Getting married in North Carolina? Here’s what you need to know about the marriage license…

The first thing you need to know is that you can get your marriage license in any county in NC and get married in any other county in NC. Meaning that you don’t have to get your license in the same county that you plan to marry in.

The second thing you need to know is that you must wait until 60 days or less before your wedding date to get the license. The license expires 60 days after it is issued to you.

OK Ready? Here are the steps you need to take to get your licence:

  • Google “YOUR COUNTY Register of Deeds” replacing YOUR COUNTY with the county where you plan to get your license. For example, “Wake County Register of Deeds”. Look for the Marriage License or Vital Records section on their website
  • Follow the instructions on the Register of Deeds site to begin the process of applying for your marriage license. Some counties let you start this process online, while others do not 🙁
  • No matter how you start it, you must always go to the Register of Deeds office to complete the process. The office is usually in the county courthouse. Before you go, MAKE SURE that you have the correct forms of identification (those will be listed on the Register of Deeds website) including a government issues photo id and a document that shows your Social Security Number.
  • At the Register of Deeds office, you’ll sign the license, the Register of Deeds (or their deputy) will sign it, and you’ll pay the fee of $60. In addition, some counties now allow you to pre-pay for a certified copy that they will mail you after the wedding. The cost is $10 per copy.
  • Bring the license to your rehearsal and give it to your officiant. If you’re not having a rehearsal or your officiant is not at the rehearsal, make sure you bring it with you to the wedding and give it to them then.
  • After the wedding, your officiant will sign the license, and get your two witnesses to sign it as well. Your witnesses can be anyone in attendance at the wedding who is over 18 years old. Your officiant will turn in the completed license to the Register of Deeds office in the county where you got the license.
  • Once the Register of Deeds office received the completed license they will send you your certified copies if you had pre-paid for them when you went to the courthouse. If you didn’t pre-pay for then, you can always order them from the Register of Deeds office. Most counties allow you to do this online so you don’t have to go back to the courthouse.

That’s it! Now you have everything you need to get your marriage license in North Carolina! Good Luck! 🙂

Ben Poston is an award-winning wedding officiant based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. He helps couples eliminate stress on their big day by creating a personalized ceremony that focuses on their unique love story, elegantly delivered with a style that is relaxing, joyful, and fun!

He can be reached at