How to Get Your Colorado Marriage License
Congratulations! If you’ve made it here, you’re probably getting married in our beautiful state of Colorado, or helping a couple who is. When you get married in Colorado, you will likely apply for your marriage license in Colorado. (Some states allow you to take their state’s license and sign it in another state, but most couples will apply for the license in Colorado.) So how does it work? Let’s get into it:
Where to Go
You can apply for a Colorado marriage license at any county clerk/recorder’s office, no matter what part of Colorado you’ll be getting married in. Some situations require an appointment for this, so call ahead before you go to make sure! Also remember that these offices are (usually) only open on weekdays.
You will apply for your permit no sooner than 35 days before your wedding ceremony, as that’s how long the license is valid. There is no waiting period in Colorado, so the day you get your license you can sign it! You have 35 days, though, to sign the license and 60 days after that to file it. The process is pretty quick at the clerk’s office – you could probably be in and out in half an hour on an average day.
What to Bring
To start, you’ll need identification. You can provide a Driver’s license, Birth certificate, Passport, or Military identification card as acceptable identification. You will also need to bring $30 in cash to pay for the license. If you’ve previously been married, you’ll need to provide proof of that marriage no longer being legal. Finally, some counties are requiring the application for your marriage license to be filled out before you come in, so check online or call ahead for the rules where you’re applying!
Since marriage is a legal act, there are some rules. Colorado does not require a blood test to apply for a marriage license. You will need to be 18 years of age, though, or have parental consent. The last major rule is that marriage between ancestor and descendant is prohibited whether half or whole blood, however marriage between first cousins is permitted.
How to Sign Your Colorado Marriage License
The wedding day is here! If you’ve chosen not to sign and file the day you get your license, you’re probably signing it on your wedding day after your ceremony is done and the vows have been exchanged. In Colorado, you do not need to have an officiant or any witnesses if you don’t want to. Couples can “self-solemnize” in Colorado, meaning you sign as your own officiants! Some counties vary on the actual signing of the document, so check with the clerk/recorder first. You’ll almost always be given a cheat sheet to copy from, so go by that.
Some counties also vary on whether you sign your new name or your old name if you’ll be changing it. If you do have an officiant, they will often be able to help with this process, and sometimes with the filing of the document too! If you opt to have an officiant, the following are acceptable officiants: Judge/Retired Judge, Court Magistrate, Religious or tribal official authorized to perform a ceremony, Other public officials authorized to perform a ceremony.
Another cool thing that some couples take advantage of is that you don’t need formal witnesses, so you are allowed to be creative. For instance, your dog can sign their paw print on your form! Just be sure to remember an ink pad if you go this route.
How to File Your Colorado Marriage License
Like mentioned earlier, you have 60 days from signing the license to file it with the recorder. You will need to return your license to the office of the county you got the license from, whether in person or by mail.
You will want to get certified copies of your filing (often costing only a dollar or two) for your records to keep in a safe place to provide proof of your marriage. You will also need this document for changing your name if you choose to! Some offices will require the certified copy, so be sure to get at least a few.
If you bring the license in person, the document will be filed immediately and you can request your copies immediately as well. If you are mailing the document, it can take a few weeks to be filed and for you to get the copies by mail as well.