After a bit of a break, we’re taking a look at the last few states’ marriage laws on our list – I think we have ten left. Today we’re going up to the northwest to look at the beautiful states of Wyoming and Montana. Did you know that in Montana, if you are under 18, you are required to attend marriage counseling prior to receiving a marriage license? It’s one of the first states that I have encountered this requirement in.
Wyoming is a fantastic place to host a destination wedding, but whether you travel there or you live there, getting a marriage license is pretty simple. First and foremost, the license fee is about $25 and your marriage license will be valid for up to 1 year after you apply. Many counties require cash only, so be sure to check with the county where you are applying for your marriage license. There are no residency requirements, but you will need valid photo identification. You will also need to provide your mothers’ maiden names, social security numbers and the names of the states where you and your parents were born.
There is no waiting period associated with your Wyoming marriage license. If you were married before, you will need to bring a copy of the death certificate or a certified copy of the divorce decree. You will not need any health or blood tests to apply for your marriage license.
Wyoming does not allow for:
- Proxy marriage
- Covenant marriage
- Cousin marriage
- Common-law marriage
- Same sex marriage
Applicants who are between 16 and 18 years of age will need to provide written, notarized consent from their parents or legal guardians. Applicants under the age of 16 will need not only their parents’ permission, but also the permission of a court judge.
To obtain a copy of your Wyoming marriage certificate:
Vital Records Services
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-7591
Different counties have different requirements, so be sure to check with the county where you plan to apply. You will need certified copies of your driver’s license or birth certificate. You will also need to provide your social security numbers. If a prior marriage existed, you’ll need a certified copy of the divorce decree(s) or death certificate. There is no waiting period associated with a Montana marriage license unless you are a minor. Your license will cost about $58 and you need to bring cash only, so make sure you allow for that.
The bride must take a blood test for rubella. Brides over the age of 50 are not required to take the test. Grooms do not need to submit a blood test result. There is no allowance for:
- Covenant Marriage
- Cousin Marriage
- Same Sex Marriage (Banned in 2004 by Constitutional Amendment)
However, Montana does allow for proxy marriage. According to Montana Legislation:
If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization, he may authorize in writing a third person to act as his proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied that the absent party is unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, he may solemnize the marriage by proxy. If he is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy
Common law marriage is also recognized in Montana.
If applicants are under the age of 18, you will need written consent from the custodial parents. You will also need to provide proof of age. Minors will also need to attend two counseling sessions at least 10 days apart. The counselor must be a designated and approved counselor by the state. Following the two counseling sessions, they will then provide in writing, a letter stipulating their attendance and the counselor’s educated opinion of their potential marriage. Once this has been done, a judge may issue his consent for the marriage license to be issued. Applicants under 15 cannot marry in the state of Montana.
Your marriage license is valid for 180 days.
To obtain a copy of your Montana marriage license:
Department of Health and Human Services
Vital Statistics Bureau
111 N. Sanders, Room 205
Helena, MT 59620
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