How to Get Married in Michigan

Illustration of wedding rings and Michigan state landmarks and symbols

Illustration: The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

Michigan is one of the few states that still require a waiting period before you can get married. You have to wait three days after you apply for your marriage license.

Residency Requirement in Michigan

You do not have to be a resident of Michigan, but there is an additional fee for non-residents.

Residents need to apply for their marriage license in the county in which one of them lives. Non-residents need to apply for their marriage license in the county where they plan on getting married.

"Even though you apply for your marriage license in the county you live in, you can get married any place in Michigan."
Source: Macomb County Web Site

Previous Marriage

You need to know the date (mm/dd/yy) and how the last marriage ended. If it was within the last six months, you will need to bring proof of the divorce that can be left with the Clerk.

One reader noted: "At least in Muskegon County, regardless of when the divorce was finalized, a copy of the divorce degree needs to be presented. (found out the hard way.)"

ID Requirement in Michigan

Picture ID such as Drivers License. You can also use Military ID, DD 214, You must also have a certified copy of your birth certificates.

You will also need to know your parent's addresses and your mothers' maiden names. Foreign birth certificates need to be translated into English and be notarized.

Covenant Marriage Option


Waiting Period

There is a three (3) day waiting period in Michigan. The waiting period does not include the application day. The waiting period may be waived by the county clerk for "good and sufficient cause shown."

Fees in Michigan

$20 if you are a resident of Michigan. $30 for non-residents. Some counties may charge more. Bring cash. Most counties do not accept checks.

Requirements and fees may vary as each county in Michigan could have their own requirements.

Other Tests


Proxy Marriages

No. However, only one of you must be present and have all required documentation when applying for a marriage license. You will need to show a photocopy of the front and back of your partner's driver's license.

Cousin Marriages


Common Law Marriages

No, unless entered into the relationship prior to January 1, 1957.

Same-Sex Marriages

Same-sex marriage is legal in Michigan and all other U.S. states as per the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015. Michigan had banned recognition of same-sex unions in any form since a 2004 popular vote added an amendment to the state constitution.

Under 18

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can get married with parental consent. Your parents must appear with identification and if a custodial parent, proof of their custody. If you are 15 or younger, you will need both parental consent and the approval of the probate court.

Secret Marriages

Back in 1897, secret marriages were approved. If a couple requests a secret marriage, if permitted by a judge, after the ceremony is solemnized, the officiant returns the certificate, but the judge may seal the file and allow no publicity about the marriage.


Witnesses do not have to be 18 years of age, but they do need to be able to understand what they are witnessing and be able to sign their legal signature.


Marriages may be performed by federal, probate, district, and municipal judges, and district court magistrates, in their court area; mayors, in their city; County clerks; ministers and pastors of the gospel, both resident and non-resident. The Michigan Statutes also have a provision that allows for marriages to "be solemnized in the manner heretofore used and practiced in their respective societies or denominations."


A license is valid for thirty (30) days.

Copy of Certificate of Marriage

Vital Records
3423 North Martin Luther King Boulevard
P.O. Box 30195
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 335-8656

Note: the information in this article was accurate when it was published. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans. When in doubt, seek legal counsel.

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