Whether you plan to be wed on the windswept coastline of the Indiana Dunes State Park or prefer the rustic charm of a Southern Plains farmhouse, your first step for making it legal in Indiana is getting your marriage license.
The requirements for obtaining a marriage license are consistent from county to county throughout the Hoosier State, so we went straight to the capital to gather all of the license logistics from the experts in Indianapolis. Diane Mimms, Civil Division Manager of the Marion County Clerk’s office, shares everything you need to know about how, where, and when to get your marriage license in Indiana.
Meet the Expert
Diane Mimms oversees all things related to marriage licenses and more as the Civil Division Manager of the Marion County Clerk’s office.
Where to Get a Marriage License in Indiana
The first thing to know is that requirements are different for residents versus visitors. For Indiana residents, the marriage license must be obtained in the county where the applicant or one of the applicants resides, and the ceremony can occur anywhere in Indiana. Out-of-state visitors planning to marry in Indiana will have to apply in the county where the ceremony will take place.
Mimms shares that some counties have the option to apply for your marriage license in person or virtually, and she recommends double-checking the availabilities for each. In Marion County, for example, virtual appointments are only available on Mondays, whereas walk-ins are welcome during operating hours from Monday through Friday. In some counties, out-of-state applicants will be required to apply in person by appointment.
Many civil offices have public access computers available for applying for your application. However, having the application process already submitted online will expedite your visit. You may pre-apply for your marriage license at mycourts.in.gov.
Marriage License Requirements
Similar to the differences in where to get your marriage license in Indiana, the fees for residents and visitors planning to marry vary as well. The required fee to obtain this document for Indiana residents is $25, but out-of-state residents should expect to pay $65. Most counties accept cash and credit or debit cards (with a processing fee) but be sure to double-check with your county clerk’s office to be certain you arrive prepared.
When applying, it’s essential to ensure that you have the required identification and proof of residency, plus options for payment.
Bring Your Documents
Applicants age 18 or older will be required to provide valid identification and proof of residency. For identification, the state of Indiana accepts valid driver’s licenses, up-to-date state IDs, military IDs, consular cards, or an original birth certificate (which must be professionally translated if it is not in English).
Proof of residency must include your current address and be up-to-date, i.e., not expiring within 60 days. Any of the following documents are approved for verifying proof of residency in Indiana: Rental or mortgage statement, current driver’s license, state ID, bank statement, a recent bill, pay stub, W-2 form, insurance policy, Indiana voter registration Card, or foreign consulate card.
A marriage license in Indiana is valid for 60 days, so you’ll want to keep your timing in mind during the process and plan not to apply too soon before your actual wedding date. You must get married before the end of those 60 days, or the license is no longer considered legal and you’ll need to go through the application process again.
After the ceremony, your wedding officiant is responsible for verifying the information on the marriage license, ensuring that it’s signed (by the couple and the officiant), and completing the officiant’s section. Your officiant will also be responsible for sending the signed license to the marriage division of your county to be recorded. After your wedding, you can make sure the clerk’s office received your marriage record using the online marriage record search.
One last word of advice from Mimms is to take note that certified copies of your marriage license are not included in the application fee, so you’ll need to request those and must purchase them separately. The cost for those copies is $4, and requests can be made by mail or in person. It’s a good idea to have a couple of copies to keep somewhere safe and secure.
Keep in mind, if you plan to change your name, you’ll need those certified copies – along with your Social Security card and ID from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles – as both agencies require a certified copy of your marriage license. You’ll also need to provide a certified copy to your employer to update your benefits.