How Long Does It Take To Get A Marriage License (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take To Get A Marriage License (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Seven To Fifteen Days

When people fall in love, they want to spend their life together, and eventually decide to get married. Marriage is known to exist for centuries now. 

It is considered to be one of the most sacred bonds. Each person wants to get married in their lifetime at least once. It is not only a biological need for humans but also an emotional and psychological need. 

However, In almost all parts of the world, having a marriage license is a law. It serves not only as an obligation to law but can also be utilized for several opportunities.

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How Long Does It Take To Get A Marriage License?

By definition, a marriage is a union of two individuals who have decided to spend their lives together. Legally, it is a social and legal contract that binds a man and a woman in matrimony. Religiously, it is the holy bond between man and woman. If religious books are to be considered, man and woman were sent on earth to be together as lifelong companions. Later, marriage became a standard way of defining man and woman as couples.

It was in the middle ages that the concept of marriage came up. In any religious understanding, a man and woman should get married to stay together under one roof. Hence, the idea of marriage license and marriage certificate came into existence. 

Often the terms marriage license and marriage certificate are considered to be the same. However, they are a bit different from each other. A marriage is essentially a document based on which a person can get an officiant for their marriage. Once the marriage ceremony is over, a marriage certificate is issued. 

After the decision is made about the location and time of the marriage, the next step is to get a marriage license. A marriage license comes with an expiry date, and hence it is necessary to conduct the marriage within the expiry period to avoid applying again.

There is a procedure to obtain a license. A person needs to visit the Marriage registrar’s office or even on the official website of the Marriage Registry. After the application, there is a process of verification that happens. After which, a marriage license is issued.

In general, it takes about seven to fifteen days for the license to be issued post application submission. However, the date can move a bit depending upon the state the couple wants to get married in.

Marriage License/CertificateTimeframe
LicenseSeven to fifteen days
CertificateTen to fifteen days

Why Does It Take That Long To Get A Marriage License?

A marriage license is a very imminent document that is necessary if anyone wants to register their marriage. It is the sole basis on which the union will be legal to be held. The Marriage License process is a process that takes time and planning. There are many reasons why a marriage license takes that long. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • State Jurisdiction is the main reason behind the time that the marriage license being issued. Different states have different processes and laws about the timeframe for the issuance of the marriage license. 
  • The submission of the application also plays an important role. If the application is submitted on time with proper documents, the time it will take will be less compared to when improper submission is done.

Hence, it becomes necessary to check all the requirements before applying so that there are no errors. That would reduce the rejection.


Getting a marriage license or certificate is not just to abide by the law, but it also provides many benefits. The reason is that it serves as proof for multiple purposes like social security or passport-related services.

It is necessary to decide the place of marriage first, based on which the person has to get in touch with the state’s marriage registrar to know the details of the application process. 

Having a marriage license is the first step towards acquiring a certificate. Hence, it should be done as instructed. Since it is a legal thing, it takes time, and keeping it for the last minute will not end in a good way if there are some problems.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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