You can not be legally married without a marriage license. ALL you need to be married is a signed marriage license and a simple "I do". Everything else is up to you!
I get so many questions about marriage licenses. I'm a wedding officiant. I don't issue marriage licenses. Your county clerk does. There are state websites and county websites with the information you need. They can be difficult to navigate and understand so I've created this page to help explain everything in a way that I hope will help.
This information is offered to you to be helpful. I know a lot but I don't know everything. I am not a lawyer and I am in no way associated with the clerk's offices so please contact your clerk directly if you have specific questions. Thank you.
My Quick Guide to Obtaining an Indiana Marriage License
The first thing you need to do is apply for your marriage license.
EVERYONE needs to apply for their marriage license online.
You can use your own computer or the computers in the clerk's office. FYI - a phone doesn't work. You need to use a PC.
It is faster if you apply online before you go. There are computers in the Clerk's office that you can use.
There is one marriage license application for the state of Indiana. Click below to access the application.
Go to your county clerk together to pick up the license.
A marriage license is a legal document, you both must appear in-person to obtain it. They don't mail you a license because you applied online.
If you and your future spouse live in different counties, you can go to either county clerk.
If you have a Marion County Address and your fiancee has a Johnson County address, you can go to either the Johnson or Marion County Clerk. You will need to prove your address in that county.
If you are not an Indiana resident, you must apply in the county in which you are being married.
This means if you are getting married in Indianapolis, you need to get your marriage license in Indianapolis. You can not obtain your marriage license in the closest county to you and then go to another county in Indiana to get married.
Some counties do have virtual options if that's easier for you, but you both must be at the virtual meeting and present everything you would in-person.
Hamilton County Residents - you will need an appointment and virtual is an option.
Contact YOUR County Clerk to verify their procedures.
Each county clerk has their own procedures when they issue a marriage license.
Everyone uses the same online application.
Each county has different hours they are available to issue licenses.
Each County has different prices. A basic marriage license is $25 for in-state residents and $65 for out-of-state residents.
Your county clerk may charge extra for copies when they issue your license. The cost of copies vary.
Please contact YOUR county clerk to make sure you have all the correct info. Here are some links below for you to use:
You can do that with a valid drivers license, state issued ID, Passport, or Birth Certificate. All forms of ID need to be in English. So, if you don't have a drivers license or passport your birth certificate must be in English or a notarized translation of the original document.
You need proof of address.
You can do this with a valid drivers license, lease, or utility bill.
As long as you both have a valid driver's license and one of them has your correct address - the address you used to apply for your marriage license - that's all you need.
You will be asked to present your ID and provide the last for digits of your social security number so they can bring up your application online. You do not have to have your social security card. If you are not a US resident and don't have a social security number, it's OK. You can still get married. They can bring the application up without it.
There is no waiting period.
You can apply for your marriage license, the clerk will issue you the license, then you can get married immediately. All in one day.
You can get married TODAY in Indiana!
As long as the county clerk is open, you can get married today. In less then an hour, if you time it right. You can apply for your marriage license online in the County Clerk's office, they will issue you the marriage license immediately and you can be married immediately too. Once you are married, you can file the marriage license and obtain your certified marriage license to legally prove your marriage.
Johnson County will not issue you a certified copy of your marriage license immediately. They will only mail it to you. You will still be legally married but it will take time to get the final paperwork in the mail.
You will probably need an appointment with your wedding officiant to make sure they are available when you need them. We have walk-in hours but you will want to call to make sure!
Get Married Within 60 Days!
Your Indiana marriage license is good for 60 days. If you don't get married within that 60 days you will need to get another one, and you will need to pay again.
If you are looking for an officiant, We'd be happy to marry you!
Return your marriage license.
You must return your marriage license to the clerk that issued it. You are not legally married until you file the completed marriage license with the clerk. You will need a certified copy issued by the clerk to prove you are legally married.
Anyone can return a marriage license and obtain certified copies. You can return it by mail if you choose. I always suggest each couple takes responsibility for the license to make sure it's returned to the clerk in a timely manner.
Returning the license to be filed is one part of the process. If you want to PROVE that you are married, you will need a certified copy of your marriage license.
Every county has a different way of issuing certified copies of the marriage license. There is a fee for certified copies. Some counties will collect that fee upfront when they issue the license, then you can mail the completed license to them and they will mail you the certified copies. Other counties require you to request copies and pay for them at that time.
Marion County requires you to request the certified copies after you are married.
There are one or two county clerk's that insist that the wedding officiant MUST return the license. The thing is, the wedding officiant can do that by mail. Anyone can put something in the mail. You can deliver that in person yourself too.
We Lost Our Marriage License!
