Before you can say "I do" in Colorado, you'll need to obtain a marriage license. Understanding the process and requirements for obtaining a marriage license is crucial to ensure a smooth and legally recognized marriage.
Timing and Residency Requirements
In Colorado, there is no waiting period to obtain a marriage license, meaning you can apply and receive your license on the same day as your wedding. Additionally, there are no residency requirements, so you can apply for a marriage license regardless of whether you live in Colorado or not.
To apply for a marriage license in Colorado, both you and your partner must appear in person at a County Clerk and Recorder's office. Visit the clerk's office in the county where you plan to get married. Bring valid identification documents such as a driver's license, passport, or birth certificate, as well as your Social Security numbers.
Age and Identification Requirements
Both parties must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. If either party is between 16 and 18 years old, they must have written consent from both parents or legal guardians. If either party is under 16 years old, a court order is required. Valid identification documents are essential for both parties, so ensure you have them on hand.
There is a fee associated with obtaining a marriage license in Colorado. The fee varies by county, so check with the specific County Clerk and Recorder's office for the most up-to-date information. Some counties may accept cash only, so be prepared with the appropriate payment method.
Waiting Period and Expiration
As mentioned earlier, there is no waiting period to receive your marriage license in Colorado. Once you have your license, it is valid immediately and remains valid for 35 days. It's important to note that the license must be used within the state of Colorado for a legally recognized marriage.
Obtaining the License
Upon completing the application and payment, the County Clerk and Recorder's office will issue your marriage license. Review the license for accuracy, including correct spellings of names and dates. Keep the license in a safe place until your wedding day, as you will need to present it to the officiant during the ceremony.
Colorado recognizes both ceremonial and common-law marriages. Couples themselves may solemnize their own marriage (perform their own marriage ceremony). This is the most common for my couples! A friend or family member can perform the ceremony but they will not sign on the "Officiant" line... you are the witness to your own marriage.
According to Colorado Revised Statute 14-2-109, a marriage may be solemnized by:
A judge of a court.
A court magistrate.
A retired judge of the court.
A public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages.
Indian tribe officials.
The parties to the marriage.
Registering the Marriage
After your wedding ceremony, your officiant will complete and sign the marriage license. The completed license must be returned to the County Clerk and Recorder's office within a certain timeframe specified by the county. Once the license is recorded, you can request certified copies for legal purposes or name changes.
Photos Coldiron Photography