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Wisconsin Marriage Laws

Wisconsin is quickly becoming a favorite destination for those looking for an intimate wedding. From the placid shores of Lake Geneva to the cherry and apple orchards of Door county Wisconsin has a lot to offer for those looking into either a destination wedding or a wedding in their hometown. Remember that Wisconsin Marriage License Requirements and marriage laws vary from county to county, so before you start looking at honeymoon packages, you might want to make sure you have all the legal requirements taken care of to receive a Wisconsin marriage license.

Wisconsin Marriage Laws and Wisconsin Marriage License Requirements

Valid US ID

You will have to have a social security number while registering. The bride and the groom must bring their drivers license or either two pieces of mail to validate their current address. You must also bring a certified birth certificate when you apply. You will need to know the full names of your parents. This also includes the maiden names of both the bride and grooms mothers. You will want to contact the County Clerks office for any specifics before making the trip. Remember each County has their own set of requirement which must be met.


You do not have to be a resident to marry in the state of Wisconsin. Though, if you are a resident either the bride or groom must register in a county where they have been a resident for at least 30 days. Once registered, the wedding may take place in any county in Wisconsin.

If you are from out of state, then you must apply for the Wisconsin marriage license in the county the wedding will take place.

Waiting Period

There is a 5 day waiting period. The day of registration is not included in the 5 day waiting period.

Length Marriage License is Valid

Once issued a Wisconsin marriage license is only valid for 30 days.

Medical and Other Tests

There are no medical tests required to marry in Wisconsin.

Age Requirements

No one under the age of 16 may marry. If either of the people getting married are between the ages of 16 and 18, then they must have a consent form signed by both parents (if living) or a legal guardian. This form must be signed before the County Clerk.

Marriages by Proxy

Wisconsin does not allow proxy marriages under any circumstances.

Previously Married

Wisconsin marriage laws require that if there was a previous marriage then there must be proof presented to the county clerks office showing how and when the marriage ended. If the marriage ended in a divorce or an annulment then the Judgment of divorce papers or annulment papers will be needed to receive a marriage license in Wisconsin. In the case of a divorce or annulment there is a 6 month waiting period for getting remarried in Wisconsin. If you are remarrying after the death of a spouse then you will need to bring the death certificate when you are filling for a marriage license.

Fees and Taxes

$80 is the average cost in the state of Wisconsin to receive a marriage license. Fees do vary from county to county, so make sure you contact your county clerk’s office for details. Checks and credit cards are not accepted, so make sure you stop by the ATM before heading over to your county clerk’s office.

Marrying a Cousin

In the state of Wisconsin you may not marry a blood relative that is any closer in relationship than a second cousin. This law is in place out of concern for any children you may have. The only time you may marry a first cousin or sibling is the state of Wisconsin is when the bride is over the age of 55. But seriously, if you are considering marrying your sister or first cousin, then you should probably reconsider. :-)

Common Law

Common law marriages are not allowed.

Same Sex Marriages

Wisconsin does not permit same sex marriages.

Wedding Officiants

Those who can officiate your wedding are either a clergy member or religious appointees, a judge, or a commissioner of the court. Due to certain religious customs Wisconsin does allow for the bride and groom to officiate their own wedding.


If at the time of filling for a license you will need to supply the officiant’s phone number and address.

Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate

To obtain a copy of your Wisconsin marriage certificate you must contact the Vital Records department in Madison.

Premarital Counseling

The Wisconsin legislators have bounced around the idea of requiring premarital counseling in the state. As of now there is no law requiring premarital counseling, but we would most certainly recommend that the bride and groom take the time to consider whether counseling would be a wise choice.

Again please contact the clerk’s office in the county you wish to marry to make sure that the Wisconsin premarital counseling laws have not been changed since the creation of this outline.

Topics: Wisconsin | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Wisconsin Marriage Laws”

  1. Lucelly Vera Says:
    July 13th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Are there addicional requirements for no american citizen?