How to obtain a Marriage License
Marriage licenses can be obtained from the recorder's office. The application process can be time consuming. Please arrive at the Recorder's Office by 4 pm to assure adequate time. If you would like to start the process, you may begin by completing an eMarriage Application online at home or use our computers here at the courthouse. We will print the application when you arrive to apply for the license. Both of the parties must appear in person to complete the application process. Please bring your valid Driver's License as identification.
A person who is not a citizen of the United States may apply providing he or she can show proper identification.
Competent persons 18 years of age or older may contract for marriage. Children over the age of 16 and under the age of 18 must have both parents' permission. If both parents can't come into the office, we can give a form for the absent parent to sign in front of a notary. These must be approved by a Minnesota judge and a waiver must be signed by the judge. If either applicant is under age 16 the judge's waiver must come from the county where the applicant lives.
Some of the required information includes birth dates, birthplaces and social security numbers for both parties.
If either party has been married before but divorced, they need to provide the day, month and year of the divorce (this information is found on the page of the divorce decree where the Judge has signed), the state in which the divorce occurred and the name of the court in which the divorce occurred. If either party has been married before but the marriage ended by death, they need to provide the date of the death and the State in which the death occurred.
Either or both parties may change their names on the application provided there have been no felony convictions after August 1, 2000. (See Minnesota State Statutes 259.13)
There will be a 5 day waiting period after application (our office is not open Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays) and the license is valid for a period of 6 months and valid only in the State of Minnesota. There is no refund if the license is not used within the 6 months. It is possible to get the 5 day waiting period waived with a waiver obtained from our office that you will need to have completed by a Judge. The cost of the waiver is $25.
The marriage must be performed by a minister who has attained the age of 21 years and is registered in the State of Minnesota or by a Minnesota Judge. A list of Judges who will perform marriage ceremonies is provided below. You contact the judge of your choice, ask about fees and make your arrangements with him/her. You will be provided one certified copy of the marriage certificate at no charge. The fee for a certified copy of a marriage certificate is $9. You may request additional certified copies by mail or credit card.
You can qualify for a reduced marriage fee if, at the time you apply, you provide an educator's statement that includes exactly the following wording:
"I, ___________________________________ (name of educator), confirm that ___________________________(names of both parties) received at least 12 hours of premarital education that included the use of a premarital inventory and the teaching of communication and conflict management skills. I am a licensed or ordained minister, a person authorized to solemnize marriages under Minnesota statutes, section 517.18, or a person licensed to practice marriage and family therapy under Minnesota statutes, section 148b.33." Minnesota statutes chapter 517.
The names of the bride and groom in the educator's statement must be identical to the legal names of the bride and groom as they appear on the marriage license application. This is according to Minnesota Statutes Chapter 517.
The educator's statement must be signed by the established educator, dated, notarized (see sample) and appear on the educator's letterhead in order to be accepted. In lieu of notary, letter will be accepted if it has an official church seal.
In the event that both parties are not able to appear at the same time to complete their marriage application, a supplemental application may be used. Supplemental applications are only acceptable in a hardship situation, and will require the approval of the recorder's office staff. Only if it is determined that there is indeed a justifiable hardship, rendering it impossible for both parties to appear, will a supplemental application be accepted.
Fees for Marriage Application
- Regular Application - $115
- Reduced Fee - $40
- 5-day Waiver - $25
Judges That Will Perform Marriages(See Court Administration)
Need A Certified Copy Of Your Marriage Certificate But Can't Remember Where You Applied?
If you are trying to find the county where you applied for your marriage license in order to get a copy of your Marriage Certificate, help is available on the Minnesota Official Marriage System (MOMS) website. To obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate you will need to contact the county in which you applied for your marriage application. The fee for a certified copy of a marriage certificate is $9. You may request a certified copy of a Marriage Certificate from Chisago County by mail or online.