Are you planning to get married and performing your wedding ceremony? If yes, you may be confused and a little bit exhausted from the legal process. However, there will be no need to worry if you gain more information on the process.
Like all the other states of the US, in West Virginia it is a must to get a marriage license, as well. The marriage will not be legal if the couple does not obtain a WV marriage license. Especially in the case when it is not so hard to get it. The couple only needs to meet all the requirements, provide several documents and pay the required fee.
So, we may say that West Virginia is an ideal place to plan your wedding. The requirements are very easy and there are many exceptions for people who have some difficulties. Especially for minors, the state has several privileges in some circumstances. So, keep reading the article and you will get more information on getting a WV marriage license.
For obtaining a marriage license the applicants may apply to any county clerk’s office in West Virginia. Both parties must be present while filling out the application. Their presence while getting the license is a must, as well. The license is valid only in the State of West Virginia.
People who are residents in West Virginia may apply to the county where they reside. Yet, non-residents may apply to any county in the state. The state does not require a blood test.
In West Virginia, there is no waiting period after getting the license. Right after obtaining the license, the parties may use it within 60 days. However, if they do not use it within that period of time, the date of their license will expire. So, they will need to apply for another license and pass the same process again.
It is worth mentioning that there is a three-day waiting period for minors. So, people who are less than 18 have to wait three days after getting their marriage license.
Like all the other states of the US, the State of West Virginia also allows same-sex marriages. The state protects the rights of same-sex couples and allows their marriages since October 2014.
The State does not have too many requirements for obtaining a West Virginia marriage license. However, there are some marriages that are not allowed in the state. So, let’s cover them one by one:
People who are first cousins by blood may not marry in the State of West Virginia. However, marriages between second and third cousins are acceptable here.
As we have already said, both parties must be present at the county while getting a WV marriage license. So, the state does not allow proxy marriages, either.
This kind of marriage is not allowed in West Virginia, either, as it is a must to obtain a marriage license before getting married.
In West Virginia, there are different requirements for applicants of different ages. Of course, the appropriate age for getting a West Virginia marriage license is 18 years old. However, marriages between minors may be acceptable in several circumstances.
There are several standard documents that each applicant should provide at the county to prove his or her identity and age. Let’s look at the list of papers that the State of West Virginia requires:
Step 1: In the application form, the parties must fill out personal information; including their full name, age, birthplace, and current residence. The provided information must be accurate and without any mistakes. It will be attached to the required documents of the applicants.
Step 2: After providing personal information on them, the parties must fill out the information on their parents. It will include parents’ names, ages, places of birth, and current addresses. They must mention the full name of mothers; including the maiden name.
Step 3: If the parties had a previous marriage(s) or divorce(s), they must provide that information, as well. The date and the place of the divorce must be provided with a signed divorce decree by the Judge. If the marriage ended with a death, the party must provide the exact date of his/her spouse. The applicants must also mention the number of marriage(s) they have had.
Marrying in West Virginia does not mean that you must change your last name.
The fee for a West Virginia marriage license is $56. However, if the parties decide to get pre-marriage counseling, the fee is $36. This fee does not include additional documents; such as a certified copy of the license, etc.
The County accepts cash, checks, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, etc.).
For getting a certified copy of your WV marriage license, you may apply to the county clerk’s office which issued your license. And also, you may apply online for the vital records to the WV Department of Health and Human Resources or in person at the address;
Health Statistics Center
350 Capitol Street, Room 165
Charleston, WV 25301-3701
WV vital records are not public, so not everyone can get the needed information. Especially for the marriage records may apply only the people who are relatives to the couple. They must provide all the personal and required information, as well.
There are two ways for getting a copy of the marriage license. The first one is applying for it in person, and the second one is filling out an online application and sending it by mail. However, the fastest way of getting the copy is by applying for it in person. But, if you are not in a hurry, you may apply by mail and wait several days or weeks.
The fee for getting a certified copy is $12. It is non-refundable even if the search was in vain.