The how-to and know-how of marriage licenses


    By Valerie Housley

    In the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, brides and grooms should take a moment to learn the steps they must take to obtain a marriage license.

    Different counties have different regulations for obtaining a marriage license, accompanied by structured guidelines on how to change the bride”s maiden name on her legal identification documents. Costs vary per county.

    “The best way to learn the rules of obtaining a marriage license is to go to your county”s Web site, which will tell you how to get a marriage license,” said Lisa Hawkins, a part-time faculty member in the Home and Family Living Department. “If you can”t find the county”s Web site, call the county clerk in the county you”re getting married in.”

    “Couples who plan on marrying in an LDS temple can also call the temple to find out what the requirements are for a marriage license,” said Valerie Colby, an ordinance clerk for the Jordan River Temple.

    Couples can apply for a marriage license in any Utah county as long as they are getting married in the state, Hawkins said.

    In Utah County, both bride and groom must appear together at the Utah County Clerks Office when applying for a marriage license. Couples need to have their social security numbers, dates and places of their births, and both need to have one form of identification, such as a driver”s license or passport. In addition, both the bride and groom need to know the names of their parents, including their mothers” maiden names, and the birthplaces of their fathers and mothers.

    In Utah County, couples must arrive at the County Clerks Office before 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, because the office stops processing marriage licenses at 4:30 p.m.

    “It takes about 10 minutes to complete the process,” said Kris Mitchell, a recording clerk in Provo. “Some states have waiting periods between paying the fee and obtaining the license – we don”t.”

    One student had to learn the rules of obtaining a marriage license the hard way.

    “I had a student who had to make an extra trip down to the state he was getting married in because he didn”t realize the county had a waiting period,” Hawkins said. “They were going to get their marriage license the day before the wedding – they didn”t realize there was a three-day waiting period.”

    Between one to three weeks after the wedding, the county office where the marriage license was issued will send a certified copy of the marriage license to the address the couple provided on their application.

    To change marital status and one”s last name at BYU, students must go to the Records Office in B-150 ASB. If the marital status is not changed promptly on a student”s Route Y information, the student may have problems with BYU housing.

    “Marital status needs to be changed right away because housing will be a problem if a student tries to enter a non-BYU approved housing address, when asked at the beginning of every semester, because they are still known on BYU information as single,” said Andrea Duford, a clerk at the Records Office.

    Once married, students do not have to live in BYU-approved housing, Duford said.

    To change the bride”s last name on BYU records, documentation, such as the marriage license, is needed in addition to a signature on a name-change form. For individuals employed at BYU, a copy of their Social Security card is the only documentation accepted for a name change, and the individual”s name on record must appear exactly as it does on the Social Security card.

    After these two forms have been signed and appropriate documentation has been presented, individuals can receive a new BYU ID card immediately from the Records Office if they wish to keep their original BYU ID photo.

    To apply for a Social Security card with a new last name, the individual needs to go to the Social Security Office. The certified marriage license the couple receives in the mail is required at the office to show proof that the marriage actually took place. An individual can apply for a Social Security card free of charge.

    After completing these steps, the next process in changing one”s name is to go to the Drivers License Office.

    “The individual needs to bring legal documentation that authorizes a name change – such as the marriage license,” said Stacy Robb, an examiner at the Drivers License Office in Orem.

    If an individual is from out-of-state and is applying for a Utah license, there are several things needed to permit the name change.

    “For an out-of-state individual applying for a Utah license, they must come to the Orem office and will need to bring their out-of-state license, Social Security card with their name changed; two different types of current and valid documents showing Utah residency, such as a rental agreement and financial documents; and the marriage license,” Robb said. “They will also be required to take a 25-question, open-book, written test.”

    For out-of-state individuals under the age of 21, the cost for the new driver”s license is $25; for individuals over 21, the cost is $20.

    If individuals are from Utah and just need to change their name, they can go to Provo”s Express Office, across from the Provo Towne Center, and request a duplicate license for $13.

    “The ideal time to go to the Orem office is during the middle of the week in the mornings between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” Robb said. “Avoid the day after holidays and Monday and Friday afternoons.”

    Another important stop for the name change process will be at the bank or financial institution. To have their name changed at the institution before receiving their Social Security card or their driver”s license, they will need to show the certified marriage license.

    Once these steps have been taken, the marriage license should be put in a safe place – a location which both the wife and husband should remember. Now you can feel like a legally “married couple.”


    Marriage License

    100 East Center Street Rm. 3600

    Provo, UT 84606


    Social Security Office

    485 North Freedom Blvd

    Provo, UT 84601


    Provo”s Express Driver”s License Office

    1503 South 40 East

    Campus Credit Union Blvd

    2nd Floor

    Provo, UT 84606

    Orem Driver”s License Office

    759 North 1370 West

    Orem, UT 84057

    (801) 234-8260

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