Marriage License Packet

Marriage License Packet

You will receive your marriage packet when you come into our office to apply for your marriage license. The packet should be given to the officiant who performs your ceremony.

Items included in your Marriage License Packet:

  • Marriage License
  • Ceremonial Marriage Certificate
  • Official Marriage Certificate
  • Family Law Handbook

Marriage License

This document lets the officiant performing your ceremony know you're application has been processed and provides the date range they may perform your ceremony.

The Marriage License is kept by the officiant for their records.

Ceremonial Marriage Certificate

This document is for you to have as a keepsake after the ceremony. It is used for decoration purposes only. It is not used as an official document.

The Ceremonial Marriage Certificate is kept by the married couple, for keepsake purposes.

Official Marriage Certificate

This document should be completed by the officiant, and signed by both spouses and two witnesses. This is the official Marriage Certificate that is recorded with the County Auditor's Office and Washington State Registrar of Vital Statistics.

The Official Marriage Certificate is returned to the Cowlitz County Auditor's within thirty (30) days of your marriage. It is the officiant's responsibility to return this document to the Cowlitz County Auditor. You may need the certificate recorded immediately (i.e., for military purposes, passports, etc.). If you need the certificate recorded immediately, please let your officiant know at the time of your ceremony.

A certified copy of your marriage certificate may be obtained by written or in-person request to our office.

The charge for a certified copy is $3.00.
(Please note: You will NOT automatically receive a copy - it must be requested.) 

Family Law Handbook

Information on understanding the legal implications of marriage and divorce in Washington State, provided by Washington Courts.

2019 Family Law Handbook (summary)

2014 Domestic Partnership Family Law Handbook (summary)

2014 Domestic Partnership Family Law Handbook (full publication)

Marriage Licensing - Additional Information

Marriage License Application

How to apply for a marriage license, fees, rules, and timelines

Marriage Certificate

Information on returning, searching for, or requesting a marriage certificate

Domestic Partnerships

Domestic Partnerships and Marriage Equalization