Before a couple can legally get married in West Virginia they must obtain a marriage license. If a couple has a marriage ceremony without a valid marriage license then the attempted marriage is legally void. If both parties are residents of West Virginia then the couple can apply for a marriage license in the county where either of them usually resides. If neither party resides in West Virginia then the couple can apply for a marriage license in any county within West Virginia.
|West Virginia Code section 48-2-104 to 48-2-107: Application for Marriage License
Contents of the Application
|An application for a marriage license must include:
- Both parties' full names, social security numbers, dates of birth, places of birth, and addresses, and
- A statement indicating whether or not the parties have completed a premarital education course
|Execution of the Application
Both parties are required to sign the marriage license application under oath in front of a county clerk.
Proof of Age
|Both parties must provide evidence of their age. Acceptable evidence includes:
- A birth certificate
- A voter's registration certificate
- A driver's license
- The affidavit of both parents or the legal guardian of the applicant, or
- Other good and sufficient evidence
|Recording the Application
The county clerk will record the marriage license application.
Capacity to Marry
The age of consent for marriage is West Virginia is 18. Therefore, a person who is less than 18 years old lacks the legal capacity to enter into a marriage. However, an applicant who is between 16 and 18 years old can obtain a marriage license if they have written consent from their parents or legal guardian. A marriage license can only be issued to someone who is less than 16 years old if a court finds that issuing a marriage license is in the applicant's best interest and the parents or guardian has consented.
Related People are Prohibited from Marrying:
- A man is prohibited from marrying his mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, half sister, aunt, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, first cousin, or double cousin.
- A woman is prohibited from marrying her father, grandfather, brother, son, grandson, half brother, uncle, brother's son, sister's son, first cousin, or double cousin.
If either (or both) of the applicants is less than 18 years old then the county clerk won't issue a marriage license until two days after the application has been filed. During an emergency, or under extraordinary circumstances, a judge may order the county clerk to issue a marriage license before the waiting period has passed.
Blood Test Requirement
West Virginia doesn't require a blood test before a marriage license can be issued.
State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding West Virginia's marriage license and blood test requirements contact a local family law lawyer.