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Presidential Caterers Blog

Marriage Certificate

Everything You Need to Know About Marriage Licenses & Certificates

December 20, 2022

If you’re engaged to a significant other, you’ll need to know the differences between marriage certificates and licenses. These legal documents are your gateway to becoming officially married, so you must know how to obtain them. Check out the guide below to learn all you need to know about the legal side of getting married.

Two People Showing Wedding Rings on Their Fingers

How Does a Marriage License Work?

Marriage licenses are official documents issued by local governments that state you and your partner are legally entitled to marry. The license is granted based on various criteria, such as age and not being married to another person. While getting the marriage license is not a complex process, it still requires some planning.

Couples who are ready to marry must first apply for their marriage license. The application may ask for different documents and charge additional fees based on where you are applying to. However, once you apply and receive your marriage license, you have the right to marry your other half.

How Does a Marriage Certificate Work?

Marriage certificates are provided to couples once they’ve had their wedding and been officially married. To receive your marriage certificate, you must return your marriage license and have it validated by the original issuing office. From there, you typically need to pay a fee to receive an official copy of the certificate.

While married couples may not think the marriage certificate is essential, it is crucial for many legal matters. Your marriage certificate allows you to change your marital status for insurance purposes, financial issues and more.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Marriage License?

The time it takes to apply for and receive a marriage license depends on several factors. To start, you must ensure that you have all the necessary documentation. Once you’re sure you have all the required documents, you can begin the application process.

Application processing times can vary based on county and demand, so applying for your marriage license at least six weeks in advance is recommended. As marriage licenses are typically valid for 60 days from the issue date, it’s a good idea to have your wedding planned before you apply for the license. Booking wedding venues in Montgomery County, PA, can be time-consuming, so be sure to get your venue booked first.

Who Has to Sign the Marriage License?

While you may think that only you and your partner must sign your marriage license, the license requires additional signatures. In most cases, marriages require 1-2 witnesses to sign a marriage license. Plus, the officiant of the marriage must sign the license as well.

People Signing a Marriage License

How Can You get a Marriage License in Montgomery County, PA?

Obtaining a marriage license in Montgomery County, PA, is a straightforward process, but it is unique compared to other states and counties. First, you must meet the basic requirements, such as being over 18 years old and not be married to another individual.

The standout difference with Montgomery County is that you have to apply online instead of visiting your local governing body. While it’s possible to request an in-person appointment, it must be based on an emergency, and you must still initiate the process online. In a non-emergency case, the application process is completed online and finalized during a video conference. If you want to get started, visit this link.

Now that you know the difference between a marriage certificate and a license and how to obtain them, you’re one step closer to making your wedding official. If you have more questions about the legalities of getting married or are looking for the perfect and affordable venue in Montgomery County, PA, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to assist you in ensuring your wedding goes off without a hitch!