The State of Washington is the home to Seattle and boasts mountain ranges, myriad lakes and waterways, beaches, world-class wineries, the iconic Space Needle, lonely lighthouses, and several expansive national parks. If your hearts are set on Washington State for your wedding ceremony, read on—we have all of the information you need to get a marriage license in Washington.
Where to Get a Marriage License in Washington
You can get your Washington State marriage license from any county in Washington and use it to be married anywhere in the state. All Washington marriage licenses are non-refundable. They are valid for 60 days after the three-day waiting period, but once they expire, you’ll have to purchase a new one. Officiants have 30 days after the ceremony to return the completed license to the county office. Below, we explore the different marriage license application processes in Clark County and King County.
In Clark County, you have the option of applying online, in person, or by mail. Fill out the online marriage application and submit it in person with ID at the Clark County Auditor's Office. No appointment is necessary. To receive your license by mail from Clark County, you’ll apply online then print a "Notary Packet" to sign in front of your Notary Public. Mail the notarized document to Clark County Auditor’s office and you will receive your license by mail.
As of this writing, in-person services for King County, located in downtown Seattle are closed, but you can apply online and have your license mailed to you. King County’s online option is called the King County Marriage Kiosk. Fill out required fields and email the county with the transaction number generated when you clicked "submit." The recorder's office will contact you for debit or credit card payment and mail your license.
To help you figure out when you should obtain your license, King County has a helpful online widget. Input your wedding date, and it gives you the timeframe to get your license.
For King County, both of you must fill out the form and have it notarized attesting to the following: if you are afflicted with any contagious sexually transmitted disease, the condition is known to the other applicant; you are not related to the other applicant; you understand that the license is not valid for three days from the date the application is filed, and you must have your marriage solemnized in Washington State. Mail it in with documents and fees, and they will mail your license to you.
Bring Your Documentation
Both persons must have all required documentation and identification to fill out the application. Washington does not require blood tests, first cousins cannot marry, and marriage applicants do not have to reside in Washington. Read through the information most counties have online. Here is what you need:
- Proof of Identity and Age. Both parties must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid form of photo identification, a U.S. passport, driver's license, military ID. You'll also need your Social Security card. If you don't have a Social Security number, you can still marry, but you may need to sign a declaration that you don't have one.
- Documentation if Underage. Washington allows a person 17 years of age to apply with a parent or legal guardian’s notarized statement of consent, a certified copy of a birth certificate, or an emancipation document.
- Money. License fees and forms of payment vary. For instance, the license fee is $69 in King County, $72 in Clark County, and $70 in Snohomish County. Some take money orders or cashier's checks only; some accept credit and debit cards but collect a processing charge—be sure to read the details on each county's website. Fees are non-refundable.
- Important Information and Dates. You will need your mother’s maiden name and both parents’ state or country of birth for some forms. Washington State requires a three-day waiting period. There is no waiving of the waiting period according to state law.
Gender marker choices on forms vary for Washington State marriage licenses. The "Notary Packet" affidavits do not ask for gender, while some license application forms only offer male or female.
Make It Special
Congratulations, you now have your marriage license. Whether you picked it up in person or from your mailbox, celebrate this milestone in your journey to be married. Pop a cork at a local café, go for a long walk at sunset on West Seattle’s Alki Beach with a Seattle skyline view, or whip up a memorable dinner at home with some splendid Washington wine.