Marriage Laws – North & South Carolina

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.

North Carolina

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

South Carolina

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

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.