Marriage License

Marriage License


WHERE TO APPLY: Effective July 1, 2022, a marriage license can be obtained from the County Clerk of any county in Wisconsin, and further allows the marriage ceremony to be performed in any county in Wisconsin.

WAITING PERIOD:  Applications must be made at least 3 FULL DAYS before a license is issued.  The 3 day waiting period begins after the date of application and ends on the 4th day, which is also the issuance day.  Keep in mind that we do not issue licenses on weekends or holidays, so plan accordingly.  The ceremony may take place on the date the license is issued or any time within 60 days thereafter.  The 3 day waiting period may be waived for an additional fee.  However, the waiver is only granted for a good cause that is approved by the County Clerk.  This waiver MUST be requested NO LATER than 3 FULL days in advance of the marriage date. If you believe you may qualify for a waiver, call our office as soon as possible.  

BIRTH RECORD:  Certified birth records are required for ALL applicants.  A certified birth record must bear the official embossed seal, and a signature of the state registrar, register of deeds, or city health officer.  The seal of a notary public does not suffice for a certified copy of a vital record.  The souvenir birth document given by a hospital is NOT a legal document and unacceptable.  Be prepared to provide accurate and complete full names of parents.  If an applicant is not a U.S. citizen, a current and valid passport is required.  If the passport has expired, then the applicant will need to apply for an extension.  Also, if the non-U.S. citizen applicant does not have a certified birth certificate, the passport will be sufficient.  If the applicant’s birth certificate is not in English, they are responsible for having it translated into English and notarized by a third party; the applicant cannot translate it them self. 

PHOTO ID: Current (un-expired) government-issued drivers' license or ID.


AGE REQUIREMENTS:  Persons under the age of 16 may not marry.  Persons age 16 and age 17 are required to provide both parent's or legal guardian's notarized written consent to marry.  The consent forms are available in the County Clerk's Office and must be signed by both parents or guardians in front of a notary public or the County Clerk. 

FINAL DIVORCE DECREE:  It is not lawful for any person, who is or has been a party to an action for divorce in any court in this state, or elsewhere, to marry again until 6 months after judgment of divorce is granted.  You will be required to present the final Judgment of Divorce (with the Judge's or Court Commissioner's signature and final divorce date on such papers), from the last previous marriage when application is made. 

DEATH RECORD: A signed death certificate must be presented to the County Clerk if your last previous marriage was terminated by death.

COURT ANNULMENT: A certified copy of annulment certificate or court annulment decree must be presented to the County Clerk if your last previous marriage was terminated by annulment.

PROOF OF RESIDENCE: A current driver's license with a current address is the best proof.  If this is not available, each applicant must provide proof of their current address, such as a checkbook, utility bill, income tax record, payroll record, military papers, student record, medical and/or dental bills, etc.  If on the day you apply for a license you have not resided at your current address for 30 days, be prepared to prove your previous address.  Your "residence", for marriage license purposes, is where you have physically lived for the past 30 days.  

LOCATION AND DATE OF MARRIAGE:  Applicants should be prepared to provide the date of the marriage, and the correct spelling of the officiant's name, business address, and phone number.  The applicants should also know the municipality (city, village or township) and the county in which the ceremony will take place. The wedding date MUST be set before you can come in to apply for the license.

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS: Applicants must provide their social security numbers if one has been assigned to them.

TRANSLATOR:  If one of the marriage applicants does not understand or speak English, you need to provide a certified translator who is not a relative or friend to translate when applying.

MARRIAGE LICENSE FEE: The license fee is $85.00.  If a waiver to the 3 day waiting period is granted, there will be an additional $25.00 fee.  You must apply for a waiver in advance.  These fees are payable in CASH or CREDIT/DEBIT cards on the day you come to apply for the license.  If you use a debit card the transaction fee is $2.50.  If you use a credit card, the credit card transaction has a fee depending on the total amount charged. (We do not accept checks.) 

HOURS: Marriage license applications are taken in the County Clerk's Office, by Appointment Only, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Both applicants must apply in person at the same time. 

Columbia County Clerk's Office
112 East Edgewater Street
Portage, WI 53901
(608) 742-9654