Where Do I Go to Apply for a Marriage License
You may go to any county seat in Washington State to obtain a marriage license. Keep in mind that the fees vary from county to county. To obtain a license in Columbia County you may go to the Auditor's office in the County courthouse.
Both applicants must be at least 18 years of age or older and must have a current photo ID as proof of your age. Applicants who are 17 years of age must be accompanied by one parent or legal guardian who can provide consent. Applicants under the age of 17 must obtain permission from the Family Court.
Blood tests and physical exams are not required to obtain a marriage license.
Applicants do not have to be residents of the State of Washington to obtain a marriage license. The license is only valid for weddings that are performed within the State of Washington.
Proof of divorce from a previous spouse, or death of a spouse, is not required to obtain a marriage license. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the final decree of divorce is filed before applying for a new marriage license.
There is a three (3) day waiting period beginning the first day after you apply for your license and ending the third day following the date of application. You may not get married during this waiting period. The License is valid for 60 days beginning on the 3rd day after application.
To obtain a marriage license, a $36 fee is payable at the time of application and must be paid by cash or money order. The fee is non-refundable.
For those who are unable to complete the application in person, forms can be downloaded and returned by mail with payment. Information on these forms must be legible so typewritten or hand printed is preferred. Signatures must be notarized on the Application and all fields for Person A and Person B, including Social Security numbers, must be completed on the Department of Health Certificate of Marriage. Upon receipt our office will process the application and return the necessary Certificates for the marriage ceremony. An instruction sheet will also accompany the Certificates.
Link to forms
Performing the Ceremony
State law prescribes who can perform a marriage ceremony: active and retired Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals judges, Superior Court judges, Superior Court commissioners, and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction, as well as any regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest of any church or religious denomination. See RCW 26.04.050 for a complete list. You may contact a District Court Judge at (509)382-4812.
Ministers from any state may perform marriage ceremonies, but the ceremony must be performed in the State of Washington. Neither the bride nor the groom may perform the ceremony.
Marriages are Public Record
All marriage records are a matter of public record. The one exception to this is for those enrolled in the State's Address Confidentiality program. Once a license has been recorded, it cannot be "unrecorded". All public documents, including marriage certificates, are available from the Recording Department.
Copies of Marriage Licenses
Certified copies of marriage licenses are available for $3 a copy (photocopies are available for $1 each) after the marriage certificates have been filed. A certified copy is not automatically issued to you.
To request a copy, contact the Columbia County Recording Department at (509) 382-4541. Requests may also be made by mail or in person at the Columbia County Auditor's office:
Note: If you are requesting a copy by mail, please include the bride's name, groom's name, and date of marriage.