Marriage and marriage licenses are regulated under Washington State Law in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 26.04. Basic rules regarding obtaining a marriage license and who may perform a ceremony, are listed below.
All couples must wait 3 days after issuance of their marriage license, before the ceremony can be performed.
The marriage license must be used in the State of Washington within 60 days of the date of the issuance.
Age Requirements for Applicants
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older in order to apply for a license without parental or guardian consent.
If the applicant is 17 years of age, they must have parental and/or legal guardian consent to apply for a marriage license. Parents and/or legal guardians may come in with the couple and be sworn in, prior to signing the consent affidavit, or they may sign a notarized statement of consent.
All applicants under the age of 17 must have a court order, obtained from Family Court and signed by a Superior Court Judge. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule. Emancipated juveniles are still required to obtain a court order and/or parental consent--whichever applies.
All applicants who are under the control of a legal guardian MUST have their legal guardian's consent. Legal guardians may come in with the couple and be sworn in, prior to signing the consent affidavit, or they may sign a notarized statement of consent.
Who May Perform a Ceremony
Anyone requesting information about being married by a judge must make all their arrangements through Cowlitz County District Court at 360-577-3073. The Cowlitz County Chaplain also performs marriages and can be reached by calling 360-425-7222. For more information regarding individuals authorized to perform a ceremony (solemnize marriage) in Washington State, as outlined by statute, Revised code of Washington RCW 26.04.050.
Apply for a Marriage License - Additional Information