Vital Records Division

Apply for Marriage License

Please follow these instructions carefully, marriage licenses can be obtained only with the required documentation.

  • 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
    • Apply Online Recommended: You may submit your marriage license application online. There is a required 3-day waiting period to obtain the license after you submit your application. At least one of the applicants must bring the required documentation for BOTH parties to pick up your license at the Ottawa County Clerks office after this period. Please bring your confirmation number and payment to the Clerk’s Office.
    • Apply in Person: applicants may appear in person at any of the Ottawa County Clerk locations to utilize the public computers to apply online. There is a 3-day waiting period to obtain the license after you apply, at which time you will need to return to the Ottawa County Clerk’s office with the required information, documentation and amount owed to pick up your marriage license.
    • Apply By Mail: residents and out-of-state residents applying by mail must include the Affidavit listed below. In addition, for both applicants you must include: certified birth certificates, copies of a government issued picture ID, copies of Social Security cards, and certified judgments of divorce or death certificates (if previous marriage was terminated by divorce or death). For more information on required documents, see above: Documentation Required to Obtain License. Applicants must also include payment for marriage license by Money Order only, payable to Ottawa County Clerk.
      • Affidavit for License to Marry A Notary Public must notarize both signatures on the Affidavit(Notary Publics can be found at banks, insurance companies, and at the Clerk's Office). Please make sure to check the box indicating you have received educational materials (these are included in the Affidavit document).

    There is a 3-day waiting period to obtain the license once we receive the application. You may pick up your license at the County Clerk's Office or if you would like your license mailed to you, please state that in the application. Applications can be mailed to:

    Ottawa County Clerk
    12220 Fillmore Street, Room 130
    West Olive, MI 49460

  • 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