Montana law requires a couple to obtain a marriage license in order to have a legally binding wedding ceremony. Proof of identification and a license application fee is also required. The marriage license application cost in Montana is $53 in cash. Checks, debit cards, and credit cards are not accepted.
The marriage requirements for men and women who are 18 years of age or older are found in MCA Sec. 40-1-203 (see below). This includes certified copies of birth certificates, blood test waiver (form available in the Clerk's office) and certified copies of divorce decrees. If your birth certificate is from a foreign country, the Clerk's office will need a certified copy of the certificate. It must then be translated to English, by a person authorized to do so, and their signature must be notarized.
Do not have to be a resident of Montana.
A certified copy of the divorce decree is required.
License applications can be obtained from the Clerk of the District Court in any Montana county. Complete applications cannot be filed by mail; both parties must be present in front of the Clerk. If both parties are non-residents of Montana, obtain the license application from the Clerk in the county in which the ceremony will be performed. If one party is a non-resident, his/her part can be sworn to or affirmed in the county and state in which he/she resides.
No waiting period unless under the age of 18.
As of October 1, 2007, a rubella blood test is no longer required for a bride between the ages of 18 and 50. The parties may sign an Informed Consent/Waiver of Requirement of Blood Test form. This form is available at the Clerk of District Court’s Office or online at the MT Dept. of Public Health & Human Services website. If you obtain the form from a source other than the Clerk of District Court, please bring the form with you when applying for your marriage license. If the bride is over the age of 50, no waiver is required.
Those persons desiring to consummate a marriage by written declaration without solemnization must secure the premarital blood test waiver (available in the Clerk's office) for the female prior to executing the declaration (40-1-311 through 313 & 40-1-323).
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have the consent of both parents unless only one parent has legal custody of you. Proof of age must be in the form of a certified copy of your birth certificate. Both of you, as a couple, will also have to attend at least two counseling sessions that are at least 10 days apart. This has to be done with a designated counselor who will then have to provide a letter that states the names of the couple, their ages, the dates of the counseling sessions, and what the counselor thinks about their possible marriage. Then judicial consent signed by a district court judge must be given for the Clerk of court's office to issue a marriage license. No one 15 years of age or younger may marry in Montana.
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed. If you need to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
40-1-301. Solemnization and Registration:
(1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the clerk of the district court.
(2) If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization, he may authorize in writing a third person to act as his proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied that the absent party is unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, he may solemnize the marriage by proxy. If he is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy.
(3) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it, if either party to the marriage believed him to be so qualified.
History: En. 48-309 by Sec. 9, Ch. 536, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 33, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 48-309(1), (2), (4); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 247, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 348, L. 1985.
Within the 30-day period after the marriage license is issued, the marriage must be "solemnized" by one of the following:
• A clergyman or clergywoman, active or retired, who is in good standing with any church or synagogue in Montana;
• A Circuit Court or Associate Circuit Court judge (who are prohibited by a Montana Constitutional provision from receiving any compensation for the service);
• A religious society, institution or organization in Montana of which either marriage party is a member, in accordance with the organization?s regulations and customs.
Within 90 days after the marriage ceremony, the person solemnizing the marriage must complete the marriage certificate issued with the marriage license and return it to the office of the issuing Recorder. Lack of witnesses does not render a marriage invalid. However, two witnesses can submit an affidavit that the marriage ceremony took place if the certificate is lost or destroyed and the person who solemnized the marriage is unavailable.
Yes. Any marriage by proxy may be found under Sections 40-1-301(2) and 40-1-213(3).
Ministers of the gospel of any denomination may perform marriages. Ministers must complete and return a marriage certificate to the clerk of the district court within 30 days after the marriage. Also the minister must provide marriage certificates to the bride and groom upon request.
License is valid for 180 days. Marriage licenses are like cream; if you don't use it straight away, eventually it will go sour. Montana marriage licenses expire after 6 Months. If your license expires before you wed, you can reapply for another license.
While the record that a marriage occurred is public in Montana, the personal information about the bride and groom contained in the marriage license application is confidential and generally available only to immediate family members.
The license can only be used within the State of Montana.
Additional details of the license requirements are available in the Montana Codes Annotated, Title 40 Family Law, Chapter 1 Marriage.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage:
Department of Health and Human Services
Vital Statistics Bureau
111 N. Sanders, Room 205
Helena, MT 59620
Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.
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