Before a couple can be legally married in Mississippi, they must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk. As long as the applicants aren't related to each other or already married to someone else (see incestuous and void marriages Mississippi Code section 93-1-1), the clerk will likely issue a marriage license to the couple. The following table outlines Mississippi's main marriage license requirements.
|Mississippi Code section 93-1-15: Requirements for a Valid Marriage
- The couple must have a valid marriage license, and
- The marriage ceremony must be performed by a person, religious society, institution, or organization that is authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in Mississippi
Who Can Perform a Marriage Ceremony?
|In Mississippi, only the following people can perform a valid marriage ceremony:
- Ministers of the gospel who are in good standing and have been ordained according to the rules of his church or society
- Rabbis or other spiritual leaders who are in good standing and have been authorized by their religious body to perform marriage ceremonies, or
- Any judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, circuit court, chancery court, or county court
What if These Requirements Aren't Met?
|If either of the above requirements aren't met then the purported marriage is void.
In Mississippi, males who are at least 17 years old and females who are at least 15 years old are legally capable of getting married. However, a judge can waive this minimum age requirement if there is a sufficient reason for the couple to get married, the applicants want to marry each other, and the parents of the underage party consent to the marriage.
Under Mississippi's marriage license laws, any applicant who is less than 21 years old must have his or her parents' (or guardian's) consent before they can get married in Mississippi. County clerks can only issue a marriage license to an applicant who is less than 21 years old if the following requirements have been complied with:
- The marriage license application must be in writing and include:
- The names, ages, and addresses of the parties
- The names and addresses of the applicant's parents (or the names and addresses of the applicant's guardian or next of kin if they don't have parents)
- The signatures of witnesses, and
- Any other data required by the State Board of Health
- Proof of the applicants' ages (a birth certificate, baptismal record, armed service discharge, armed service identification card, life insurance policy, insurance certificate, school record, driver's license, or other official document evidencing age are all acceptable)
- Affidavits showing the age of the applicant made by the applicant's father, mother, guardian, or next of kin
Any clerk who issues a marriage license in violation of the rules listed above is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of between $50 and $500.
Hours that Marriage Licenses Can be Issued
In Mississippi it is illegal for a clerk to issue a marriage license between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. Any clerk that breaks this law and issues a marriage license during the prohibited timeframe is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be fined up to $500.
Does My Marriage License Expire?
No, in Mississippi marriage licenses don't expire.
Do I Need a Blood Test to Obtain a Marriage License?
No, as of July 1st 2012 Mississippi no longer requires a blood test before a marriage license can be issued.
State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Mississippi's marriage license and blood test requirements contact a local family law attorney.