Unlocking Forever: What To Do With Your Marriage License After Saying ‘I Do’

Getting married is a momentous occasion that marks the beginning of a new chapter in one’s life. After months of planning and anticipation, the wedding day has finally come and gone, and now you are officially married. While the festivities may have ended, there is still one important task to take care of – your marriage license. This piece of paper holds significant importance as it legalizes your union and serves as proof of your marriage. However, many newlyweds are left wondering what to do with their marriage license after the wedding. In this article, we will guide you through the process and provide useful tips on what to do with your marriage license after saying “I do.”

The Importance of a Marriage License

A marriage license is an official document issued by the government that legally recognizes a couple’s union as husband and wife. It serves as proof of marriage and is required for several purposes, including changing last names, updating marital status on legal documents, and applying for spousal benefits. Therefore, it is crucial to handle your marriage license with care and take the necessary steps after your wedding.

Step 1: Have Your Marriage License Signed

After exchanging vows and saying “I do,” it is essential to have your marriage license signed by both parties, along with the officiant or witnesses (if required by your state’s law). The signatures on the marriage license indicate that the ceremony has taken place and confirms the legality of your marriage. Make sure to check with your state’s requirements to ensure you have all the proper signatures.

Step 2: Obtain Certified Copies

Once your marriage license is signed, it is a good idea to obtain several certified copies for future use. These copies must be obtained from the county clerk’s office where you applied for your marriage license. Having certified copies ensures that you have proof of marriage without having to continually request copies. It also comes in handy when changing last names or updating legal documents in the future.

Step 3: Change Last Names

One of the most common reasons couples get a certified copy of their marriage license is to change their last names. The process for changing last names differs from state to state, but most require a copy of a certified marriage license as proof of the name change. Be sure to check with your local government offices on what documents are needed to change your last name before beginning this process.

Step 4: Update Legal Documents

After getting married, you will need to update your legal documents to reflect your new marital status. This includes updating tax forms, insurance policies, and any other legal documents you both may have. Again, having a certified copy of your marriage license comes in handy as proof of your marriage when updating these documents.

Step 5: Apply for Spousal Benefits

Marriage licenses also serve as proof of marriage when applying for spousal benefits. These can include health insurance, retirement plans, or other benefits offered by employers. Having certified copies of your marriage license will make the process of applying for these benefits smoother and faster.

Important Tips to Remember

– It is vital to apply for your marriage license before your wedding day as most states have a waiting period between application and issuance.
– Some states require that you pick up your marriage license in person, so be sure to double-check before mailing in an application.
– Make sure all information on the marriage license is accurate before signing it.
– Keep your original marriage license in a safe place and only use the certified copies for official business.
– If getting married outside of the country, be sure to research the destination’s requirements for obtaining a legal marriage certificate.
– Remember to inform all necessary parties of your name change after getting married, including banks, credit card companies, and utility providers.

Your marriage license is an essential document that holds significant value both legally and personally. Handling it with care and taking the necessary steps after your wedding will ensure you have everything you need to prove your union as husband and wife. Remember to obtain certified copies, update legal documents, and check with local government offices on name change processes to make the most out of your marriage license. Congratulations on this new chapter in your life!

What To Do With Your Marriage License After Your Wedding

After months of planning, the big day has finally arrived. The wedding was perfect, with all your loved ones gathered to witness you and your partner exchange vows and start your new life together. But now that the festivities are over, what should you do with that all-important piece of paper, your marriage license?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about what to do with your marriage license after your wedding.

Understanding the Purpose of a Marriage License

Before we dive into the post-wedding tasks, it’s essential to understand the purpose of a marriage license. While each state may have slightly different requirements, the general purpose of a marriage license is to legally document your marriage. It serves as proof that you and your partner have met all the legal requirements to be recognized as a married couple.

Get Your Marriage License Before Your Wedding

The first step in figuring out what to do with your marriage license after your wedding is making sure you get it before the big day. Each state has its own rules and regulations for obtaining a marriage license. In most cases, both parties must be present when applying for the license and must provide appropriate identification.

It’s crucial to get your marriage license at least a few days before your wedding to avoid any unnecessary stress or setbacks on the big day. Make sure to check with your local county clerk’s office regarding specific requirements and timelines.

Sign and File Your Marriage License

Once you have obtained your marriage license, certain steps need to be taken before it becomes legally binding. The first is signing it during the ceremony in front of an official witness or notary public from the county clerk’s office.

Afterward, this signed license must be filed with the county for record-keeping purposes. This can typically be done by mail or in person, depending on the state’s requirements. Make sure to confirm this process with your county clerk’s office before the wedding day.

Obtain Certified Copies

It’s always a good idea to request certified copies of your marriage license once it has been filed with the county. These copies serve as proof of your marriage and may be needed when changing your last name, updating your identification documents, or for other legal purposes.

