The decision to get married is very personal, but states do have an interest in regulating the institution of marriage. Most states require individuals to be a certain age to be eligible for a marriage license -- typically the age of majority (18 in most states) -- but also allow younger people to get married with written parental consent. In addition, courts often will grant marriage licenses to underage couples either expecting a child or who already have one, depending on the circumstances of the particular case. The marriageable age is different than the age of consent, and often is younger with parental consent.
Minnesota Marriage Age Requirements at a Glance
As you can see in the chart below, minors as young as 16 may get married in the state of Minnesota if they have the consent of their legal custodial parents, legal guardian, or the court. Minnesota statute provides the wording for this consent, which also must be notarized. The law doesn't specifically state whether marriage licenses are granted to those younger than 16 for pregnancies or other extraordinary conditions.
|Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent||Male: 16; Female: 16|
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent||Male: 18; Female: 18|
Note: State laws are constantly changing, usually as a result of legislation, case law, or ballot initiative. FindLaw works hard to maintain the accuracy of these pages, but you may also want to contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Why Are There Age Limits for Getting a Marriage License?
Marriage age limits are meant to protect children from being coerced or encouraged to enter into a lifelong contract without having the capacity to consent. While some may claim cultural or religious freedom to marry at a younger age (often without the bride's input), state laws always prevail.
How Do I Get a Marriage License in Minnesota?
To get a Minnesota marriage license, you'll need to make an appointment at the service center at your county courthouse (search by zip code or county in the upper right-hand corner). In the Twin Cities, you would want to start the online application process at the Hennepin County marriage license portal. You can search for Minnesota marriage license records through the Minnesota Official Marriage System (MOMS).
Research the Law
Minnesota Marriage Age Requirements: Related Resources
Need Legal Help with Your Marriage? Get in Touch With a Minnesota Attorney
In most situations, couples who want to get married can complete the process on their own. But every case is different and there may be instances where one's eligibility -- sometimes because of age limits -- is called into question. If you have a legal question about marriage, it's in your best interests to contact a Minnesota family law attorney.
Contact a qualified attorney.