District of Columbia Marriage License Requirements

From the perfect flowers to the quintessential bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen suits, the items on a marriage to-do list can be overwhelming. However, the most important item on that list is a properly obtained marriage license. District of Columbia marriage license requirements state how old each party must be, how many days before the wedding that the marriage license must be obtained, and the specific terms that must be on a marriage license form in order to be valid. This is a quick summary of the marriage license and blood test requirements in the District of Columbia.

Fulfilling District of Columbia Marriage License Requirements: Overview

Under the district's marriage license requirements, marriage is the legally recognized union of two persons. Any person may enter into a marriage in the District of Columbia with any another person, regardless of gender. While the age of the parties interested in obtaining a marriage license is an important requirement, premarital blood testing is no longer an issue in the District of Columbia.

The following table outlines the specifics of marriage license and blood test requirements in the District of Columbia.

Code Sections

District of Columbia Official Code §46-4: Marriage

Marriage License Requirements

According to D.C. marriage license regulations, a license to marry will not be issued until three days have past from the date of application of the license.

A marriage license will not be issued if:

  • It is for a marriage of a person with a person's grandparent, grandparent's spouse, spouse's grandparent, parent's sibling, parent, step-parent, spouse's parent, child, spouse's child, child's spouse, sibling, child's child, child's child's spouse, spouse's child's child, or sibling's child; or
  • For the marriage of any persons that has been previously married and whose previous marriage has not been terminated by death or a decree of divorce.

If any person intending to marry is under the age of 18 and has not been previously married, the Clerk will not issue a license unless a parent or guardian consents to the marriage. This consent can be done either personally to the Clerk, or by a written instrument attested by a witness and that is satisfactory to the Clerk.

In 2008, District of Columbia repealed premarital blood-test requirements.

Form of Marriage License

Licenses to perform the marriage ceremony must be addressed to some particular minister, magistrate, or other person authorized to perform or witness the marriage ceremony. The form should state these specific terms.

Voided Marriages

Under District of Columbia marriage licenses requirements, a marriage is considered void if:

  • One party of the marriage is mentally incapable to give valid consent to marriage;
  • The consent to the marriage by either party has been procured by force or fraud;
  • Either of the parties is under 16 years of age.

If you need legal assistance with properly obtaining a marriage license, you can contact a District of Columbia family law lawyer through FindLaw. Visit FindLaw's sections on marriage requirement basics and marriage law for more articles and information on this topic.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.