How To Get a Marriage License in Iowa - Jamie Tobin Photography
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How To Get a Marriage License in Iowa

Hello Human.. You want to know How To Get a Marriage License in Iowa!

This is one area that I’m like “I NEED AN ADULTY-ER-ADULT” because how do you do all of this?

I’m here to help because I’ve done the adulting now!

We live in Iowa (Bremer County) so we are able to just go to Waverly’s courthouse to get everything from Iowa plates to a marriage license!

Let’s dive right into the steps, I break it down easy because I know the wording can be confusing on the websites.

Step 1:
You + Fiancé + 1 Witness + $35
This fee is for Iowa, each state varies!

Step 2:
Your Drivers license + Fiancé Drivers License + Witness Driver License

Step 3:
Minimum 3 day waiting period from applying for license, to receiving it to get the ceremony done.

Each state varies, and case by case basis you can get this 3-day period waived with a judge’s signature if you need to get married ASAP

Step 4:
Recorders Office – they have the one paper you fill out with your maiden names, and if you plan on taking your SO’s last name you fill that out, sign, date.
Your witness signs the same paper on the back!
(or you can change your full name completely)

Step 5:
In Iowa, once you apply for your license, you have waited for three days, you have 6 months to go pick up your paper work.

“If the license is not retrieved from the County Registrar within six months from the date of application, the application is considered null and void. “

I believe that is the statement that gets everyone confused (myself included).

Basically, the paper work I have right now does not expire now, because we have picked it up within 6 months of applying, and it is in our hands and waiting for our ceremony to be performed.

Another statement that might confuse people – Right after your ceremony, the paper work needs to be filled out and returned to the state within 15 days .

“Within 15 days after the marriage ceremony, the Officiant shall file for registration the state copy of the Certificate of Marriage with the County Registrar that issued the License to Marry. “

(Again each state is different this is for Iowa)

Step 6:
Some States require blood tests to insure you’re not marrying your cousin… Iowa does not require this. Don’t worry, Mark isn’t my cousin.

Step 7:
Some States will require 2 forms of ID when applying for your license.
It’s always a good idea to bring your license + another form of ID just incase!
But we didn’t need to show our passports or birth certificates in Iowa!

Step 8:
Picking up your license three days later – you don’t need a witness or your Fiancé for this part! Mark picked ours up by himself yesterday!

We applied on Wednesday (March 6), so picking up on Monday (March 11) because business days!

Step 9:
That’s it! You applied for your license!

Stay tuned for our post about getting married at the courthouse, and how to go about just doing a straight legal ceremony! 🙂

Love, Jamie + Mark

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