How to Get a Marriage License in Oklahoma

Getting married in Oklahoma? Here’s everything you need to know about Oklahoma marriage licenses!

By Emily Forrest

How to Get a Marriage License in Oklahoma
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

  • To apply for a marriage license in Oklahoma you need to book an appointment at the local county clerk’s office no sooner than 10 days before the scheduled date of your ceremony.
  • There is no waiting period for marriage licenses in Oklahoma, unless you are a minor applying for a license with parental consent, or you have not been legally divorced for longer than six months.
  • To apply for a marriage license, you and your partner must present valid forms of identification at your appointment and must pay a fee of $50.
  • After your ceremony, be sure that your marriage license is signed by the officiant and two witnesses. Return it to the county clerk’s office within 30 days of the date of issuance.

Whether your wedding planning is well underway or you’re just getting started, there’s a single piece of paper that’s at the center of it all: your marriage license. Without it, your rustic ceremony nestled in Oklahoma’s rolling plains will be stunning, tear-jerking, and bursting with love, but not legally binding.

There’s not exactly a one-size-fits-all approach to getting your marriage license either. Each state has its own set of marriage license requirements, rules, and procedures to follow. All this to say: You’re in the right place. Pour yourself a glass of bubbly, and read on.

Application Procedure

For many couples, the application procedure for obtaining a marriage license is entirely new. This stop along the road to marriage might not be nearly as fun as the cake tasting process—it’s a bit more tedious and requires strict attention to deadlines. To be sure that everything runs smoothly, here are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind.

What Kinds of Marriage Licenses Are Available in Oklahoma?

Some states may provide both confidential and public marriage licenses. Confidential marriage licenses do not require any additional signatures except those of the officiant and the two engaged individuals. These types of licenses are also not available in public records.

Oklahoma offers public marriage licenses requiring two witnesses that can be applied for through the county clerk’s office. Additionally, members of Native American tribes in Oklahoma can process a marriage license through their tribe’s district court.

What Is the Application Timeline?

When you’re planning a wedding, you and your partner are responsible for staying on top of all kinds of deadlines. Knowing what to prioritize and when to complete each item on your to-do list can be challenging. Whether it’s sending email reminders to yourself or creating a spreadsheet of important dates, find an organizational system that works for you.

Take a look at this application timeline, and be sure to plan accordingly.

  • Start by booking an appointment at the county clerk’s office. Depending on how populated your county is, this may take longer for some couples than others. To avoid any last-minute hang-ups, start looking for an appointment well in advance. Remember: Both you and your soon-to-be spouse will need to attend.

  • Gather all of the necessary documents (details on this in the next section) once your marriage ceremony appointment is booked, and set them aside in a folder that’s ready to go.

  • Good news: There’s no waiting period in Oklahoma for marriage licenses. In most cases, requests can be processed on the day of application, which means that you should be able to walk out with it in your hand that day.

What’s Required in the Application?

The number of documents you’ll need to apply for a marriage license in Oklahoma is actually quite small. This means that you’ll be able to spend less time rummaging through dusty files of decades-old documents, and more time gushing about how the two of you met on your wedding website.

Once you’ve booked your appointment with the county clerk, here’s what you’ll need to have in hand to ensure that the application process goes smoothly:

  • Identification – Both couples must present valid photo ID on the day of their appointment. The types of identification accepted include state ID, military ID, valid driver’s license, valid passport, and/or a certified copy of your birth certificate.

  • Fee – A fee of $50 (Note: Some offices may accept cash or check payments only). A reduced fee of $5 is available to couples who have completed a premarital counseling program.

  • Counseling Completion Certification – Couples who have participated in at least four hours of marriage counseling will need to present an original copy certifying that the counseling was completed in accordance with Oklahoma Statute 43 O.S. 5.1.

  • Officiant’s Credentials – To be approved, the minister, priest, rabbi, imam, or whomever you have selected to marry you and your partner must present their credentials to the county clerk’s office, too. No fee for this is required. Keep in mind that, unlike many other states, Oklahoma does not have a Justice of the Peace.

That’s nearly everything. Not too bad, right? There are just a few more details that you’ll need to consider regarding the application process and the validity of your marriage certificate. Find out more in the section below.

Things to Know About Your Oklahoma Marriage License

Getting an Oklahoma marriage license is pretty clear-cut. But, when it comes to wedding planning, it’s important to be thorough. Review these items below, so that you’re not surprised by any additional requirements or exceptions at the last minute.

How Long Is the Waiting Period Between Applying for and Receiving the Marriage License?

In most cases in Oklahoma, there is no waiting period between applying for and receiving the marriage license. Many licenses are issued on the very same day as the appointment. However, if this is not you or your spouse’s first marriage, it’s important to note that Oklahoma requires residents to wait six months from the time that a divorce has been finalized to the time that a new marriage license is requested.

