How to get a Michigan Marriage License

Unveiling a Michigan Marriage License

Michigan marriage License, elope in saugatuck

The questions we get asked the most are about how to get a Michigan marriage license.  We did a little internet snooping to see what resources were out there but found a ton of bad information instead; no wonder you’re confused!  To set things straight and guide you in the right direction, we’re answering all the burning questions of who, where, when and a few what’s…we assume you already know why!

Who needs a Michigan marriage license?

A.   Anyone getting married in the State of Michigan.

Michigander getting married out of State, apply in that State not ours.

Where do I apply or get a Michigan Marriage License?

A.   Are you a Michigan Resident? (do one of you have a MI Drivers License?)

Yes – Apply at the County Clerks’ Office in which you LIVE (the one your Driver’s License says you live in)

No – Apply at the Clerks’ Office in the County where the wedding CEREMONY will be held.

How do I find out what County my ceremony will be in?

A.  If you are very, very, lucky you’re getting married with us in Saugatuck or Douglas (and part of Holland); which mean you have the pleasure of getting your Michigan Marriage License through Allegan County. This county makes the application process so easy, especially for couples living out of State. A simple phone call request gets you a marriage license application package mailed right to you. From there you follower their directions {fill in the form, signatures notarized, etc.}, mail it in, three days after the receive it your Michigan Marriage License will be mailed back to you. How easy is that! (We L-O-V-E our County!!) Otherwise check with your planner, venue, contracts or click HERE for an interactive map of Michigan counties.

I know the County name, how do I find the County Clerk’s Office?

A.   The State of Michigan provides THIS handy list of links to each County’s web site. From there locate your County’s Vital Records Office, where all marriage licenses are processed. Before doing anything check your county’s website for their requirements, fees and hours; some counties have application online processing. .

When should we apply for our Michigan Marriage License

A.   In person, no earlier than 33 days prior to the wedding;  a Michigan Marriage License is only valid for 33 days and there is a 3 day waiting period. meaning you’ll apply one day and go back three business days later to pick it up.

A2. Via Mail – return your marriage application 30 days prior to your wedding date; be sure to follow instructions included with your application package.

We advise our clients to bring the entire envelope to us on wedding day; there are always instructions, mailing or presentation envelopes in that we need. So bring it all, we’ll sort everything out for you; once thing to worry about.

What do we need to bring to apply?

A.  As a rule of thumb: two forms of I.D., payment, and if applicable divorce decree/death certificates. Always check your County’s website or call the Clerk’s office to verify your County’s requirements before you go.

What if we are getting married within the next 72 hours

A.   You’ll pay an additional rush processing fee; some counties require a rider or letter from your Wedding Officiant affirming the wedding will take place in that time frame. Please note: some Counties require the Wedding Officiant to make a personal appearance for the signature.

What if only one of us lives in Michigan

A.  Apply in the County that person lives in.


We hope that helps you navigate your way to applying for your Michigan Marriage License. Remember a few minutes spent double checking with your County Clerk BEFORE you go can save you hours of standing in line; click HERE to find yours.

Do you have a question we didn’t answer?

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