As we continue our journey across the United States and reviewing the marriage laws of each individual state, we haven’t quite finished with the Eastern seaboard. We’ll wrap those up today and tomorrow with a look at North Carolina, South Carolina as well as Georgia and Florida. So without further ado, let’s take a break in the Carolinas and look at their marriage laws.
As with many other states, you do not need to be a resident of North Carolina to get married there. There is also no waiting period associated with applying for and receiving your marriage license. You apply for your marriage license in the County Clerk’s office and you have to pay $50 in cash to pay the license fee. You have to provide proof of identification in the form of your driver’s license as well as your social security number (you can use your social security card, W-2 or payroll stub). You are also not required to take any physical exams or blood tests.
While North Carolina does not allow for proxy marriages, if only one of you can go in to apply, you can as long as you have a notarized affidavit signed by your partner. Cousin marriage is also allowed as long as your blood relationship is not closer than first cousins.
Common law and same sex marriages are not recognized nor allowed in North Carolina. If you were married previously you’ll need to show a death certificate or divorce decree. If you are between the ages of 16 and 17 years old, you’ll need to provide parental consent. Under the age of 15, you cannot get a marriage license without a court order.
Your license will be valid for 60 days and you need two witnesses for your marriage ceremony. To get a copy of your North Carolina Marriage Certificate:
NC Vital Records
P.O. Box 29537
Raleigh, NC 27626-0537
To apply for a marriage license in South Carolina, you do not need to be a resident nor do you need to show proof of divorce if you were married previously. The fee for a marriage license varies from county to county. Some counties require a 24-hour waiting period, so you need to check with the county you are getting married in when applying for your license. You do not need a blood test to apply for a license. A South Carolina marriage license also doesn’t expire.
Cousin marriages are allowed as are common law marriages. Same sex marriages are not allowed nor are proxy marriages. Applicants under 18 will need to provide a signed and notarized statement of parental consent. The parent or guardian must also appear at the same time as their minor child to apply for a license. Under the age of 14, a female cannot marry nor can a male under the age of 16.
If you need a copy of your South Carolina Marriage License:
Office of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
The above information should be taken as guidance only, legal requirements for state and county marriage licenses change often. Please verify the necessary paperwork and more with the office of the county clerk prior to making your wedding plans