responsibility to complete and return the license to King County within 30 days after the ceremony. The officiant can walk into any of our locations to drop it off in person or use the self-addressed envelope provided in your application packet to mail it.
How can we verify if our marriage certificate has been processed?
If you were married in 1991 or later, check if your certificate has been processed by searching online records. If your record shows a "Marriage Certificate" Doc Type, then you can request a copy.
If you were married in 1990 or earlier, you can request copies from Washington Sate Digital Archives.
How do I change my name?
All marriage license documents are signed with one's current legal name, never the intended new name.
There is no legal requirement for a name change after getting married; it is a right a couple may choose to exercise.
If you or your spouse want to change your surname after marriage take a certified copy of your marriage license to any organization that you need to notify, such as the ones listed below. If you want to change your first or middle name or create a new last name, check with King County District Court for details on a court-ordered name change.
- State Driver's License/Identification Card: www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense or 360-902-3900
- Social Security: www.ssa.gov or 1-800-772-1213
- Immigration Services: www.uscis.gov or 206-553-5956
- Passport: www.travel.state.gov or 1-877-487-2778
- Banks, Insurance, Employer, Military, Voter Registration
Washington state law does not impose a time limit after the wedding by which a name change must be accomplished. However, if you are making the change more than a year after your wedding, check with each agency to determine if a certified copy of your marriage license will suffice to change your name with them.
Check out our frequently asked questions for information such as how to get copies of your marriage license or certificate, if a child can be a witness, and many more.
Eager spouses-to-be lined up to be among the first marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in King County starting at midnight on December 6, 2012.
Standard Forms and Documents
- Affidavit for Correction of Marriages that took place in Washington State
- Begin Marriage License Application Online (electronic application)
- Marriage License Application (paper application)
- Marriage Supplemental Application
- Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce certificates
- Apostilles, Secretary of State