Applying for a Marriage License

Getting Married in Michigan? What You Need to Know.

Who Can Marry

To be able to marry, you must not be married to someone else. (MCL 551.5)

To obtain a Michigan marriage license, the couple must be 18 years of age or older and be able to enter into legal contacts. (MCL 551.103) If 16 or 17 years of age, a person can apply for a license but must have parental consent or consent of their legal guardian to marry. If custody of a person applying for a license under the age of 18 has been awarded by the court, the consent must be form a custodial parent. (MCL 551.51 and 551.103)

Where to Apply and Where to Marry

If either of the couple are Michigan residents, they must apply with the county clerk where one or both have legal residence. Once the license is issued, Michigan residents can marry anywhere in the state. (MCL 551.101)

If neither of the couple lives in Michigan, they must apply with the county clerk where the marriage ceremony is to be performed. Once issued, the license can be used only in the issuing county. (MCL 551.101) In either case, a Michigan license is not valid outside of the state of Michigan.

Who Can You Marry

There are restrictions on who someone can marry. (MCL 551.3 and 551.4)

A man cannot marry his mother, sister, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, stepmother, grandfather's wife, son's wife, grandson's wife, wife's grandmother, wife's daughter, wife's granddaughter, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister, mother's sister, or cousin of the first degree.

A woman cannot marry her father, brother, grandfather, son grandson, stepfather, grandmother's husband, daughter's husband, granddaughter's husband, husband's father, husband's grandfather, husband's son, husband's grandson, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother, mother's brother, or cousin of the first degree.

The 3 Day Waiting Period

Generally, a marriage license is not issued for a period of 3 days, including the date of the application. Applicants can, however, request a waiver of 3 day waiting period from the clerk issuing the license. (MCL 551.103a)

Special Notice of Perjury

Note that the application for a marriage license is a sworn affidavit. Making false statements in the marriage affidavit is an act of perjury which is a prosecutable offense. (MCL 551.108)

What to Bring

Photo Identification that lists your current address.

Sample Affidavit

Review the Affidavit For License to Marry (PDF) for required information.


  • $20 for Michigan residents
  • $30 for out-of-state applicants
  • $20 to waive the three day waiting period (excluding active military personnel)
  • $15 to purchase a certified copy of your marriage certificate after you are married

Waiting Period

Michigan has a 3 day waiting period. The following is a list of the pick up schedule:
If You Apply On
Pick Up
Monday Thursday
Tuesday Friday
Wednesday, Thursday or Friday
Marriage licenses must be used within 33 days from the date of application. Instructions on processing the license after the marriage ceremony will be provided at the time the license is picked up.