Idaho couples are a lucky bunch—an Idaho wedding promises to be a real gem in a state full of them. And once you’ve both said “yes” to getting married in this stunning state, you can begin dreaming about your wedding details: the dress, the wedding cake, the venue, the marriage license... wait, what?
Before you can enjoy your wedding day, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with Idaho marriage laws. Namely, you’ll need to acquire a marriage license to make your union legally (and social media) official.
Read on for a comprehensive guide to getting your marriage license. Plus, we have a full rundown of everything else you need to know to plan your Idaho wedding.
There are two overlapping terms that you’ll need to know to make this process go smoothly:
Marriage License – Your marriage license is a legal document that you must obtain before your wedding to make it official.
Marriage Certificate – After your wedding, you’ll turn in your marriage license and receive your marriage certificate.
The process to obtain your Idaho marriage license is fairly straightforward, but let’s break it down.
Both individuals within the couple will need to go to their county recorder’s office. There are no appointments, only walk-ins.
Couples will need to bring two types of identification to receive their marriage license:
Social Security Number – Both individuals need to provide their social security numbers. Non-U.S. citizens should instead present identification from their country of citizenship. If someone does not have a social security number, they should secure a letter from the nearest Social Security Office.
Proof of Identity and Age – Both individuals also need to provide proof of identity or age in the form of any of the following documents: current driver’s license, state-issued identification card, passport, or birth certificate (either original or a certified copy).
The fee for a marriage license is approximately $30 in cash, but fees vary by county in Idaho. For example, certain counties charge up to $20 more on Saturdays. Most county recorders do not accept checks or credit cards, so make sure to bring cash.
And that’s it! It’s a surprisingly easy process. Use the rest of your day to secure all of your wedding vendors with Zola’s easy-to-use and pre-screened wedding vendor search function.
There are a few more important details to know about how your marriage license works and how to make sure that your marriage is legal.
Idaho has no waiting period after you receive your license. That means that you can get married on the same day that you receive it.
Idaho marriage licenses do not expire; however, if you don’t get married after one year, Idaho requires that you contact the state Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics.
A blood test is not necessary to receive an Idaho marriage license. However, couples will need to read an AIDS information sheet before they sign their marriage license affidavit.
If the officiant who performed your ceremony was not authorized without your knowledge, it does not invalidate your marriage as long as you and/or your spouse fully believed that the officiant was lawfully conducting the marriage.
Idaho does not require witnesses to make a marriage license valid.
Both residents and non-residents can obtain an Idaho marriage license; however, the license is only valid if the marriage ceremony is performed in Idaho.
If you were previously married, during your marriage license application process you’ll need to provide the date that your divorce was finalized.
Anyone who has ever taken a road trip knows about the patchwork of laws and regulations across the United States. Each state has its own unique marriage laws and requirements. Below are some of Idaho’s.
As of 1996, Idaho stopped allowing common-law marriage. Accordingly, couples must obtain and file a marriage license for their marriage to be legally recognized in Idaho.
The legal age of marriage in Idaho is 18 years and older. There are two groups who may also marry under specific circumstances:
Ages 16 and 17 – Individuals ages 16 and 17 can get married if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or with a notarized statement signed by their parent or guardian. Legal guardians need to produce a certified copy of their appointment of guardianship.
Under 16 – Individuals younger than 16 years old must receive both parental consent through a notarized statement and permission from the court.
Idaho law also specifies that individuals under 18 cannot marry individuals over 18 if the difference in age between the two individuals is greater than three years.
Idaho does not allow incestuous marriages under any circumstances. They define these relations as marriages between:
Idaho also prohibits marriages between first cousins. Polygamous marriages are also disallowed in Idaho.
Idaho recognizes marriages and unions from other states and countries as long as they are valid in their place of origin and do not “evade the prohibitions of the marriage laws of [Idaho].”
There are two instances in which the marriage license and ceremony may be subject to penalties:
Improperly Performing a Marriage Ceremony – If the officiant performs a marriage ceremony without a valid marriage license, they are committing a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $50 to $200 fine. If the officiant performs a marriage ceremony knowing that either individual isn’t “legally competent” to marry, this is also a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $50 to $200 fine.
