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Colorado Marriage Laws


The wild, rugged landscapes of Colorado make it a popular and scenic destination for engaged couples. Exchange your vows overlooking a gorgeous vista or surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Then, retire to a sumptuous honeymoon at Colorado’s hot springs, where a dazzling variety of resorts are ready to cater to your every whim. If you’re the more outdoorsy type, take advantage of Colorado’s many natural attractions. Spend your honeymoon skiing and snowboarding down some of the finest slopes in the world, or head to one of the four national parks within the state’s borders. Because of its unique and beautiful environment, Colorado recognizes its appeal to couples and makes getting married in the Centennial State quite simple. However, you will need certain items to obtain a marriage license, and there are some restrictions, so be sure you know Colorado’s marriage laws before you head out the door.

Valid US ID

Colorado requires a valid ID to issue marriage licenses. This means a government-issued ID such as a passport, drivers’ license or military ID. If either of the couple have been divorced, the state requires that the date and location be recorded under oath. You will also need to know your social security number, so unless you have it memorized, bring your card along as well.

Residency

Colorado does not require that either of the couple be a current or past resident to get married within the state.

Waiting Period

There is no waiting period in Colorado. Although it may not be the most romantic scenario, you can easily get married in a single afternoon in the state. You will, however, need to plan ahead if you want to reserve a location and officiant.

Length Marriage License is Valid

A Colorado-issued marriage license is valid for up to 30 days after signing. After this period expires you must return the license and apply again.

Medical and Other Tests

Colorado does not require any sort of blood or other medical testing prior to marriage.

Age Requirements

Anyone over the age of 18 can marry freely in Colorado. If you are under the age of 18 procedure differs by county. Your local county clerk will be able to tell you what form of consent is required. Generally, you will simply need parental consent, but in some cases judicial approval is also needed.

Marriages by Proxy

If one of the couple cannot attend the wedding for a legitimate reason such as imprisonment or illness, proxy marriages are allowed in Colorado. A notarized application must be submitted and approved, and the present member of the couple must submit identification for both. Colorado does not allow a proxy wedding where both members of the couple are absent.

Previously Married

Colorado doesn’t require proof of divorce, but previously married individuals must declare themselves as such and provide the date and location of their divorce.

Fees and Taxes

Marriage license fees vary by county in Colorado. Some charge as little as $10, but the standard fee is $30. Bring cash, as the vast majority of county clerk’s offices do not accept cards or checks.

Marrying a Cousin

Colorado permits the marriage of first cousins with no restrictions, but does not permit marriage of closer relations.

Common Law

Colorado recognizes common law marriages if certain criteria are met. A common law marriage occurs when two individuals over the age of 18 inhabit the same residence and present themselves as married. A common law marriage does not require a ceremony and can be dissolved through divorce.

Same Sex Marriages

Colorado does not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, nor recognize same-sex marriage.

Wedding Officiants

Colorado requires that a witness be on hand for the license application to be signed, as well as during the ceremony. Colorado allows a wide variety of officiants, including the couple themselves. This means that the bride and groom can marry themselves, but does not apply to non-ordained friends and family. Other acceptable officiants include a current or retired judge, a magistrate, ordained members of any religion or members of a Native American tribe with the power to marry others.

Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate

Once the ceremony is over, newlyweds must turn over their marriage license to the officiant, who will send it to the proper state office. At this time, the bride must choose what her married name will be, and fill it out on the license. A marriage certificate will be issued upon receipt of the finished marriage license.

Premarital Counseling

Colorado does not provide pre-marital counseling, but services are available in most large cities like Denver and Boulder. Premarital counseling is recommended as an excellent resource for young couples who want to avoid the common pitfalls of newlyweds.

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