Additionally, if one or both individuals are 16 or 17 years of age and applying for a marriage license with parental consent, there is a waiting period of 72 hours.

When Does an Oklahoma Marriage License Expire?

Oklahoma marriage licenses are only valid for 10 days. This means that marriage licenses may not be issued more than 10 days prior to the date of the wedding ceremony. Be sure to keep this in mind when booking your appointment at the county clerk’s office, so that you don’t end up having to go through the process twice.

Is a Blood Test Required to Marry in Oklahoma?

Historically, states required individuals to undergo blood testing prior to marriage to check for diseases such as rubella and syphilis. The majority of states have removed this requirement, including Oklahoma. So, no—no need to face your fear of needles before your wedding day.

When Should I Start Applying for My Marriage License in Oklahoma?

It’s a fantastic feeling to check things off of your pre-wedding to-do list as early as you can (especially if you’re using Zola’s ultimate wedding checklist), but remember that marriage licenses in Oklahoma expire after just 10 days. To get ahead of the game, you can request that your officiant submit his or her credentials to the county clerk beforehand so that the state can keep them on file.

Otherwise, consider scheduling an appointment to apply for the certificate seven to 10 days before the date of your wedding. Secure your time slot by calling ahead or booking online. Just in case you run into unexpected obstacles, avoid applying within a day or two of the ceremony.

What Might Invalidate a Marriage License Application in Oklahoma?

As long as you complete the necessary steps, pay the fee, and provide the right documentation, your request for a marriage license should have no trouble getting approved. However, falsifying information is generally a no-no when it comes to most things in life and could disqualify you rather quickly from obtaining permission to marry.

To be clear, here’s a list of what not to do in order to avoid invalidating your marriage license:

  • Do not provide false information on the marriage license application.

  • Don’t attempt to apply for a marriage license as a minor without consent from a parent or legal guardian.

  • Don’t submit an application without signatures from both applying parties.

  • Don’t forget that your marriage license must be used within 10 days of issuance. If it has expired before the date of your ceremony, you’ll have to reapply or the marriage itself could be declared invalid.

Marriage Laws Unique to Oklahoma

Each state has its own set of laws pertaining to marriage. Did you know that it’s illegal in Kentucky to marry the same person four times? We’re not sure why you’d want to, but Kentucky is putting their foot down on the matter just in case.

Curious to know if Oklahoma has anything equally as odd? Have a look over this list of Oklahoma marriage laws to be mindful of if you’re getting married in this state.

  • Because of the high population of Native Americans in Oklahoma, an application for a marriage license may be submitted through a tribe’s district court instead of the county clerk, if you or your partner are a member. In fact, Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation has issued 412 marriage licenses since 1994.

  • This may not be unique just to Oklahoma, but minors under the age of 16 are prohibited from getting married even with consent from a parent or legal guardian.

  • As is the case in several other states, bigamy is illegal in Oklahoma. This means that, unless you qualify for an exception, you are not eligible to get married if you’re already legally married to someone else.

  • In 2017, Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill that decriminalized the seduction of a virgin by promising marriage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marriage in Oklahoma

There’s no such thing as a silly question—especially when it comes to marriage. You’re more than ready to take the life-long plunge with your partner, but there are still a number of legal questions that you’d like to get the facts on. Here are a few topics that you might be curious to know more about.

Are Proxy Marriages Allowed in Oklahoma?

A proxy marriage is a wedding in which one of the two individuals to be wed is not physically present for the occasion. Instead, a sort of spouse substitute steps in to commit to the vows on their behalf. Proxy marriages are not allowed in Oklahoma. Both parties must be in attendance in order for the union to be considered legally valid.

Are Same-Sex Marriages Allowed in Oklahoma?

Yes. As of October 6, 2014 same-sex couples were granted equal rights to marriage when the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit determined it was unconstitutional to deny same-sex partnerships the freedom to marry in Oklahoma.

Do I Have to Be a Resident of Oklahoma in Order to Get Married There?

There are no residency requirements to get married in Oklahoma. If you’re coming from out of state, you’ll be just as eligible to marry in the state as an Oklahoman is. There is also no need to apply for a marriage license in Oklahoma if you’ve already done so in your state of residency.

Is There a Difference Between Marriage Licenses and Marriage Certificates?

Great question! There is often a lot of confusion surrounding these two terms. Though they are quite similar in name, there’s an important distinction between them that you’ll need to know if you’re tying the knot.

Before you’re set to wed, you’ll need to apply for a marriage license to obtain legal permission to do so.

After your ceremony, you’ll need to return your signed marriage license back to the county clerk’s office in order to receive your marriage certificate shortly thereafter. This document, unlike a marriage license, is proof that you and your partner are now legally married.

Why Is There a Waiting Period?

