What are the Requirements for a Marriage License in Maryland?
Marriage is one of the most important aspects of family law in Maryland. For many couples, marriage is the first step toward building a family together. Subsequent steps might include having children or accumulating marital property, such as a family home. Ultimately, marriage is the foundational building block for many families.
Unlike certain places in the United States and elsewhere, Maryland has a measured process in place for marriage. The parties to be married must complete various requirements in order to complete a legally binding and fully valid marriage.
Is a License Required to Get Married in Maryland?
As underlined in Maryland Code of Family Law Section 2-401, a valid marriage license is required to get married within the state. Furthermore, the clerk for the county where the marriage occurs must issue the marriage license.
Any person who gets married without a valid license in Maryland is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. The maximum penalty for this offense is a fine of $100.
What is the Application Process for a Maryland Marriage License?
As detailed in Maryland Code of Family Law Section 2-402, there is a multistep application process for in-state marriage licenses. First, either party to be married goes to the county clerk’s office to provide the following information under oath:
- Full, legal name of each party;
- Residential address of each party;
- Birthdate of each party;
- Degree of blood relation between each party, if any;
- Current marital status of each party; and
- Past marriages of each party, if any.
After providing the information above, the application must be signed. Additionally, the county clerk needs social security numbers to complete the application, wherever possible.
What Does it Cost to Obtain a Maryland Marriage License?
As highlighted in Maryland Code of Family Law Section 2-404, the cost of a marriage license is a combination of state and county fees. On the overarching state level, there is a $10 fee for a marriage license. Though each county can tack on additional fees for marriage licenses, so long as those fees help fund domestic violence programs.
Can Couples Secure a Discount on Maryland Marriage Licenses?
As explained in Maryland Code of Family Law Section 2-404.1, couples can complete a premarital preparation course to secure a discount on their marriage license. In order to qualify under state rules, the course must include at least four hours of teaching on the following topics:
- Conflict resolution;
- Responsible parenting; and
- Financial planning and management.
If a couple completes an appropriate premarital preparation course, then there is a discounted fee for a marriage license. Though the level of discount varies by county.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal help with marriage license requirements or other aspects of family law in Maryland, it can be markedly beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney. Based in Bel Air, Maryland, the attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including marriage licenses and related factors. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.