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Vital Records Division

Apply for Marriage License

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 2020-42, all non-emergency applications for marriage licenses in Ottawa County will be processed by mail.

In accordance with MCL 551.103, applications for a marriage licenses are required to be done in person before the county clerk or other person duly authorized to administer oaths. Due to the restrictions placed on our office at this time, in person transactions “not necessary to sustain or protect life” are extremely limited.

Michigan law grants notaries public the ability to administer the oath required for a marriage license application. Beginning immediately our office will accept marriage license applications by mail when the application has been properly notarized. We will also accept the application and supporting documents electronically with a proper electronic notary.

Please review the informational packet contained here and contact us with any questions you may have at: 616-994-4531 or clerk@miottawa.org

Marriage Packet

  • General Requirements
    • State Law: The State of Michigan through MCL 551.101, 104, 106 requires all parties intending to be married to obtain a marriage license from the county clerk of the county in which either applicant resides.
    • In-State Residents: must apply for license in the county in which they live. The marriage may then occur in any county in the state.
    • Out-of-State Residents: must apply for license in the county in which they will be married.
    • Educational Materials: The County Clerk is required to provide applicants with educational materials on the transmission and prevention of venereal disease and HIV infection.
    • Age & Date of Birth: for both applicants. Each must be at least 18 years old. However, a 16 or 17 year old can apply with written consent of a parent of guardian.The consent must be notarized. Forms are available from the County Clerk's Office.
  • Documentation Required to Obtain License
    • Certified Birth Certificates: Each applicant must provide one of the following: a certified birth certificate, an official foreign birth certificate with an English translation, a permanent resident alien card or naturalization certificate. Note: We require the original certified birth record along with the certified translation (if applicable).
    • Government Issued Pictured Identification: for both applicants such as a driver's license or state identification. A passport can be used for pictured identification if an additional piece of documentation is included to show residency.
    • Certified Judgment of Divorce or Certified Death Certificate: if previous marriage was terminated by divorce or death.
    • Social Security Cards: for both applicants. If you are exempt from having a social security number due to other legal reasons (citizen of another country here with a passport, work or student visa or in the process of becoming a citizen of this country) or exempt because of religious convictions pursuant to MCL 551.102{sec. 2(3)}, you must provide applicable documentation and must sign an affidavit to that affect. If you are ineligible to obtain a social security card, you must sign an affidavit to that affect in lieu of having the social security information.
  • How to Apply

    Pursuant to Executive Order No. 2020-42, all non-emergency applications for marriage licenses in Ottawa County will be processed by mail.

    In accordance with MCL 551.103, applications for a marriage licenses are required to be done in person before the county clerk or other person duly authorized to administer oaths. Due to the restrictions placed on our office at this time, in person transactions “not necessary to sustain or protect life” are extremely limited.

    Michigan law grants notaries public the ability to administer the oath required for a marriage license application. Beginning immediately our office will accept marriage license applications by mail when the application has been properly notarized. We will also accept the application and supporting documents electronically with a proper electronic notary.

    Please review the informational packet contained here and contact us with any questions you may have at: 616-994-4531 or clerk@miottawa.org

    Marriage Packet

  • Fees

    Payment due at time of pick-up of Marriage License. Fees can be paid with cash, money order, or credit card (Visa or MasterCard).

    • Michigan Residents: $20
    • Out-of-State Residents: $30
  • Time Constraint Requirements
    • Waiting Period: there is a required 3-day waiting period to obtain a license after submitting an application. To be granted a waiver for the 3-day waiting period the couple must present one of the following at time of application:
      • Notarized statement from the Clergy as to when he or she will solemnize the marriage.
      • Professional Wedding Invitation (Note: computer generated invitations will NOT be accepted.)
      • Newspaper Announcement
      • Military Deployment papers
    • Application Expiration: marriage must take place within 33 days from date of application.
  • Translation Agencies

    Michigan Department of State certified translators: Translator's Resource List