license laws are in place for several reasons. Originally, marriage licenses
were utilized to be certain that no one entered into marriage in the absence of
meeting all legal requirements.
prohibited marriage for any individual that was not white. Later, marriage
license laws forbid states from granting licenses to interracial marriages.
However, couples of every race can now be found legally applying for a marriage
white couples found to be applying for a marriage license. However, the
Federal government later enacted laws that simply made marriage licenses a
requirement for couples that wished to be legally married.
license laws are not as prohibitive as they were in the past. Currently, there
are few requirements for couples applying for a marriage license.
In most states, couples applying for a marriage license, must be over the age
of eighteen and must be an opposite sex couple. However, some states do allow
same sex couples to legally wed, but that marriage is not likely to be
recognized by other states, unless they have similar marriage laws.
addition, same sex couples receive no federal rights as a result of their
relationship due to the enactment of the Defense of marriage Act on a federal
level. Some states have failed to enact DOMA and currently allow same sex
of marriage licenses for couples that are closely related by blood and in some
cases, couples cannot be related at all. Marriage license laws usually also
require that each intended spouse be at least eighteen years of age.
for a marriage license is possible if intended spouse are under that age,
if individuals are granted parental approval. In addition, intended spouse will
likely need to demonstrate that they are mentally capable of understanding and
accepting the marriage contract. If any of these factors are in doubt, the
courthouse may ask for addition proof.
Applying for a marriage license requires couples to provide necessary
documentation as prescribed by their state’s marriage license laws. In general,
couples can obtain the required documentation rather easily.
should be sure to pay attention to their state’s specific requirements as each
state has varied requirements and fees. Those requirements include differing
waiting periods and expiration times for marriage licenses. In general, couples
will have all necessary documentation readily available.