The website of Rabbi Moshe Pitchon

Marriage License

Getting married in the United States require a license issued by the State.

A license is not a marriage; it’s an application to be married. Once filled out, the ceremony performed, and the license signed by the officiant, it has to be turned back to the county that will issue a marriage certificate.

This is because the Institution of marriage is a corporation of the State. Therefore, it grants the State jurisdiction over marriage in two cases: 1). Divorce, and 2). when crimes are committed (i.e., adultery, bigamy. etc.)

In general, whoever legally performs the marriage ceremony, whether a judge or a religious leader, must also sign the license. In addition, there is a line for them to sign their name and specify their title or ordination.

The rules and requirements for getting a marriage license vary from State to State and country to country. Contact your city, county, or town clerk’s office, which will direct you to the pertinent information. Many cities and counties have websites with marriage license requirements spelled out, and you can often fill out the application online and pay fees with a credit card.

Marriage license information by city and county in the US: http://www.marriagelicensenow.com/states/

You may need certified copies of your marriage certificate for several things. For example, you may need to send copies of it to change your marital status for insurance (car, health, etc.), Social Security (if you’re changing your name), credit cards, bank accounts, and the IRS, mentioning just a few.