Every State has different marriage licensing laws. If you are getting married in NC, then here are the

4 most important things to know:

  • 1) You and your fiancé must appear in-person at any Register of Deeds Office in the State of North Carolina to acquire your Marriage License. You may fill out the application online beforehand to save time, but you still have to appear in person to get the license.

  • 2) You must bring your valid Photo ID’s and Social Security Cards. If you don’t have your SS Card, contact the Register of Deeds for alternative documentation. 

  • 3) You must pay a $60 fee directly to the Register of Deeds office when you acquire the license (this fee is not included in any Officiant Packages). Not all Register of Deeds accept credit or debit cards, but Buncombe County does. Register of Deeds offices are not open on weekends and you must arrive before 4:30 on a weekday. 

  • 4) The license will expire 60 days after it is issued, so do not get the license until your wedding is less than 60 days away.

Here are some additional things you might need to know:

  • You do not need to be a resident of North Carolina to get married in the State.

  • You don’t have to get your license in the county where you are getting married. Every county in NC has a Register of Deeds office and you can get your license at any of them as long as you are getting married within the State of NC.

  • You will receive two original copies of the marriage license and you must bring them both (along with ID’s) to your wedding to be completed by the Officiant and 2 witnesses. 

  • NC requires that you have 2 adult witnesses at the ceremony to sign the marriage license. 

  • The completed marriage license must be returned  to the Register of Deeds for processing within 10 days after the marriage ceremony by either the Officiant or couple. 

  • There is no waiting period in NC to get the license, but it will expire 60 days after it is issued.

  • Proof of divorce is required if less than 30 days have passed since the divorce was finalized.

  • Individuals under the age of 18 must present additional documentation and permissions to get married (contact the Register of Deeds office for details).

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How to get your Marriage Certificate after you are married:

  • The document which provides legal proof that you are married is called the Marriage Certificate. You must request a certified original from the Register of Deeds after your completed Marriage License has been returned and processed.  

  • Each Certified original costs $10.

  • You can pick up your Marriage Certificate in person, order it online, or request that it be mailed to you.  You can also pay $10 when in advance when you get the marriage license and have the Marriage Certificate automatically mailed to you when it is ready. 

  • You are still legally married even if you don’t have the physical Marriage Certificate, but you will need it to make a legal name change.

  • The DMV, SS office, and Passport agency do not accept copies of the Marriage Certificate, only original certified documents issued by the Register of Deeds.

  • To change your last name, go to the Social Security office first with an original Marriage Certificate. Then go to the DMV, and then the Passport agency with an original as well.

— Go to this website for more information if getting married in North Carolina:

https://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/registerdeeds/marriagelicense.aspx