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North Carolina Marriage Laws

Marriage law in North Carolina is overseen by Chapter 51 of the North Carolina General Statute. In order to marry in North Carolina, you must have a marriage license. Both the bride and groom are required to be present for the marriage license application; however one party may appear with a sworn and notarized affidavit on behalf of the other person. If the bride and/or groom are between the ages of 18 and 20, they must present a birth certificate. If between the ages of 16 and 17, they must present parental consent form that has been signed and notarized. If between the ages of 14 and 15, they must present a court order for marriage to continue. No one under the age of 14 will be issued a license to be married in North Carolina.

A marriage license is valid in North Carolina for 60 days after issuing, and there is no waiting period at the time of application. There is a license fee of $50 cash is required. Your marriage license is valid throughout North Carolina, but can not be transferred into other states. No blood tests or medical tests are required in order to obtain a marriage license.

Your marriage in North Carolina may be solemnized by any ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister as ordained by a church or by a magistrate. You must also have two witnesses at your wedding ceremony.

North Carolina does not recognize common law marriages or same sex marriages. There are prohibited degrees of kinship, by first blood relatives, however first cousins may marry unless they are double first cousins—related as cousins through both parents.

Always check with your local town or county office to ensure that the marriage laws haven’t changed and that you have everything you need in order to marry in the State of North Carolina.

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