How to Apply for a Washington DC Marriage License


As in any city/county, you have to have a valid marriage license before you can officially tie the knot.  Here are some step-by-step instructions for applying for a marriage license in Washington, DC.

Step #1 – Print a copy of the Marriage License Application and review it thoroughly.  You can find theMarriage License Application at

Step #2 – Collect the necessary legal information for your Marriage License Application.  As you can see from the application, you will need to include your legal name, social security number, address, home telephone number, work telephone number, and your date of birth.  If you have been married before, you will need to include your previous marriage information – this includes the city, state, country of your previous marriage, along with the city and staff of your end-of-marriage (death or divorce).  You may have heard that the Superior Court of Washington DC requires applicants to provide blood tests to ensure that they don’t have syphilis.  Yes, syphilis.  That requirement ended in 2008.*

Step #3 – Collect the proper name of your wedding ceremony officiant, and make sure that s/he is authorized, and registered by the Marriage Bureau to legally perform wedding ceremonies in Washington, DC.

Step #4 – Complete the Marriage License Application.  To ensure that you have everything you need before you depart for Moultrie Courthouse, I recommend you place the following in a large envelope –

    ** The Completed Marriage License Application

    ** Your Proof of Age.  You need to show proof of your age with a government-issued document, such as your driver’s license, a government-issued non-driver’s license, a birth certificate or passport.  The minimum age for marriage in the District of Columbia is 18 years.  If you are between the ages of 16 and 18 years old, you will need the consent of a parent or guardian.

    ** $45 Payment (In cash or a money order made payable to the DC Superior Court).  If you are already registered in Washington DC as domestic partners, you should bring proof of this registration – It will save you the $35 application fee.  You will only be required to pay $10 for the actual license.

Step #5 – Take your completed marriage application, proof of your age, your payment, and if necessary, your domestic partner registration to the Moultrie Courthouse.  The Moultrie Courthouse is located at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW (Room 4485), Washington, DC.  If you need an accessible entrance, you may enter the Moultrie Courthouse in the center doors of 500 Indiana Avenue.  Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but I don’t recommend submitting your marriage license in the afternoon.  And, I don’t recommend submitting your marriage license application, or picking it up, on a Thursday and Friday.  You will have a lot of company, so your wait will be longer than their usual wait time.

When you enter the courthouse, you have to clear security screening first, so give yourself plenty of time, and don’t arrive right before closing time.

Note: The Moultrie Courthouse is located in a pretty busy area; so parking can be a challenge.  Consider taking the Metro to the courthouse.  The closest Metro Stop is Judiciary Square (located on the Red Line).  When you come out of the metro, walk

Step #6 – Place the Marriage Application payment receipt in a safe location.  When you submit your application and payment, you will be given a receipt.  Hold onto this receipt because you will need it to pick up your Marriage License.

Step #7 – Wait three business days to pick up your Marriage License.  You will not be given your marriage license on the day that you apply.  You will have to wait three full business days after your application date to pick it up at the Moultrie Courthouse.  Both of you will not need to be present to pick up the license, but you will definitely need your receipt – So, don’t forget it!  If you can, pick up your marriage license at least five business days prior to your wedding.  This allows time for them to correct ay errors.

* Pursuant to the Marriage Amendment Act of 2008, DC Law 17-222, effective September 11, 2008, a blood test is no longer a requirement to obtain a marriage license in the District of Columbia.

** Pursuant to the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, L18-110, effective March 3, 2010, same sex couples may apply for marriage licenses in the District of Columbia.

One more thing.  I am a wedding planner, not an attorney.  If you have any legal questions, I recommend consulting your attorney!

Best wishes on a beautiful wedding day!

Love and Soul Always, Kay



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