Making It Legal

Before you head to the chapel, head to the courthouse. You may not need a designer wedding gown or elaborate reception to get married, but you most definitely will need a marriage license. Here are the marriage-license application requirements as well as a county-by-county guideline to making it official.

Marriage-License Application Requirements:

Both applicants must appear together in the Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills office and fill out an application for a marriage license. After the application is completed, the applicants must take an oath to the truthfulness of the application. This is good vow-taking practice.

Both applicants must be at least 18 years old. Applicants 16 and 17 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to provide written consent. Applicants under age 16 must have parental written consent and the written consent of a judge of the Orphan’s Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas.

You can apply in any county courthouse and get married in any county.

The license is valid for 60 days.

The license can be picked up at the Marriage License Bureau three days after the application is filed. The applicants can pick up the license or designate someone else to pick it up with proof of license application.

You cannot apply by mail, and the license cannot be mailed to you.

Both applicants must present their Social Security cards and photo identification.

No blood tests or physical exams are required.

If the applicant is a widow or widower, she or he must provide the date of the spouse’s death (no death certificate is required).

If the applicant is divorced, he or she must provide a certified copy of the decree of divorce, which can be obtained from the Family Division of the court in which the decree was granted. (Divorces can affect the cost of applying for a marriage license. See the county-by-county listing below.)

The Marriage Return

Within 10 days of the ceremony, the officiant who performed the ceremony must file the marriage return with the marriage-license bureau that issued the license. If the marriage return is not filed properly, then a record of the marriage will not exist. Couples can request to be notified when their marriage return has been filed and recorded.

County-by-County Marriage-License Locations in Western Pennsylvania

Allegheny County
First Floor, City-County Building,
414 Grant St., downtown Pittsburgh
Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Because of computer shutdowns, applicants must appear by 4 p.m.)
Saturdays from May 7 to Sept. 24,
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (arrive by noon)
Application fee: $75; For every divorce decree an additional $5 charge will be made. Cash only.

Beaver County
724/728-5700, ext. 11272
810 Third St., Beaver
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Application fee: $45, cash only.

Butler County
County Government Building, Level L
124 W. Diamond St., Butler
Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Application fee: $45, cash only.
Need proper identification. If previously married, bring original death certificate or court- certified divorce decree.

Fayette County
61 E. Main St., Uniontown
Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed noon to 1 p.m, appear by 4 p.m.
Application fee: $40, cash only.

Indiana County
825 Philadelphia St., Indiana
Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Application fee: $30, cash or check.

Lawrence County
Government Center
430 Court St., New Castle
Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Application fee: $51, cash only.

Somerset County
111 E. Union St., Suite 170, Somerset
Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m,
appear by 3:30 p.m.
Application fee: $50, cash or money order.

Washington County
1 S. Main St., Suite 1002, Washington
Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Application fee: $40, cash only.

Westmoreland County
2 N. Main St., Suite 301, Greensburg
Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Application fee: $45, cash only.


Categories: Weddings