Marriage License Application

Administration Center - 701 Main Street, St. Joseph
Niles Courthouse - 1205 N. Front Street, Niles

The following is a summary of the marriage laws of Michigan for both residents and non-residents:

1.   Michigan residents must apply in the county of residence of one of the applicants. Non-residents must be married in the county where they make application.

2.   Both applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Exception may be made for applicants 16 and 17 years of age, provided one of his/her parents or legal guardians executes a consent form. (If a legal guardian signs, he must show guardianship papers, and in the case of divorce, the custodial parent must sign the form.) Applicants under 18 years of age should call the office for more detailed information.

3.   Valid identification and social security number are required for both persons making application. Valid identification may consist of a current driver's license or state I.D.   I.D. must show current valid address.

4.   On January 1, 2001, Michigan's Premarital law (Public Act 209 of 2000) went into effect. This law eliminated the requirement for a blood test or premarital counseling of couples applying for a marriage license. Instead, the law requires that couples be provided educational materials regarding prenatal care and the transmission and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

5.   Once the above requirements have been met, the couple may apply for their license. One applicant may make the application as long as he/she has the necessary information and I.D. for both parties, unless you apply online - then both applicants must appear.

NOTE:  For an Online marriage, BOTH the bride and groom must be present to pick the marriage license up.  Their address on their current I.D. must match what was entered on the application – if it does not, this will cause problems with a possible delay of receiving the license.

6.   There is a THREE DAY WAITING PERIOD. The waiting period consists of three days from the day of application. The license may be picked up at the office where you applied on or after the third day unless that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. In that case, the license may be picked up on the first working day after the weekend or holiday. Be prepared to provide the identification information mentioned above.

7.   The license is valid for 33 days from the first day after the date of application.

8.   The fee is $20.00 for Michigan residents and $30.00 for out-of-state residents. MICHIGAN MARRIAGE LICENSES MUST BE USED IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN.  All participating witnesses to the ceremony must be 18 years of age or older.

9.   The Administration Center hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The Niles Courthouse office hours are 9:00 a.m. - noon, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Marriage applications/licenses will be be processed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.   Please allow 30 minutes for processing  when you pick up your marriage license.

Apply Online!

Click Here for a Printable
Copy of the Form to Fill out
and Bring to the Office


R.S. 1846, Chap. 83 (Amended by Act No. 44, P.A. 1956, Act No. 324, P.A. 1996)

SECTION 1. Section 2 of chapter 83 of the Revised Statutes of 1846, being section 551.2 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, is hereby amended to read as follows:

SEC. 2. Marriage, so far as its validity in law is concerned, is a civil contract, to which the consent of parties capable in law of contracting, is essential. Consent alone will not be enough to effectuate a legal marriage from and after January 1, 1957. Consent must be followed by the issuance of a license as provided for by section 1 of Act No. 128 of the Public Acts of 1887, as amended, being section 551.101 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, or as provided for by section 1 of Act No. 180 of the Public Acts of 1897 as amended, being section 551.201 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, and solemnization, as authorized by sections 7 to 18, inclusive, of this act,

SEC. 3. No man shall marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, stepmother, grandfather's wife, son's wife, grandson's wife, wife's mother, wife's grandmother, wife's daughter, wife's granddaughter, nor his sister, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister, mother's sister, or cousin of the first degree, or another man.

SEC. 4. No woman shall marry her father, grandfather, son, grandson, stepfather, grandmother's husband, daughter's husband, granddaughter's husband, husband's father, husband's grandfather, husband's son, husband's grandson, nor her brother, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother, mother's brother, or cousin of the first degree, or another woman.

Berrien County Courthouse
811 Port Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
Berrien County Administration Center
701 Main Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
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Last Updated 11/12/2014   
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