It’s recommended to get at least two certified copies and keep them in a safe place, such as a fireproof safe or a safety deposit box.

Notify Social Security Administration and Update Your Name

If you plan on changing your last name after getting married, one of the first steps is to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA). You will need to fill out an application for a new Social Security card and provide proof of your marriage, such as a certified copy of your marriage license.

Once you receive your new Social Security card, you can then proceed with updating other important documents such as your driver’s license, passport, credit cards, bank accounts, and any other accounts under your previous name.

Update Your Beneficiaries

If you have any life insurance policies or retirement accounts that list beneficiaries, it’s crucial to update them after getting married. These types of accounts often have serious consequences if something were to happen to you without updating them accordingly.

Make sure to review all beneficiary designations and update them with your spouse’s information if desired. This process will provide peace of mind knowing that in case of any unexpected events; your assets will be taken care of accordingly.

Joint Financial Accounts

After getting married, many couples choose to open joint bank accounts for shared expenses. To do this, you may need to provide evidence of marriage, such as a certified copy of your marriage license. Make sure to check with your financial institution about their requirements for opening joint accounts.

Also, if you have any joint financial obligations, such as loans or credit cards, it’s essential to update them with your new marital status and potentially add your spouse as an authorized user or account holder.

Change Your Tax Filing Status

Getting married can also affect how you file your taxes. After updating your Social Security information with the SSA, make sure to let the IRS know about your new tax filing status. This may impact how much tax you and your spouse owe or receive as a refund.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional tax advisor or accountant to determine the best way to file taxes for you and your spouse after getting married.


In conclusion, there are several things you need to do with your marriage license after your wedding. From signing and filing it with the county to updating important documents and accounts, these steps are crucial in ensuring that your marriage is legally recognized.

Make sure to plan ahead and research your state’s specific requirements for obtaining and filing a marriage license. And don’t forget to update all necessary documents and accounts accordingly. With proper

Q: What should I do with my marriage license after my wedding?
A: You will need to return the signed and completed marriage license to the issuing authority within a specified time period, usually within 10 days.

Q: How do I return my marriage license?
A: The preferred method of returning the marriage license is by mail, although some counties may allow for in-person drop-off. Be sure to follow any specific instructions given by the issuing authority.

Q: Can I keep a copy of my marriage license for my records?
A: Yes, it is recommended to keep a copy of your marriage license for your personal records. The original document will be filed with the county clerk’s office.

Q: Will I receive a certified copy of my marriage license?
A: Yes, after your completed marriage license has been processed by the county clerk’s office, you can request certified copies for legal purposes. These are often needed for name change documentation or obtaining joint insurance coverage.

Q: What if I need to make changes or corrections on my marriage license?
A: Any necessary changes or corrections must be made before the officiant and witnesses sign the document. If changes need to be made afterwards, you will need to apply for an amended marriage certificate with the county clerk’s office.

Q: Can I still get married if I misplace or lose my marriage license?
A: No, a new marriage license will need to be obtained from the issuing authority. It is important to keep track of your marriage license before and after your wedding ceremony.

In conclusion, receiving a marriage license is an essential step in the wedding process. While it may seem like just a piece of paper, it holds significant legal and symbolic meaning for couples. After the wedding, there are a few important things to do with the marriage license.

Firstly, ensure that your marriage license is properly signed by both parties and the officiant. This is crucial in legally recognizing your marriage. It is also important to follow any specific guidelines or requirements from your state or country regarding the submission of the license.

Another crucial step is to obtain certified copies of your marriage license for future use. These can be needed for name changes, applying for joint accounts or insurance, or any legal documentation that requires proof of your marriage.

Additionally, it is recommended to keep a copy of your marriage license in a safe and easily accessible place. This will make it easier to refer to in the future if needed.

Along with these practical steps, couples should also take time to reflect on the significance of their marriage license. It represents a commitment to each other and serves as a reminder of the promises made on their special day.

Overall, obtaining and properly handling a marriage license after the wedding serves as an important reminder of the legal and emotional bond between two individuals. By following these steps

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Kelsey Garrison
Kelsey Garrison, our esteemed author and a passionate writer in the world of weddings and bridal fashion, has been an integral part of our website since its inception.

With a rich history in creating engaging content, Kelsey has consistently brought fresh insights and valuable information to our readers.

Starting in 2024, Kelsey made a significant transition to focus specifically on the "Wedding/Bridal Fashion, Wedding Tips" niche. This shift was driven by her desire to delve deeper into the intricacies of wedding planning and bridal fashion—a field that blends timeless elegance with contemporary trends.

Her articles are meticulously researched and designed to provide thorough answers and innovative ideas for all things wedding-related.