The good, the bad,the ugly!
the scoop on marriage licenses in minneota
So you are getting married! Yay, you!
Like everything else in life, your marriage license does come with a fee. At the time I am writing this, the fee is $115.00. Minnesota does, however, offer a $75.00 discount if both parties have proof of attending Pre-Marital Counseling.
Here are the requirements per Sherburne County.
You can qualify for a reduced marriage fee if both parties have completed at least 12 hours of premarital education.
In order to qualify for the reduced license fee:
Authorization - The premarital education must be provided by a licensed or ordained minister or the minister’s designee, a person authorized to solemnize marriages under section 517.18, or a person authorized to practice marriage and family therapy under section 148B.33. The education must include the use of premarital inventory and the teaching of communication and conflict management skills.
Pre-Marital counseling is often times an option through your church or Wedding Officiant. You can see what Vows With Angie has to offer for Pre-Marital Counseling here. Services with Vows With Angie are not required to be able to have the Pre-Marital Counseling. In other words, you can hire Vows With Angie to do your Pre-Marital Counseling and still have someone else officiate your wedding.
So how do you get started applying for our marriage license?
The best advice I can give you post-Covid is to Google “your county name” county marriage license.
For example, I am from Sherburne county, so I would type into the Google search bar “Sherburne County Marriage License”.
You will likely be brought right to the information about applying.
It will at least get you in the ballpark.
I have also added county links to this blog below to make it a little easier for you.
Most counties have it set up now so that you can apply online to start the process. You both will however have to arrive together to pick it up or have a special form notarized.
Since I am writing this post-Covid, there have been a few changes that may or may not go back to how things were pre-Covid. It use to be, that you could just stop in, apply on the spot, pay, and walk out with your license. Many counties now require you to schedule an appointment. So again, this is why it is important to double-check with your county.
What you will need to have to apply.
You will need to show proof that you are 18 years old or older (Photo ID, Birth Certificate), Social Security numbers, & signatures. If you have been married previously and divorced you will need to have your divorce decree (at least the date and county where the marriage was dissolved). If you have been married previously and are widowed, you will need the death decree. Here is a link to Sherburne County’s list.
Have you run into problems with the law?
Anybody who wants to change their name and has a felony, beware!
Since August 1, 2000, the law requires a person who has been convicted of a felony under any state or federal law on or after that date to serve notice of the application for a name change on the prosecuting authority that obtained the conviction.
Please see the Sherburne County reference on the Vows With Angie Resource page.
This process will require additional time and paperwork. The prosecuting authority has 30 days to review your request and may choose to deny it. If you should be denied the name change, you can still be married but without changing your name (obviously).
Once the application process is over.
Once the application process is over and the two of you have gone in together with the appropriate documents, signatures, and paid the fee, you will be given a marriage license and an incomplete marriage certificate to take with you.
You can technically be married that same day. The license is good for up to 6 months from the date that it is issued.
So now what?
You will want to give both of these documents to your Wedding Officiant, along with any return envelope the county may have provided for you. Some counties (such as Stearns & Washington County) have both of these documents on the same page (one sheet with the top being the license and the bottom usually being the certificate).
So what is the difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate anyway?
The Marriage License is permission to your Wedding Officiant to go ahead and marry the two of you. It includes the legal information along with the effective dates of the license and certificate. This is usually kept on file with the Officiant.
The Certificate is the document that has the blanks to be filled in with the date, location, witnesses, and Officiant’s information. This is the document that is returned to the Recorder. The Recorder logs the information and mails you the certified completed marriage certificate. If you have a Professional Wedding Officiant, they will take care of filing the certificate for you after your ceremony.
There are a couple of requirements needed for the completed certificate to be legal.
MAKE SURE YOU VERIFY THAT THEIR CREDENTIALS ARE RECORDED! Especially in this era where so many are becoming Ordained just to marry a friend or relative.
Receiving your Certified Marriage Certificate.
Most counties will mail you one copy of your certified marriage certificate within about two weeks. That is the document you will need for all your legal changes (name change, health insurance, driver’s license, etc). You can also obtain additional copies from them if needed for a small fee.
So that is what you need to know!
Watch for my blog on changing your name! That is a whole other ballgame;)
Marriage License Information By Minnesota Counties