Is getting married in your future? If so, you've probably already picked a future spouse. You might also be working hard on your wedding plans. However, there is a step you might forget about with your wedding planning: getting a marriage license. If you're getting married for the first time, you might not realize you need one. But you do. Here is a guide to help you learn some vital facts about marriage licenses.
What is a marriage license?
A marriage license doesn't mean you're married. Instead, it gives you the right to get married. Getting a marriage license is a vital step that couples take before their weddings. This license shows that both partners have the legal right to get married to each other. But, again, the license doesn't validate the marriage. But you must have a license to become legally married.
How do you get one?
In most cases, couples visit their local courthouse to acquire a marriage license. Getting a license is a common event, but it requires some documentation. Thus, you should gather the necessary documents before heading to the courthouse. First, you'll need a photo ID, such as your driver's license, to prove your identity. You might also need your birth certificate and social security card. If you are divorced, you should bring your divorce decree to prove that you're not legally married to someone else.
When you ask for a marriage license, the courthouse will ask to see these documents. They'll also ask you to fill out an application. Then, they'll ask you some questions. Some of the questions might seem strange, but they have to ask. For example, they might ask if you're related to the person you want to marry. After all, marrying relatives is illegal.
Do you have to get one?
You can have a wedding without a marriage license. However, a wedding doesn't make a marriage legal, but a marriage license does. Thus, you must get a marriage license to reap all the benefits of marriage. Failing to do so might result in problems later on in the marriage.
Get a marriage license before the wedding
You need a marriage license to get married. Of course, you can have a wedding without one. However, your marriage won't be legally binding without a marriage license. You can learn more about the requirements for marriage licenses by contacting your local courthouse or clergy.