Why Do US Citizens Need Marriage Licenses To Get Married?

When picking out flowers and booking a wedding venue to tie the knot with your partner, you must know that getting a marriage license is even more important than all other checklists you are ticking. A marriage license is more important than the rest of the things you plan for a wedding because a marriage cannot happen without one.

Although going to get your marriage license is not a fun part of wedding plans and arrangements, it is of utmost importance. A marriage license is a legal document that permits you to get married in the US. This document says that you are allowed to legally wed your partner.

You and your fiance or fiancee are to dedicate a day to visit the county clerk to complete an application for your marriage license. Every intending couple must get their marriage license before their marriage ceremony, whether a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony.

Meanwhile, intending couples must know that a marriage license doesn’t last a lifetime, it expires. For this reason, you must get married to your lover during the validity period of your marriage license. Validity date for a marriage license vary from state to state, so ensure to get proper information on your state’s marriage license validity date. For example,  a marriage license is valid for 60 days in Chicago, which leaves you with a really large time frame.

Reasons why a marriage license is important

When you and your lover are finally ready to take your relationship to the next level, you should never forget that a marriage license is a major document that makes you legally recognized as a married couple. A US marriage license premises your union as a man and wife. You need a marriage license to marry in the US for the following reasons;

It is a requisite for your marriage certificate

If you were not issued a marriage license (permission to marry), you won’t get a marriage certificate. And without a marriage certificate, how do you prove that you are married to your partner. So, to have a marriage certificate, you need to get a marriage license before the marriage ceremony.

To get a marriage certificate, your marriage license must be sent back and record at the courthouse where you applied for one. This is the duty of the officiant that conducted your marriage ceremony. Your marriage license is received and recorded at the Clerk’s office and a marriage certificate is mailed to you. This serves as proof of your legal marriage.

If you plan to change your name

To legally change your name to your spouse’s, you need to have a marriage certificate, which you can only get if you obtained a marriage license. To change your name, you will be asked to provide a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Also, when making a name change on your bank account or at work, you will need to tender your marriage certificate. Things may not work if you don’t have one.

If you are joining your partner’s health benefit in the US

Joining the health benefits of your spouse requires you to proof your marriage. Many workplaces and insurance companies in the US require a marriage certificate to put you on your partner’s health coverage.

Immigration to the US by a non-citizen

You must have a marriage certificate if your spouse needs to gain immigration benefits to the US. A proof of your legal marriage will make the process faultless. You may be denied immigration benefits if you cannot show proof of your legal marriage, so you need your marriage certificate for this purpose.

If you’re taking a house loan

Lenders would always ask for your proof of marriage when you are applying for a home loan. So, if you are planning on buying a house with a loan, be ready to show your marriage certificate. This will help the lenders to carry a background check on your credit history jointly.

Proof of marriage is necessary for property transfer

Laws governing the transfer of property to partners, both before and after death require you to have a recognized proof of marriage. A marriage certificate that you have gotten upon the submission and record of your marriage license can be used to aid the transfer of property from a partner.  For more information, be sure to visit

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