Metro Detroit Marriage Licenses and Name Changes

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bride signing the marriage licnese

Metro Detroit Marriage License Application Process

*Updated for 2021 & 2022 wedding season

To obtain your Metro Detroit marriage license, you will need a picture ID and the social security numbers for the bride and groom. The marriage license will include the full legal names of the bride and groom. You will also need current address, city and date of birth. When you apply for the marriage license, you will need to know the name the bride has decided to use after the ceremony. Depending upon the county, you may also need a copy of your birth certificate.

Metro Detroit Marriage License Information:

Oakland County Marriage License Information

Applications are available through the Oakland County Clerk’s Office. Traditionally, you would need to apply in person. Due to the pandemic, you and your future spouse can apply online or via mail. The mail in option can be used 20 to 33 days prior to your wedding date.

Wayne County Marriage License Information

Residents must apply for their marriage license in person at the Wayne County Clerk Office between three days and 33 days before your wedding.

Macomb County Marriage License Information

Marriage license applications are typically available through the Macomb County Clerk’s Office. Due to the pandemic, couples can submit their application online. Follow the steps of their online filing tool, and you will receive three copies of your marriage license via mail. Note: Processing time may vary from two to three weeks, so allow time for this.

What does a Michigan marriage license cost?

If you or your partner are a Michigan resident, the application will cost $20, but if both of you are out-of-staters, it will cost $30.

How long does it take to get a marriage license in Michigan?

In Michigan, there is a three day waiting period from the date of application to the ceremony, unless the clerk waives the waiting period due to sufficient cause. The marriage license is valid for 33 days and only valid in Michigan.

While marriage licenses are not issued for three days after the time of application, in special cases you can request a waiver from the district court in order to hold your marriage ceremony earlier. Licenses are valid for 33 days after you submit your application, so make sure your wedding date is within a month or you’ll have to apply all over again. If you’re picking up your marriage license in person, you may be requested to bring the birth certificates and social security numbers for both intended spouses.

Can you apply for a marriage license online in Michigan?

Depending on the county you are applying to, you can either fill out the application entirely online or you might be required to show up in person, so make sure to check out your local county’s rules before you move forward with your application.

How do you get a copy of your Michigan marriage license?

After you’ve tied the knot, mail your completed marriage license to the county within 10 days of your ceremony, and wait 10 more days before purchasing your certified copy from the same location for an additional fee. If you submit your completed license in person, you can pick up a certified copy that same day.

Making it Legal

Following your wedding ceremony, your marriage license must be completed by a solemnizing authority or officiant. They will complete the time and place of marriage, have the document signed by two witnesses and sign the license. One copy should be given to the newlyweds, one mailed to the clerk and one kept by the officiant. Your marriage license acts as your marriage certificate.

couple holding their marriage license

Changing Your Name

If you will take your new husband’s last name or legally abbreviate your married name, there will be several documents that require a name change. Here’s a breakdown of what to change and when.

Wait To Change

There is no doubt you will be excited to begin using your married name, but it is a good idea not to make the name change until you return from your honeymoon. Make all honeymoon travel arrangements in your maiden name because it may take several weeks to change your drivers license, passport and credit cards. Having two different names can make travel more difficult.

Before the Wedding:

  1. Let your employer know to change your email and business cards.
  2. Practice using your new name including the signature. It will make it more fluent when you do make the change.

After the Wedding:

    1. Most changes can not be completed until you receive the fully executed marriage license by mail.
    2. Change your name on any bank accounts. Once the change is complete, notify your payroll department of your new name so the deposit account information matches.
    3. Request a new social security card by taking a copy of your marriage license to the social security office. You can speed up the process if you download a form from the Social Security website.
    4. Contact the US State Department to request the name change to your US Passport.
    5. You will need your marriage certificate to change the name on your driver’s license.
    6. Many utilities, credit card issuers and insurance companies can change your name by phone. Others will require a copy of your marriage certificate and a personal letter requesting the change. This will vary by company.
    7. Spread the word by making the change to your twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites.
    8. Make the change with your health insurance provider and doctor’s office.
    9. If you have a will or medical proxy, review the document for necessary changes in beneficiary or advocate.
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