To get married in the state of South Carolina, you need to obtain a marriage license. The following requirements apply to both residents and non-residents:
Who must apply?
The bride(s)-to-be and the groom(s)-to-be must apply together at the
county courthouse office of the Probate Judge. If you plan on getting
your license at the Charleston County Courthouse, they are located at
the Charleston County Judicial Center at 100 Broad Street, 4th Floor,
suite 469, Charleston, SC 29401. The telephone number is 843.958.5183.
Is there a residency requirement?
No, you do not have to be a resident of South Carolina, or of the
United States for that matter. However, Myrtle Beach will not issue a
marriage license to a foreign national. A foreign national CAN apply
in Charleston County.
What is required to apply?
A valid, non-temporary driver's license and social security number (card) will be sufficient.
What is the cost of a marriage license?
The marriage license fee varies to some degree according to the
county. In Charleston County, the cost is $70.00, and MUST BE PAID IN
CASH! NO CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS!!!
Do I have to get married in the same county where I get the license? Does the license expire after a certain period?
A license issued in the State of South Carolina is valid statewide and has no expiration date.
Is there a waiting period?
Yes, there is a mandatory 1 day waiting period. If you wish to get
married on Saturday, you MUST apply no later than Thursday of the same
week. As soon as you have the license, you can get married. (If you apply on Tuesday at 4:00 PM, you must wait until Wednesday at 4:00 PM to pick it up. You cannot pick it up on 10:00 AM on Wednesday. It is a FULL 24 hours.)
Is there an age limit?
You must be 18 years of age or older to marry without parental consent. If you are not 18, special rules apply.
Is a blood test required?
If I have been divorced or widowed, do I need anything special to apply?
If previously married, you may be asked for the date of your divorce
or the date of the spouse's death. This may vary according to the
How do I change my name?
Following your wedding ceremony, we sign it together. I give you one copy which IS the Marriage License/Marriage Certificate. I take the other two copies and mail them back to the Judge of Probate. Teh Judge files your license and that's it! Nothing comes in the mail. The copy I give to you is the piece of paper proving that you are legally
married. This certificate will serve as evidence of your marriage, which
you'll need when you begin the process of notifying several goverment
agencies about your name change, as well as any non-government
institutions that you do business with (ie, banks, employers, credit
cards, memberships, etc). If requested, the Probate Judge's Office will provide a form to obtain a certified copy
of your license. This allows you to put the original copy of the license in a safe place and to use the certified copy for name changes, etc.
Are proxy marriages legal?
Are cousin marriages allowed?
Yes, cousin marriages are allowed. (True story. I know, I know.....)
Are common-law marriages allowed?No, common-law marriages are not allowed.
Are same-sex marriages allowed?
We are honored to preside at your ceremony, and the state of South Carolina does issue marriage licenses for these ceremonies. It is federally legal in ALL FIFTY STATES!!!
You MUST bring your marriage license to the wedding. We cannot perform the ceremony if you do not have the license with you! We will ask to see the license before the ceremony. After the ceremony, we will complete the license and provide you with your permanent copy. We will return the other two copies to the Office of the Probate Judge after the signing.