Apply for a Marriage License

Marriage licenses issued today Wednesday, July 24, 2024,
are valid through Saturday, September 21, 2024.

Marriage License Requirements

The Marriage License should be obtained BEFORE the ceremony.

The Marriage License Application is available in the office and online.

You should apply for a marriage license within 60 days of the actual wedding date. If the license is not used within that time frame it expires.

The marriage license fee is $60. Add $10 if a certified copy is needed for a total of $70.

The marriage license may be used in any county within the state. It is only valid for ceremonies held in NC. It should not be used in another state or country.

Both parties should apply in person for the marriage license. If one person is unable to appear, a notarized Affidavit in Lieu of Personal Appearance for a Marriage License must be presented for the absent party.

The completed license should be returned within 10 days after the ceremony for processing.

The hours to apply for a marriage license are from 8:00am until 4:30pm Monday through Friday. We do not issue after 4:30pm.

Marriage Applicants

Anyone over 18 years of age can legally marry in North Carolina without parental consent.

Both parties should have a valid government- issued photo identification and verification of a U.S. Social Security number.

Applicants who do not have a U.S. Social Security number or those who are not eligible for one, must present the Affidavit of No Social Security Ineligibility when they apply for the marriage license. The form is available in the office and at

Divorced applicants must know the month and year of their divorce. If a divorce is final within the last 30 days, bring a filed and signed copy of the divorce decree with you.

If a previous marriage ended in death, the date of death for the deceased person is required.

To change the last name after marriage, bring a certified copy of the marriage license to the NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Social Security Administration, along with any other documentation required by those agencies.

To change a last name if the marriage ceremony occurred outside of the U.S., contact the NC Department of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) for assistance filing the DL 101 form, Affidavit for Name Change for an International Marriage License.

If applying for the Real ID, also known as the Gold Star ID, a certified copy of the marriage license is required if the last name changed due to marriage.

Who Can Perform a Ceremony

The person officiating the wedding ceremony will return both completed marriage license forms, Register of Deeds Copy and Vital Records Copy, within 10 days after the ceremony to the office that issued the license.

The following individuals are authorized to perform a marriage ceremony in North Carolina:

  • An Ordained minister of any religious denomination
  • Minister authorized by a church
  • Federal or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe
  • Magistrate

There is no requirement or procedure for someone to be licensed or listed on an official register to be an officiant of marriage in North Carolina. NCGS. 51-1.

The person officiating the wedding ceremony will return both completed copies of the marriage license, within 10 days after the ceremony to the Register of deeds office that issued the license.

Applicants cannot get married in the Register of Deeds office.

The fee for the magistrate to perform a marriage ceremony is $50.00 cash only.

Accepted Identification for Marriage License

  • State issued driver’s license or photo ID
  • U.S. Military ID
  • U.S. Government ID
  • Valid Passport or Visa
  • International Identification subject to approval by the Register of Deeds
Age Requirement
21 & Older Valid government issued photo ID, plus social security verification.
18 - 20
NO birth certificate
We will accept Drivers’ license, passport, medical record, hospital/police report( name and date of birth must be on all proofs). If No pictured ID, will need two of the above.
18 - 20 Certified copy of their birth certificate, valid photo ID, plus social security number verification.
16 - 17 A 16 and 17 year old may marry a person no more than four years older than the minor person. Consent must be obtained by a district court judge, parent, guardian, person or agency with joint or legal custody of the underage minor. G.S. 51-2.1 ID of person giving consent, certified birth certificate, valid ID, and verification of US social Security Number is required.
14 - 15
  • A certified copy of a Court Order From A District Court Judge.
14 A person under the age of 14 cannot marry in North Carolina.

Anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 who have been emancipated from parental authority must have the certified emancipation decree or certificate of emancipation filed in the register of deeds office plus the required documents.

Anyone not sure if they meet the requirements to obtain a marriage license in North Carolina, should contact the Register of Deeds office at 336-703-2700 for assistance.

County Services

Did your favorite restaurant make the grade?  Find Out! Social Services Cares

Contact Us

  • 201 North Chestnut Street
    Winston-Salem, NC 27101
  • Phone: 336 703 2700 (Live)
  • Phone: 336 703 2700
    (After Hours Recording)
  • Fax: 336 748 3158
  • Email: Contact Us
Office Hours

8:00 — 5:00 (Monday — Friday)

Obtain Marriage License

8:00 — 4:30 (Monday — Friday)