Marriage License Information

APPLYING FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

All persons proposing to be joined in marriage within the State of New Hampshire must first obtain a marriage license. Marriage License Applications may be applied for at any town or city clerks’ office in the state.

 

To be married in NH you do not have to establish residency. A couple wishing to marry in the State of NH may complete an application at any NH city or town clerk’s office regardless of their place of residence. This includes out-of-state residents as well. Once a valid license is issued, the couple will be free to marry within any city or town in NH.

 

Both parties must be present to complete the marriage license. However, if either party (or both) is a member of the armed forces, he or she shall forward an affidavit of intentions, prepared by the armed forces legal representative, to the clerk if he or she cannot appear in person, so please contact the city or town clerk’s office for more information and assistance.

 

Marriage licenses issued by municipal clerks within the State of New Hampshire are only valid for ceremonies taking place within New Hampshire. Couples planning weddings that will take place outside New Hampshire must contact the location where the marriage will occur for licensing regulations.

 

LICENSE VALIDITY PERIOD

 

Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. There is no longer a waiting period and the license may be used the same day. The State of New Hampshire does not require blood tests prior to marriage. Couples do not need to obtain licenses in the community in which they live or in the community where they are getting married.

 

LICENSE  & COPY FEES

 

The fee to obtain a marriage license in New Hampshire is $50. The marriage license fee is payable in cash or by debit and/or credit card, no checks are accepted.

 

Certified copies are available after the ceremony has taken place and the marriage license has been returned to the clerk's office. Certified copies are $15 for the first copy and $10 for subsequent copies issued at the same time.

 

Certified copies of the record be obtained at any city or town clerk in the State for a fee.

 

WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU WHEN APPLYING FOR A LICENSE

 

The applicants shall supply to the clerk, prior to the issuance of the marriage or civil union license, the following documents:
 

  • Proof of age and name - Need a certified long birth certificate, showing parents information and a file date.  If a legal name change was issued after the birth, need a certified copy of the legal name change.  This is to help stay in compliance with the Real ID.

  • Government Issued Photo identification (i.e. driver's license, passport)

  • A certified copy of a death certificate of a former spouse, if applicant is widowed

  • A certified or absolute copy of a final divorce decree, if the applicant is divorced

  • A certified or absolute copy of an annulment decree, if the applicant’s previous marriage or civil union was annulled.

  • A certified or absolute copy of a civil union dissolution, if the applicant's previous civil union was dissolved.

 

Documents which are not in English must be accompanied by a translation that has been signed by the translator and the translator’s signature witnessed by a notary. The individual doing the translation cannot notarize their own signature.

 

PENALTY

 

All information on the application shall be entered accurately. Falsification of any fact can cause great hardship to you at a later date and may make you liable for criminal prosecution.

 

AGE RESTRICTIONS

 

A male or female who has reached the age of 18 can marry without special permission. A male or female between the age of 16 and 17 may apply in writing to the judicial branch family division having jurisdiction in the location in which one of them resides, for permission to contract such a marriage. A male and female below the age of 16 are not allowed to marry under any condition.

 

RELATIONSHIP


Marriages are not permitted in NH between people who are related by blood as first cousins or in any more direct lineage.

 

SOLEMNIZATION


In New Hampshire, marriages may be performed by:
 

  • A Justice of the Peace commissioned in NH

  • A minister of the gospel in NH who has been ordained according to the usage of his denomination, resides in NH, and is in regular standing with the denomination

  • A minister within his parish, residing outside NH, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in NH

  • Jewish rabbis who are citizens of the United States and reside in this state

  • Quakers

  • A deacon in the Roman Catholic Church ordained according to the usage of his denomination

  • Judges of the United States, a US magistrate judge residing in this state pursuant to federal law, clergymen who are not ordained and non-resident Justices of the Peace, ministers or Jewish rabbis, after being licensed by the Secretary of State.

 

HOW DO I CHANGE MY NAME AFTER MARRIAGE?

 

Effective January 1, 2015, upon entering into marriage, each party must indicate on the marriage license worksheet the party's name after marriage.  Either party may retain or change his or her surname to the surname of the other party.  Changed surnames may be a hyphenated combination of both surnames.  If a party requests a surname change on the marriage license worksheet that party may also change his or her middle name to his or her surname prior to the marriage.

© 2019 Wayne A. Sevin