How Do I Get A Marriage License: Your Guide

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll need to do for your wedding and getting a marriage license can be one of those things that may seem minor yet is incredibly important. So we wanted to go over how to get a marriage license.

As we’re based in Queensland, Brisbane to be specific, we’ll base this blog around the local aspect. However, this info will apply to a lot of other places also or at least give you the right idea of which direction to head in. Although it’s still important if you live outside Queensland to look into the process via your local government. All the information should be readily available on their website or via a quick google search to take you there (e.g ‘marriage license Victoria’).

How to obtain a marriage license

The law states for someone to be married in Queensland, at least one of the partners in the relationship must be over 18 (with the other being 16 or 17 but requires guardian permission and a Magistrates Court Order. You’ll also need to have 2 details locked in; your officiant/registered celebrant and the location of choice.

In terms of locations, you can choose between a wedding at the Brisbane registry (located at Ann St in Brisbane City) or at a Queensland Magistrates Court (QLD Gov suggests you contact the court you have in mind directly to be sure this is a service they’ll carry out for you) or, alternatively and more commonly, a location of your choice with a civil marriage celebrant, religious marriage celebrant or civil religious marriage celebrant. Whichever type of celebrant you choose must be registered in the state of Queensland. Only registered celebrants can carry out wedding ceremonies that are legally binding.

bride with groom and wedding party signing marriage license on small white table at wedding ceremony (pictured: real bride Anna with her bridal party on her wedding day)

How do I apply for a marriage license?

To apply, you’ll have to fill out, complete and lodge a ‘notice of intended marriage’ application form with your celebrant. You can find that on the QLD Gov website. Your celebrant will need identity and eligibility documents from you so be sure to check in with your celebrant on what they will require in order to fill out the license so you’re able to provide them with everything they’ll need. This will generally include evidence of date and place of birth for both yourself and your intended bride or groom or a current overseas passport if you or your partner were born outside of Australia. You’ll also need a current and valid photo ID. If you’ve been married prior, you’ll also need evidence of your previous divorce or a death certificate for your previous spouse.

Something else to keep in mind, for those that may be considering some sort of elopement, is that you will need 2 witnesses who are over the edge of 18 at your wedding ceremony and all documents must be completed in English (or require an interpreter if needed). If you plan on getting married overseas, you may need to contact the consulate of the country before going to check what you’ll need to certify your marriage too.

When it comes to getting married, the most important thing is always love and commitment but don’t forget to cover the legal side of it and to be prepared!

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