How to Apply for a Marriage License in Charleston

Now that you've found the perfect wedding officiant for your Charleston elopement, it's time to navigate the process of obtaining a marriage license. This essential step ensures the legality of your union. Here's a comprehensive guide on applying for a marriage license in Charleston.

Understanding the Rules and Requirements

  • Residency: South Carolina does not require you to be a resident of the state to obtain a marriage license. You can apply regardless of your place of residence.
  • Age: Both parties must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Minors aged 16 or 17 can marry with parental consent, and those under 16 generally require a court order.
  • Application: Visit the Charleston County Probate Court to complete the marriage license application. Both parties must appear in person to apply.
  • Fees: The cost of a marriage license varies, so be sure to check the current fees. Payment methods may also differ, so bring cash or a credit card to cover the cost.
  • Waiting Period: South Carolina has a 24-hour waiting period between the time you apply for a marriage license and when it is issued. Plan your visit accordingly.

Timing Your Marriage License Application

It's crucial to time your marriage license application correctly to ensure it's valid on your wedding day. Marriage licenses in South Carolina are typically valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Keep this in mind when planning your Charleston elopement and coordinate with your officiant to choose a date within this timeframe.

Completing the Process

After successfully applying for your marriage license, it's time to entrust it to your chosen officiant. They will ensure it is properly signed and filed after your ceremony, making your marriage official in the eyes of the law. With your marriage license in hand and the right officiant by your side, your Charleston elopement will be a day to remember.

    Dennis Aliaksandrou: The Charleston Wedding Photographer

    Article author:
    Dennis A. / Lead Photographer