Misrepresenting Information – Anyone who misrepresents any of the information on their marriage license application is committing a misdemeanor offense.
Overwhelmed? We don’t blame you. Navigating marriage laws and the marriage license process can be a headache. Hopefully, these frequently asked questions offer you some clarity.
Regardless, you can make your wedding planning process a whole lot easier with help from Zola. Build a wedding website, craft wedding invitations, find your vendors, and more all at Zola. Now, without further ado: the top Idaho marriage FAQs.
Since Idaho has no expiration dates, waiting periods, or appointments for marriage licenses, you can apply whenever you want. As always, it’s better to apply earlier rather than later. Definitely make sure that you have all of the necessary documents to apply for the marriage license well before your wedding day.
Since you obtain your marriage license in person and there are no appointments, the time will depend on how busy your county recorder’s office is that day. However, you will receive the marriage license the same day after you submit all necessary information to the office.
Marriage ceremonies cannot be performed in a clerk’s office. Couples must contact a judge to schedule an appointment with an authorized party
Idaho law allows any of the following individuals to officiate a wedding:
Your last name will not be automatically changed after your wedding. You will need to bring a certified copy of your marriage license to both the Social Security Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles. You can obtain a certified copy of your marriage license through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare either online or by mail.
In a domestic partnership, a couple lives together, but is not part of a marriage, civil union, or another legally recognized contract. Idaho offers no benefit or rights for domestic partnerships.
In a proxy marriage, one of the partners is represented by a proxy during the ceremony. Idaho, however, does not allow proxy marriages.
If your marriage license has already been issued and includes incorrect information, submit a signed and notarized affidavit of correction by mail or in-person to your county office.
After the ceremony, you’ll disappear to the honeymoon of your dreams, but what about your marriage license?
Your officiant will complete the bottom section of the two copies of the marriage license. You will keep the copy with the gold seal and the other copy must be returned to your county office. Once your county records your marriage, they will send the license to the Idaho Bureau of Vital Records, which issues your marriage certificate.
It’s important that you return your marriage license so that your marriage is recorded and so that you can receive your marriage certificate. You’ll need your marriage certificate to do tasks such as changing your maiden name.
If you wait for more than a year to file your certificate of marriage, it will need to be categorized as delayed by the Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics. You will need to submit a written request that includes:
You must also include a check or money order for $16. This request should be mailed to the Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics. They will search to confirm that they do not already have the marriage certificate on file.
Now that you know how to secure your marriage license, it’s time for the fun part: planning your wedding. Don’t hold back; this is your big day. Here is our best advice for planning your wedding.
Idaho has it all: mountains, lakes, sand dunes, rivers, and more. That makes any season perfect for an Idaho wedding, but let’s hone in on some of the benefits and drawbacks of each season.
Winter – A snowy winter wedding is a dream. Take inspiration from the winter weather and plan a glamorous and sparkling ice princess wedding, or a cozy, intimate ceremony that exudes all the warmth of your family’s fireplace. With an average of 292 days per year below freezing, Idahoans are certainly no stranger to cold weather. Still, if you’re envisioning a winter wedding, you’ll likely have to look for indoor wedding venues.
Spring – As winter turns to spring, wildflowers bloom with color across Idaho. Spring is all about rebirth. What could be better for starting your newlywed life? Depending on where you choose your wedding location, spring will bring more comfortable temperatures for a vibrant outdoor ceremony. Imagine an ode to spring celebrated with your bouquet and floral arrangements in a positively pastoral affair. Beware of spring allergies if this is your chosen season.
Summer – The sun never sets on a summer wedding. You and your guests can party deep into the warm summer night. Channel carefree summer energy into your dress choice and decor. A sleek, strapless dress will keep you comfortable, and a charming farmhouse chic wedding will celebrate the freedom of the outdoors. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, avoid the peak midday summer temperatures.
