Marriage/Civil Union License FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to obtain a license?
    • Licenses are $30; certified copies are $1.25 each.
  • When can we apply for a license?
    • We recommend coming in to get the license approximately 1 to 2 weeks before your wedding date. Once issued, you have 35 days to fill it out.
  • Can we use our license anywhere?
    • The Colorado marriage license can be used anywhere within the state.
  • My future spouse and I live in different counties, which county do we get the license from?
    • You may pick up your marriage license in whatever county is most convenient for the two of you. Keep in mind that once the document is filled out, you will need to return it to the county of issue for recording.
  • How old do you have to be to obtain a license?
    • 18 years old is the current legal age; 16- and 17-year-olds will need a court order to get married.
  • Are blood tests required?
    • No, you will not need a blood test.
  • What information do I need to apply for a license?
    • Social Security Number
    • Parents’ names and current address (required regardless of the applicants’ ages)
    • Any previous marriage or civil union information (dates, location)
  • Do we have to have a religious ceremony?
    • No, you don’t. The three ways to get married in Colorado are:
      • Religious Ceremony performed by a religious officiant
      • Civil Ceremony performed by a judge, magistrate, or other public official authorized to perform a marriage
      • Self-solemnization, where a couple declares themselves as married and signs as their own officiant
  • What is a self-solemnization?
    • A self-solemnization is a ceremony in which the couple declares themselves married/joined in union by signing the certificate. This is a legally binding marriage just like in a religious or civil ceremony.
  • What is common-law marriage?
    • A common-law marriage is when a couple has presented themselves and been acknowledged as a married couple, even though no ceremony or marriage license has been obtained.
  • Is there a common-law marriage license?
    • No, there is not. However, if a couple is to be common-law, they may apply for a Marriage or Civil Union License and then choose to self-solemnize so that they have an official license.
  • Do we need to have witness signatures?
    • No, you are not required to have witnesses; however, there is no age limit to sign as a witness. If you have kids, they are welcome to sign if you would like them to.
  • What do we do with the license after the ceremony?
    • Once filled out, please return the license to the Recording Department in the provided envelope or bring it in person to the office. If you mail it in, we will record it and print out any pre-purchased certified copies and mail your original and certified copies back to you. If you prefer to bring it back in person to our office, we will record it, print out any certified copies, and return it to you over the counter.
  • We need a copy of our Marriage or Civil Union License application—how do we get one?
    • Access to these documents is restricted. You will need to fill out a “Request for Copy or Inspection of a Marriage or Civil Union Application.” These forms are available in our office. We will need a photo I.D. to process this form.
  • What is the process for changing names after the ceremony?
    • Once the marriage license has been recorded, take one of your certified copies to the Social Security Office to change your name with them first. After you do that, you will need to wait 24 hours for the system to update. After 24 hours, you may then go get your drivers’ license updated. We suggest setting appointments at both places to help you get through faster.
    • Once you change your name with those two entities, you can then change your name with other places (e.g. work, insurance, bank, passport, etc.)
  • How do I contact a judge to perform a ceremony?
    • Depending on where you live, you can reach out to the judges and magistrates in your city or county to find out if they perform ceremonies.
  • Don’t see the answer to your question?
Clerk & Recorder
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy., E2400
Brighton, CO 80601

Tuesday - Friday
7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(Excluding holidays)

Issuance of Marriage or Civil Union License
Tuesday – Friday
7:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.