Marriage

If you are getting married, need to file a marriage license or certificate, or need documentation of a marriage, this is the place to start.

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Marriage license

A marriage license purchased in Minnesota only allows you to be married in Minnesota and must be applied for at least five (5) days before your wedding date. Your marriage license is valid for six months.

How to start

Use an option below to begin your application process now. Do not sign your application until you are asked at the service center.

  • Start your online application, print and bring the receipt to any service center to complete the application process and receive your license.
  • Download the marriage license application (PDF), print and bring it to any service center to complete the application process and receive your license.  Do not sign the application until you are asked at the service center.
  • You may come in and fill out your application by hand.

How to apply

You may stop in or make an appointment at any Hennepin County service center.

What to bring

  • EITHER the printed receipt from your online marriage application process, OR your license application (PDF) - unless you prefer to complete it by hand at the service center
  • Both applicants should come in, but if one of you can't
  • Identification such as a driver's license or state ID
  • If you are divorced, and your divorce was finalized in the last 30 days, bring a certified copy of the divorce decree
  • If one or both of you has a felony conviction, you must provide proof of service papers (MS 259.13)

Fee

Additional information

  • A packet of information will be given to you with your license
  • Your license may be used for six months anywhere in Minnesota
  • A marriage must be witnessed by two adults (16 or older)
  • Neither of you is required to be a Minnesota resident
  • You generally cannot get married on the same day you apply. However if there is an emergency or extraordinary circumstance, complete and bring the five-day waiver form (PDF) with you
  • Minnesota Marriage License Application Statute 517.08
  • An official who marries a couple should review the filing of a marriage license procedure below
  • Notary services are available at all service centers

Marriage certificate or record application

A certified copy verifies that a marriage has taken place and must be applied for in the county where the original marriage license application was made.

To get a certified copy of a marriage record, you need to provide the correct date of the event and the correct name of the registrant.

  • If you don't know the date and name, we can search for you at a $20 per hour ($10 minimum) in addition to the cost of the copy.

Certified copies can generally be issued at time of application.

  • Copies applied for at the University of Minnesota location will be mailed.

How to start

There are two ways you can begin your application process.

Option 1:

Option 2:

  • Start your application, pay online, print your application and submit it by fax.
    • There is an additional $7 service fee charged by VitalChek.
    • Pay by American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa.

Cost

Submit applications for certificate or record

There are multiple ways to submit applications for certified copies of records. Choose the option that works best for you.

Walk-in

This may be done at any Hennepin County Service Center. For a shorter wait time, make an appointment and be sure to bring:

  • Proper ID
  • Your completed (except for signatures) application
  • Your certified copy can usually be provided to you at the time you apply
  • A way to pay

By mail

Send your completed, signed and notarized (not required for a marriage certificate) application, along with check or money order to:

Vital Records
Hennepin County Government Center
300 South 6th St, Suite A025
Minneapolis, MN 55487-0026

Mail orders are usually processed within 7-10 business days of receipt. For faster processing:

  • Add a $20 fee per record to your payment
  • Write "EXPEDITE" on the outside of your mailing envelope
  • Include either a self-addressed stamped #10 business envelope or an additional $1.50 handling fee

By fax

  • Fax completed fax cover sheet (PDF), and your completed, signed and notarized (not required for a marriage certificate) application to the number on the cover sheet.
  • Provide your American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa credit card number.
    • Payments on fax orders are processed through VitalChek Network, Inc®, a third party vendor, and incur an additional $7 VitalChek fee per order.
  • Fax orders are usually processed within 7-10 business days of receipt. For faster processing, add a $20 fee per record to your payment

Filing a marriage license

Within five days after the marriage ceremony, the officiant who performed the marriage must file the marriage license with the county.

Instructions were included in the packet issued to the applicants when they applied for their marriage license.

What the officiant will do after the ceremony

  • Print or type the names of the witnesses along with your name (the officiant) and credentials on the appropriate lines.
  • The applicants, witnesses, and officiant must sign the license.
  • Complete souvenir copies of the marriage license and give to the party(s).
  • Make sure the license is complete and return it in the pre-addressed envelope within FIVE (5) DAYS of the ceremony to the:

DIRECTOR OF LICENSING
MARRIAGE LICENSE DEPARTMENT
Hennepin County Government Center
A Level - Suite A-025
300 South 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487-0026

Additional information

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