Autumn – Autumn has a certain je ne sais quoi. Gorgeous reds, yellows, and oranges on tree canopies meet their match with crisp, cool air. Take autumn’s color palette as inspiration for your wedding theme. Bridesmaid dresses, tablecloths, floral arrangements: there’s an endless number of opportunities to celebrate the autumn season. An outdoor ceremony might be chilly, but you can invest in heaters if you really want to embrace the season.
Your wedding date and theme have a synergistic relationship. Once you’ve chosen a season and a date, you can begin to refine your wedding theme. Consider trending wedding styles such as:
Rustic – Rustic weddings evoke the timeless spirit of the outdoors. Warm earth tones such as brown and green offer a grounded aesthetic that makes your guests feel right at home.
Bohemian – Bohemian weddings are eclectic and carefree. They mix styles and themes, and they celebrate natural beauty through copious floral arrangements or an outdoor venue. This unique style is a perfect way for couples to combine their disparate aesthetics into a cohesive theme.
Vintage – Bring your family and friends back to your favorite decade with a vintage wedding style. Make old dress silhouettes and styles new, and select decorations that can rewind the clock on your big day.
Outdoor – Couples who share a love of the outdoors can’t help but bring that passion to their wedding style. Find an outdoor venue, or bring the outdoors to an indoor venue with natural touches such as flower arches, centerpieces, and peaceful earth tones that celebrate Idaho’s natural landscape.
Beach – Even landlocked Idahoans can bring a bit of beach to their wedding day. A beach style is carefree and relaxed with flowing silhouettes. Choose a blue and white color palette and add little touches such as centerpieces made from sand and shells or tropical cocktails.
Glamorous – A glamorous wedding style is all gold and glitter. Opulent and numerous decorations create a lavish ambiance bedazzled with crystals and maybe even a diamond or two. Go all out on your wedding day with a glamorous aesthetic.
Traditional – A traditional wedding never goes out of style. Explore classic neutrals in white and black with minimal pops of color in your floral arrangements and decor. A traditional style can be grand or intimate and everything in between.
DIY/Handmade – The DIY and handmade wedding styles place the emphasis on the decorations and how they communicate your love story and personalities. Whether you’re actually crafting the centerpieces yourself or partnering with local artisans, this style is warm and inviting.
Whatever style you choose, your wedding will be a day to remember. When in doubt, select a theme that represents you and your partner equally.
Once you’ve got your wedding date confirmed and an idea of your wedding theme, it’s time to invite your family and friends. Make this process stylish and easy with our online tools:
Save the Dates – Not every couple sends out save the dates, but they’re a great way to provide busy guests with a little extra notice. Choose from hundreds of beautiful designs for every budget from Zola’s wedding stationery collection and receive free guest addressing and shipping.
Invitations – Once you have more details finalized, you’ll send out the official wedding invitations to your guests. Zola’s free wedding websites offer matching designs for save the dates and invitations so that you can unify your wedding theme.
Wedding Website – More and more couples are creating their very own wedding websites. Why? It’s an easy-to-access central location for all of your wedding details and updates. Guests can RSVP and keep track of all your necessary wedding information. Match your wedding website to your save the dates and invitations using Zola’s free wedding website templates.
Registry – Your family and friends will celebrate this milestone in your life by showering you with gifts. Your wedding registry lets them know what you and your partner need to start your new life together. Zola’s wedding registry offers 100,000 gifts from 1,000 top brands. You’ll have access to a wedding advisor, thank you note manager, and more when you build your wedding registry at Zola
Each of these tasks requires a little legwork in the beginning, but it will pay off in spades as you get closer to your big day, when everything is set up and ready to go.
Idaho makes it easy to get your marriage license. A trip to the county recorder’s office, and your social security number, identification, and a $30 fee in hand are all you’ll need to obtain your marriage license and be ready to go for your wedding day.
Zola makes it easy to plan your wedding. Find inspiration from real weddings as you develop your style and theme, and share your big news with guests with our stylish save the dates, invitations, and/or wedding website templates. Then, access the very best wedding vendors Idaho has to offer with our easily searchable, pre-screened inventory of vendors.
It’s your big day—that’s why Zola is here to help.