No worries! The county clerk with print out another copy of your marriage license for free.
If you lose the signed copy of the marriage license you are still married, you just need to have your wedding officiant fill out the paperwork again. They will use the same date you were married. The same goes for if your license is lost in the mail. You just get another copy and sign it again.
How do I change my name?
Your name does not automatically change when you get married. You are not required to change your name when you get married.
You can change your name through social security after you have filed your completed marriage license with the county clerk. - You need a certified copy of your marriage license to legally change your name.
When you get married, you sign your marriage license with your name as it appears on the marriage license.
You CAN NOT get married in most courthouses in Indiana. You will need to find your own wedding officiant to marry you. You definitely can not get married in the courthouse in Marion, Johnson, or Hendricks counties.
We do offer a quick Civil Ceremony in our office on Monument Circle - just a short walk from the Marion County Clerk - This can help make getting married quick and easy.
If you are an Indiana resident, you have to get your marriage license in the county you live in, then you can get married anywhere in the state. You can bring yourselves and your marriage license to our office in Indianapolis and we are happy to marry you!
Only a County Clerk Can Issue a Marriage License.
A wedding officiant can not obtain your marriage license for you. Only you can do that. County Clerk's keep regular business hours so you can not get a marriage license on the weekend in Indiana. Many clerks are very strict about their hours. They may be open until 4:30 but stop issuing marriage licenses at 4. Call to be sure if you plan on leaving work early to get there before they close.
Every county clerk has different hours - including holiday hours. Contact YOUR county clerk to verify.
You may need a copy of your divorce decree.
It will depend on how long you have been divorced, if you will need a certified copy of your divorce decree. Check with your county clerk about this to be sure about the length of time.
In Marion County is only 60 days. It may be different in YOUR county.
A certified copy has a stamp with a raised seal - Not a photo copy. If you are traveling in from out of state make sure you have this!
The paperwork the clerk will give you.
When you leave the clerks office you will have have a stack of papers. The MOST IMPORTANT paper the give you in the actual marriage license. The marriage license has the Official Seal of the State of Indiana on it It has a number, application date and expiration date. It has the clerk's signature and the clerk's official seal. Legally this is the only piece of paper they give you that matters. It's the license that needs to be completed and filed with the clerk. (See the picture below.)
If you look at the pictures below, you will see there is no place for witnesses. Witnesses are not required to get married in Indiana. There is no place for them to sign on the license to marry and no place for their names to appear on the certified marriage license. (This is my way of proving it to people who don't believe me.)
Almost every clerk will also issue you a decorative marriage license. Many of these don't have a place for the married couple to sign, just a place for the witnesses to sign. This does not mean you need witnesses to get married. It's just a decorative tradition. Some copies have a place for the couple and witnesses to sign. Still, they are not legal copies. It's just a memory of your wedding day.
This is what a marriage license that allows you to marry looks like.
This is what a certified copy of a filed marriage license looks like.
How about common law marriage?
There is no common law marriage in Indiana. You have to be legally married with a filed marriage license to be recognized as married.
In Indiana a minister - even an online ordained minister can marry you. That doesn't mean you have to have a religious ceremony. I'm an online ordained minister that performs any type of wedding ceremony. Most of the ceremonies we perform are non-religious.
Call us! (317)403-7379 You can text too. We are happy to marry you! Our simple civil ceremony starts at just $100!
Here is a list of people who can legally perform marriages in Indiana
A member of the clergy of a religious organization (even if the cleric does not perform religious functions for an individual congregation), such as a minister of the gospel, a priest, a bishop, an archbishop, or a rabbi. This means: You can get ordained online and qualify to perform marriages in Indiana.
A Mayor, within the mayor’s county.
A clerk or a clerk-treasurer of a city or town, within a county in which the city or town is located.
A clerk of the circuit court.
The Friends Church, in accordance with the rules of the Friends Church.
The German Baptists, in accordance with the rules of their society.
The Baha'i faith, in accordance with the rules of the Baha'i faith.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in accordance with the rules of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
An imam of a masjid (mosque), in accordance with the rules of the religion of Islam.
Diversity Statement We are open to marrying any couple. It is our goal to meet each couple where they are and help them to have a positive wedding experience. In order to meet you where you are, we approach every wedding with an open mind - we don’t know anything about you until you tell us and that’s only if you choose to tell us. Wedding ceremony scripts have been written for years for brides and grooms. Now, bride and bride or groom and groom are very common. Some couples are choosing to forego traditional gender roles altogether and are using the terms spouse or partner. If you have made the choice to use non-traditional pronouns, please let us know, and we will be happy to honor your preferences. Any wedding ceremony script can be changed to reflect those personal preferences.