There is no waiting period between the date a marriage license is applied for and the date of the wedding for couples in Oklahoma. However, here are a handful of states that mandate a one, two, or three-day waiting period. Delaware, Illinois, and Texas still maintain this requirement to discourage couples from making rash decisions about getting married.

What to Do After You Get Your Marriage License

It’s almost time to say “I do,” because you’ve finally got your marriage license in hand. So, what’s next? You’ve just about jumped through all of the paperwork hoops, but there are a few more loose ends that you’ll need to tie up before you can claim official married status.

Here’s how to proceed:

  • Get it signed by all the right people in a timely fashion. Triple-check to make sure that you and your partner have both signed the marriage license. The other signatures you’ll need are one from your officiant, and one from each of your two required witnesses.

  • Make sure that you send it to the right place. Whether you hand-deliver it or you send it by mail, your signed marriage license should be returned to the county clerk’s office—the same place you went to apply for it. Here’s an important deadline to remember: Return the marriage license within 30 days of issuance, not within 30 days of your wedding date.

  • Don’t forget to ask for copies of your marriage license. Three certified copies should suffice. You’ll need these for insurance, social security, the IRS, and bank accounts. If you end up needing more, they can always be requested later from the county clerk’s office.

What Is the Difference Between a Domestic Partnership and a Marriage?

For couples deciding between marriage and a domestic partnership, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each is helpful in choosing which path is right for them. Before the US Supreme Court ruling in 2015, domestic partnerships were common among same-sex couples. This type of union, however, is not limited just to same-sex partners. Many heterosexual pairs have opted for this alternative to marriage too.

Though the benefits of domestic partnerships vary largely from state to state, here a few possible benefits to be aware of:

  • Access to a family health insurance policy
  • Exemption from the marriage tax penalty
  • Access to full legal rights of a child born in the domestic partnership
  • Rights to bereavement and sick leave

These are a few of the rights available only to married couples:

  • Immigration sponsorship for a spouse
  • Division of assets in the case of a divorce
  • Right to inherit a spouse’s estate
  • Access to social security and pension benefits through a spouse

Are Domestic Partnerships Recognized in Oklahoma?

Domestic partnerships are not officially recognized in Oklahoma. Therefore the state does not provide any specific rights or benefits to couples registered as domestic partners. Other states listed as “No Rights” states include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Tips and Tricks for Getting Married in Oklahoma

You’re getting married in Oklahoma which means, aside from spending time celebrating love with your closest friends and family, you get to do so in one of the most beautiful states. From the red sandstone of the Red Bed Plains to the extensive Prairie Plains of the northeast, Oklahoma offers an array of idyllic locations perfect for a romantic wedding.

Here are a few state-specific details that you’ll want to keep in mind before your big day in Oklahoma:

  • Find Pre-Approved Vendors at Zola – If you’re coming from out of state, it can be difficult to find trusted vendors who will make your day special. Luckily, Zola has made the vendor search easy with our list of pre-screened wedding vendors. Sort through everything from catering companies to entertainment with just a few clicks.

  • The Most Popular Months to Get Married – June, September, and October are the most popular times of year to get married in Oklahoma. It tends to be when the weather cooperates the most. October, in particular, puts on a show of colors with its fall foliage. Since these months can be in such high demand, you’ll want to be sure that you’ve booked your wedding venue well in advance in order to secure your desired date.

  • Weather – April and May are months with a history of high tornado risk in Oklahoma. Though there is never a guarantee when it comes to weather, this is something you may want to consider when it comes to travel and guest safety. If you’re planning to make it official in a typically rainy month, be sure that your venue has indoor options available. Additionally, if you’ve opted for a midsummer celebration, be mindful of high temperatures, and dress accordingly.

  • Airports and Local Transportation – If you or your guests are flying in from outside of Oklahoma, Tulsa International Airport and Will Rogers World Airport are two of the major aviation hubs in the state. Public transportations can be limited in Oklahoma, so your out-of-state guests may want to consider renting a car for getting to and from their weekend accommodations.

Plan the Perfect Oklahoma Wedding at Zola

If you’re getting married, being knowledgeable about the marriage laws in your state is important. You don’t need to know all the statutes by heart for your Oklahoma wedding, but being aware of the requirements and timelines for marriage license application is an investment of time that could spare you from unexpected hassles down the road.

Besides, you’d rather spend more time choosing your venue, matching your wedding invitations to your wedding theme, and picking out your favorite items to add to your wedding registry. No signatures or trips to the county clerk necessary for this stage of wedding planning. Just a click or a tap over to Zola.

From there you’ll be able to:

  • Search through an array of pre-screened and jaw-droppingly beautiful vendors.

  • Get free advice and personalized recommendations from your very own Zola advisor.

  • Share your love story and all of the important event information on an easy-to-build wedding website.

Zola is here to offset the slightly more bland legal aspects of getting married by adding a colorful array of tools to help you with everything else. Join the thousands of couples who are building a better-than-their-dream wedding at Zola today.

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