It’s easy to get swept up at a wedding. They can be hectic, emotional, and just a good time in general. However, all of the fun and laughter can make you forget about one important thing – turning the marriage license in.
No one wants to spend a small fortune on their wedding to find out that they’re not even married. This is a possibility that most people want to avoid, which may make you wonder, what happens if a marriage license is never sent in?
Forgetting to turn a marriage license in is easily done, so you probably won’t be the only ones who have done so. Nevertheless, you and your partner will not be legally married, so you should fix this mistake as soon as possible.
You’ll find the information needed in this article, as well as what marriage licenses and marriage certificates are.
What Is A Marriage License?
A marriage license is a legal document that comes from your county, state, or religious institution. The couple gets a marriage license before their wedding ceremony.
Who Is The Officiant?
An officiant is a person that legally performs your ceremony. They must sign your marriage license. This may be a religious official, like a priest, rabbi, or imam, but they don’t have to be connected with religion. Many couples have a close friend or family member ordained so they can marry them on the day.
Who Turns The Marriage License In?
When everyone who is needed signs the marriage license, it can be difficult to figure out who needs to turn it into the county. This depends on which state you’re in. Some states require the officiant to return the marriage license to the county, while others let the married couple send it in instead.
If your state requires the officiant to send in the license, it’s best to ask for a confirmation from them. This will put your mind at ease so you and your partner can enjoy the coming months as newlyweds.
What Happens If You Don’t Turn Your Marriage License In
Along with the added stress, several repercussions come with not turning your marriage license in. Luckily, the majority of these are easy to fix, so they won’t have lasting implications.
No Marriage Certificate
The most significant effect is that you and your partner won’t get your marriage certificate.
This is an important issue, especially if one partner is changing their name.
Without a certificate, you won’t be able to file your name change with the IRS. This also means you can’t change the name on your credit card, bank account, and driver’s license.
You also need a marriage certificate to change your health, car, and life insurance status. These are all things that must be done after you get married.
Any delay will affect both of you financially. We recommend that you get a few certified copies of your marriage certificate, in case you need to provide it in the future.
The Marriage License May Expire
In most cases, a marriage license will have an expiration date, indicating that you’ll need to turn it in soon after the couple is wed. Whether it expires or not depends on which state you live in, but if yours does, you won’t need to get married again.
However, you do have to notify the county to get a new license and then get everyone to sign it again.
Licenses can expire anywhere from a month to a year. If you don’t file your license in time, check with your state officials to see if yours is valid.
New Marriage License Fee
Marriage licenses cost money, so if it expires, isn’t handed in on time, or you lose it, you’ll need to pay for a new one. In most cases, these should cost the same amount as the original.
Licenses may cost as little as $20 to as much as $115. This depends on the state you’re in. In some areas, you may have to get your replacement license from the town instead of the county or state.
Marriage License And Marriage Certificate: What’s The Difference?
A marriage license is generally drawn up before the certificate and wedding. This document is from the state, county, or city that you live in. It’s like an application to get married.
Whether you apply online or do it in person depends on the state you’re in. You’ll also need to prove who you are through documents, like a photo ID or a birth certificate. Once you have a marriage license, it can last anywhere from a month up to a year, so check with your state for their rules.
A marriage certificate happens after you are both wed. This will have the date and location of your ceremony. You, your partner, and the officiator who marries you will need to sign the certificate. If you or your partner are changing their name, they’ll need the certificate to legally prove that you are married.
How To Get A Copy Of Your Marriage Certificate
If you need to prove your marital status for whatever reason, some places will accept a certified copy of your certificate instead of the original. You cannot photocopy this yourself. You’ll need to get an official copy from your state or county.
A copy of your certificate will cost money, but the amount varies depending on where you live. You’ll also need to provide proof of who you are, like a driver’s license, and also a valid reason as to why you need the copy.
Time It Takes To Get The Copy
Every state varies as to how long they need to send a copy of your marriage certificate. Some areas have websites where you can request a copy online, but other areas may need you to send a formal request via mail.
Most places will take between two to four weeks to provide a certified copy of your certificate, so do take this into account if you need one soon.
Does Every State Need A Marriage License?
Some states don’t need a marriage license, so you may not need to turn one in at all. Certain areas only require a marriage certificate, so do your research and see if you need a license before your wedding.
Do You Need A Marriage License To Divorce?
Nobody wants to think about divorce, but it is wise to be prepared. You don’t need a marriage license to divorce, but you will need your marriage certificate. Always keep your original certificate and an official copy of it close, as nobody can guarantee what happens in the future.