Marriage License Information

Who May Marry

Age Requirements and Consent - The minimum age for marriage in the Commonwealth of Virginia is 18 years for both parties.

Prohibited Marriages

  1. A marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the parties.
  2. A marriage between an ancestor and descendant; or between a brother and a sister; or between an uncle and a niece; or between an aunt and a nephew; whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption.
  3. When either of the parties lacks capacity to consent to the marriage because of mental incapacity, infirmity or age.
  4. "Common law" marriages are not valid if entered into in Virginia or any other jurisdiction which does not permit them for its residents.

License Requirements

  1. There is no blood test requirement for marriage in Virginia.
  2. Where Obtained - A license for marriage in Virginia is issued by the clerk, or her deputy, of the circuit court in any county or city. The ceremony may be performed anywhere in the state. Applicants must, under oath, furnish information required to complete the marriage record. These items are material matters, and the applicant may be subject to prosecution for perjury for violation of the portion of the statutes which require this information. For divorced persons there is no statutory waiting period before remarriage after the divorce is granted, unless a court specifically prohibits remarriage. In some cases, clerks may require documentary proof of age or termination of a previous marriage. Most of the offices of the clerks of court are closed on Saturdays.
  3. Time Limitations - The marriage must be performed within sixty days after the license is issued. There is no waiting period required between application and issuance of a license, and a couple may be married immediately after the issuance of a license.
  4. Fees - A fee of $30 is charged by the clerk of the court for issuing a marriage license.

Marriage Ceremony

  1. Who May Perform - A minister of any religious denomination may be authorized by the circuit court to celebrate the rites of matrimony. In order to obtain such authorization, the minister must produce proof of his ordination and regular communion with the religious society of which he is a reputed member. In addition, the court in each city and county has appointed persons who are eligible to perform civil marriage ceremonies. Marriages between persons belonging to any religious society which has no ordained minister may be solemnized by the persons and in manner prescribed by and practiced in the society.
  2. Witness - There is no statutory requirement that witnesses be present at the marriage ceremony.
  3. Marriage Record - The minister or other person officiating at the marriage must complete and sign the Marriage Register and the Marriage Return and forward both forms to the clerk of the court who issued the license within five days after the ceremony is performed. The Marriage Return is forwarded by the clerk to the State Division of Vital Records. In addition to the forms to be returned to the clerk, the officiant may also prepare a certificate to be given to the newly married couple.

Drivers License and Social Security

Prior to application to DMV or the Social Security Administration for a change of name pursuant to marriage, you will need a certified copy of your marriage certificate. A certified copy may be obtained after five days from the clerks office of the circuit court, provided the minister has promptly returned the Marriage Register and Marriage Return, or from the Virginia Division of Vital Records in Richmond for a fee of $8. When application is made for a copy of a record of marriage, the following information should be given: full name of groom, full name of bride, date of marriage, place of marriage.