Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! Applying for and picking up your marriage license is quick and easy.
To become legally married in Washington state, you must:
- Apply for and receive a marriage license through Snohomish County Recording at least 3 days before your ceremony
- Participate in a civil or religious ceremony in Washington State
- Complete and return the Department of Health Certificate of Marriage
3-Day Waiting Period, 60-Day Expiration
Note: Washington state law requires a three-day (3) waiting period before you can get married. Marriage licenses are valid for 60 days after the three-day waiting period. The three-day waiting period cannot be waived under any circumstance, including a court order.
Apply Online/In person
The fastest way to receive a marriage license is to submit your application online, then pick up and pay for your license in person at least 3 days before the ceremony.
- Fill out an online marriage license application at least 3 days before the ceremony here.
- Make note of your confirmation number. You will need it to complete step 2.
- Visit the Snohomish County Customer Service Center in person to complete the process.
- No appointment is needed, but both parties must be present unless one party has already signed the application in front of a notary.
- Sign your completed application and pay the $70.00 fee by cash, check, money order, or card.
- Recording staff will give you your marriage license, a Certificate of Marriage, and an information packet.
- Once you have 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.
Apply by mail
Approximate processing time: two weeks. We recommend submitting your completed application and payment at least three weeks before your marriage ceremony in order to receive the marriage license by that date.
- Download the Marriage License Application (PDF).
- The application is a fillable form. Please type your information into the fields provided. If you are unable to complete the top portion of the form electronically, please write legibly using blue or black ink.
- Print the application, then sign it in front of a notary and have them sign and attach their seal.
- Include a check, money order, or cashier’s check for $70.00, payable to the Snohomish County Auditor. Write your current phone number on the memo line or next to your name.
- Mail the completed application and fee to:
Snohomish County Recording
3000 Rockefeller Ave M/S 204
Everett, WA 98201
- Snohomish County Recording 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
Recording 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 Recording. The certificate must be returned to Snohomish County Recording, even if the ceremony took place in another county.
Recording 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.
- We applied online. Now what?
Submitting the online marriage application is the first step toward completing your marriage licensing process. The next step is for both parties to come in person to one of our locations with a valid photo ID and $70 to finalize the application process.
- Who can perform my wedding ceremony?
Your ceremony can be performed by anyone who meets the criteria for wedding officiants described in Washington state law. See our Marriage page for more information.
- How do we obtain certified copies after the ceremony?
- How do I change my name after marriage?
There is no legal requirement for either party in a marriage to change their name once married. If you do decide to assume a new last name, you must take a certified copy of your marriage license to notify the necessary agencies individually. Click here to view a list of agencies to consider changing or updating your name with.