COVID-19 Updates from Public Health
COVID-19 Limited Operations, Procedures and Closures

Vital Records Division

Apply for Marriage License

All requests for Marriage Licenses are suspended at this time, while our offices are closed to in-person transactions due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Pursuant to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-21, all in person government activities at whatever level (state, county or local) that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, or to supporting those businesses and operations that are necessary to sustain or protect life, are suspended.

Michigan law requires applicants for a marriage license to appear in person, and therefore marriage license applications in Ottawa County are suspended until the Executive Order is lifted (currently April 13, 2020). If you believe you have an extenuating circumstance as to why an application for marriage license is necessary to sustain or protect life, and should be exempt from this Executive Order, please contact our office at: 616-994-4531.

  • 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

    All requests for Marriage Licenses are suspended at this time, while our offices are closed to in-person transactions due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

    Pursuant to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-21, all in person government activities at whatever level (state, county or local) that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, or to supporting those businesses and operations that are necessary to sustain or protect life, are suspended.

    Michigan law requires applicants for a marriage license to appear in person, and therefore marriage license applications in Ottawa County are suspended until the Executive Order is lifted (currently April 13, 2020). If you believe you have an extenuating circumstance as to why an application for marriage license is necessary to sustain or protect life, and should be exempt from this Executive Order, please contact our office at: 616-994-4531.

  • 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