Marriage Licenses

(*See disclaimer below)

Licensing for South Carolina

Who must apply?

Both parties must appear together to apply for a marriage license.  

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.  Foreign nationals may have certain restrictions, please check with the courthouse or your Officiant for further details.

What documents are required to apply?

Both applicants must have current photo ID: U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, U.S. military ID, permanent resident card, driver's license or state photo ID card issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL), or foreign government issued passport

Are there other eligibility requirements?

Both applicants must currently be unmarried

Both applicants must be at least 18 years old or can meet the age requirements

Both applicants must not be nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whole or half blood

Where is my license valid?

A marriage license purchased from any county in South Carolina can be used to get married anywhere in South Carolina


If you plan to marry in another state or country, you must apply for its marriage license and comply with its laws for getting married

What is the cost?

The cost varies depending on the county you apply - but averages between $40-$70. 

Your fee can be paid by personal checks, cashier's checks, and money orders (payable to the county you received your license).  Credit/debit cards - Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express - may be charged a convenience fee by your bank and the county issuing your license.  


Cash may be used in-person only - never mail cash payments. 

Time Sensitive Information

There is a twenty-four-hour waiting period for your license, and your license is valid for six months.  This means if you are getting married on Saturday, you MUST apply for your license no later than the Thursday before your wedding so you can pick up on Friday.  Both must attend in person to apply, but only one party needs to be present to pick the license up.

Do we need to have witnesses present?

No, South Carolina does not require witnesses to be present at your ceremony.  

What happens after the ceremony?

Immediately following the ceremony, the couple and the officiant must sign the marriage certificate in triplicate, after which time you will receive your certified copy right then. The officiant will mail the other two duplicate originals to the appropriate South Carolina offices.  

Retain your certified document to bring with you when initiating name changes at Social Security and then the Department of Motor Vehicles for a new driver's license as proof of marriage following your wedding day!  

Should you lose your certified copy, you must contact the county you applied for your license to obtain another certified copy of your marriage license.

Disclaimer - the fine print

Each State (and County) licensing can vary from state-to-state, so outside the State of South Carolina, you are strongly encouraged to double check with the local county courthouse if you haven't already done so as laws are subject to change without notice. Keep in mind, obtaining and having your marriage license and driver's license on hand the day of your wedding is completely the responsibility of the engaged/married couple.  Both are required to perform your ceremony.  Avow will ensure all your license information is completed to file your paperwork after your ceremony with the appropriate legal authorities.