The decision to get married is very personal, but states do have an interest in regulating the institution of marriage. Most states require individuals to be a certain age to be eligible for a marriage license -- typically the age of majority (18 in most states) -- but also allow younger people to get married with written parental consent. However, in 2020, Minnesota became the second state to ban child marriage, meaning that minors under the age of 18 cannot be legally married.
Minnesota Marriage Age Requirements at a Glance
Prior to 2020, minors as young as 16 were able to get married in Minnesota with parental consent or court approval, but Minnesota now prohibits child marriage outright and requires people applying for marriage licenses to verify their age.
|Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent
Note: State laws are constantly changing, usually as a result of legislation, case law, or ballot initiative. FindLaw works hard to maintain the accuracy of these pages, but you may also want to contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Why Are There Age Limits for Getting a Marriage License?
Marriage age limits are meant to protect children from being coerced or encouraged to enter into a lifelong contract without having the capacity to consent. While some may claim cultural or religious freedom to marry at a younger age (often without the bride's input), state laws always prevail. The push to ban child marriage is based on the concern that minors, typically girls, are prone to exploitation and abuse when entering marriage at such a young age.
How Do I Get a Marriage License in Minnesota?
To get a Minnesota marriage license, you'll need to make an appointment at the service center at your county courthouse (search by zip code or county in the upper right-hand corner). In the Twin Cities, you would want to start the online application process at the Hennepin County marriage license portal. You can search for Minnesota marriage license records through the Minnesota Official Marriage System (MOMS).
Research the Law
Minnesota Marriage Age Requirements: Related Resources
Need Legal Help with Your Marriage? Get in Touch With a Minnesota Attorney
In most situations, couples who want to get married can complete the process on their own. But every case is different and there may be instances where one's eligibility -- sometimes because of age limits -- is called into question. If you have a legal question about marriage, it's in your best interests to contact a Minnesota family law attorney.