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Kentucky Marriage License and Blood Test Requirements

All 50 states require couples to obtain a marriage license before they can be legally married. Under Kentucky's marriage license laws, a couple can obtain their marriage license from any county clerk in Kentucky if the female is over 18 years old or is a widow. However, if the bride-to-be (or groom-to-be) is less than 18 years old then the marriage license can only be issued in the county where she or he resides. The chart below highlights the three main components that make up a marriage license in Kentucky.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes section 402.100: Marriage License

Three Components of the Marriage License

  1. Statement from the issuing county clerk authorizing any person (or religious society) authorized to perform marriage ceremonies to unite the couple in marriage
  2. Vital information for each party including; their full name, date of birth, place of birth, race, condition (single, widowed, or divorced), number of previous marriages, occupation, current residence, relationship to the other party, and their parents' full names
  3. Date and place the license is issued, and the signature of the county clerk issuing the license


Both parties must present their social security numbers when applying for the marriage license. If a party doesn't have a social security number then other means of identification will be requested.

Waiting Period

Some states require a waiting period after applying for a marriage license before the couple can receive the license, but there isn't a waiting period in Kentucky.

Time Limit

Marriage licenses in Kentucky are valid for 30 days (including the date that is it issued).

What if Either Party Is Under 18 Years Old?

If either party is less than 16 years old then a marriage license can't be issued without the permission of a District Judge. In case of pregnancy, either the male or the female may apply to a District Judge for permission to marry, and if permission is granted then they will receive a written court order allowing the couple to marry.

If either party is over 16 years old and under 18 years old, and hasn't been married before then a marriage license won't be issued without the consent required by section 402.020(1)(f). If consent is needed, then the marriage license application must be given to the clerk with the signature of the person consenting, and the couple must have two subscribing witnesses.

Prohibited and Restricted Marriages

Prohibited and restricted marriages in Kentucky include the following:

  • Marriages between first cousins
  • Marriages when one or both parties are mentally incompetent
  • Marriages where one party already has a living spouse
  • Marriages not performed by an authorized person
  • Common law marriages
  • Proxy marriages

Blood Tests

In Kentucky, couples aren't required to take a blood test in order to obtain a marriage license. However, couples may choose to take a blood test in order to detect sickle cell trait, sickle cell disease, or any other genetically transmitted disease that affects hemoglobin. If the blood tests show that both parties are carriers of a trait or disease then their physician can provide genetic counseling to the couple.

Additional Resources

If you have case specific questions about Kentucky's marriage license requirements contact a local family law attorney.

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