To become legally married in Washington state, you must:
- Apply for and receive a marriage license
- Participate in a civil or religious ceremony in Washington State
- Complete and return the Department of Health Certificate of Marriage
Couples may apply for a Washington State marriage license in person or by mail through the Recording Division. After receiving a completed application and fee, we will issue a license to use at your ceremony.
The license is valid (can be used) the third full day after Recording issues you the license and expires 60 days after being issued. The three day waiting period cannot be waived under any circumstance, including court order.
- Visit the Snohomish County Customer Service Center to apply in person. Both parties must be present unless one party has already signed the application in front of a notary.
- Recording staff will swear you in and give you a blank marriage license application form to complete and sign.
- Pay the $70.00 fee by cash, money order, cashier's check, Visa, or Mastercard. Personal checks are not accepted.
- Recording staff will issue your marriage license and a Certificate of Marriage and give you an information packet.
If applying by mail, we recommend submitting the completed and notarized application and payment 30 days before your marriage ceremony. This will allow Recording enough time to process the application and send your license by mail.
- Download the Marriage License Application (PDF).
- Complete the application in blue or black ink in clear, legible writing.
- Sign the application in front of a notary and have them sign it and attach their seal.
- Include a money order or cashier's check for $70.00, payable to the Snohomish County Auditor. Personal checks are not accepted.
- Mail the completed application and fee to:
Snohomish County Auditor's Office - Recording Division
300 Rockefeller Ave M/S 204
Everett, WA 98201
- The Recording Division will process your application and mail you your marriage license, a Certificate of Marriage, and an information packet.
Once you've received your marriage license, your ceremony must take place within 60 days after Recording issued your marriage license. The license is also not valid until three days after being issued. The three day waiting period cannot be waived under any circumstance, including court order. If your ceremony does not take place in this window of time, the license becomes void and you must apply again.
The ceremony can be performed by:
- Licensed or ordained ministers or priests of any church or denomination
- Supreme Court Justices and Commissioners
- Court of Appeals Judges and Commissioners
- Superior Court Judges and Commissioners
- Judges and Commissioners of courts of limited jurisdiction
- Judges of tribal courts from a federally recognized tribe
The Recording Division maintains a list of local judges and commissioners available to perform ceremonies. Please contact the judge or commissioner directly. A fee may apply.
The officiant who performs your ceremony has 30 days from the date of the ceremony to return the Department of Health Certificate of Marriage to the Recording Division. The certificate must be returned to the Snohomish County Recording Division, even if the ceremony took place in another county.
The Recording Division will verify and record the certificate. Once this process is complete, you may request certified copies of your marriage certificate. Certified copies can be used as proof of marriage. Certified copies are not automatically sent to married couples.
If you need a certified copy immediately after your ceremony, you should return in person to the Snohomish County Customer Service Center with the completed Certificate of Marriage.