How to Get Legally Married in Louisiana

how to get a marriage license in Louisiana

Louisiana is a great place to put down roots and start a family. From the delicious cuisine and interesting culture to the wonderful nature venues, Louisiana has something for everyone. While most people from other states or around the world know Louisiana for New Orleans, there are plenty of interesting places to get married in Louisiana. 

Whether you are planning an outdoor wedding or prefer to get married inside a church, you have plenty of choices for the perfect wedding venue. The weather is nice year-round and is usually warm enough to spend the day outside with friends and relatives for an outdoor wedding. Besides getting married outdoors or in a church, you can also get married at the courthouse if you prefer to simplify the process. 

While planning your wedding is an incredibly important part of the marriage process, you will want to make sure you have a basic understanding of Louisiana’s marriage laws. As you already know, Louisiana law is different from all other states, but the process of getting your marriage license is fairly easy to do and doesn’t take long at all. 

How to Get a Marriage License in Louisiana

Louisiana has a fairly straightforward system to help you get your marriage license. You can go to your local parish Clerk of Court’s office to get the process started. You will need to bring your social security number, birth certificate, and proof of your relationship with the person you intend to marry. You can either go together or at separate times to fill out your marriage license application. 

Keep in mind that if one party is absent and not able to sign the application at the same time, then they may have to get their signature separately notarized. The exception is if the missing party to the marriage license application is in the U.S. armed forces, then you can use a copy of the military ID. 

What are the Louisiana legal requirements to get married?

You won’t need to consult with an attorney, but there are a few legal requirements in Louisiana to get married such as: 

  1. You need to be 18 years of age or older or have parental consent. If parental consent is not possible, then you must have judicial authorization in order to get married. 
  2. You need to present your birth certificate before you may receive your marriage license. If you can’t get it, then you may request an order to issue a marriage license without a birth certificate. You may have to go before a judge to obtain this authorization. 
  3. You cannot marry a person related by adoption, even though there is no blood relation without judicial authorization in writing. If you are unsure about this provision, it’s best to speak with a family lawyer. 
  4. There must not be any legal impediment to the marriage. A good example is that you cannot still be married to someone else! Also, you cannot marry family members such as descendants, ascendants, and collaterals within the fourth degree, whether of the whole or of the half-blood.
  5. Consent must be freely given and cannot be given under duress or when given by a person incapable of discernment. 
  6. A marriage ceremony is required: Per La. C.C. Art 91 – “The parties must participate in a marriage ceremony performed by a third person who is qualified, or reasonably believed by the parties to be qualified, to perform the ceremony. The parties must be physically present at the ceremony when it is performed.” This means you have to actually show up to your wedding physically and not on Zoom or other video conferencing. Also, you cannot get married by procuration or by sending an agent or attorney. 

Does Louisiana recognize common-law marriage?

Louisiana does not recognize common law marriage, no matter how long you have lived together. This means that you and your partner will not receive the same benefits as if you were legally married in Louisiana. 

Where do I go to get a marriage license in Louisiana?

You can go to your local courthouse or Clerk of Court office to apply for a marriage license. 

How much does the marriage license cost? 

Marriage licenses in Louisiana are extremely cheap. Most parishes charge $27.50 and an additional fee of $10 if you need a certified copy of the license. You will need to call the Clerk of Court in your parish to get an exact amount. 

How long do I have to wait to get married in Louisiana?

You will have to wait for 24 hours between the time your marriage license is issued and your ceremony. This means that you cannot get married on the same day that you receive your license. Your marriage license is only good for 30 days once issued. 

How much does it cost to get married at the courthouse in Louisiana?

If you want to forego an expensive wedding, you can get married at the courthouse. Many people choose this option to save money and so that they don’t have to invite family members. It is a good way to skip some drama by family members and friends that may not have been invited or found some other way to complain at your wedding. You can request a judge, justice of the peace or even a city clerk to assist you. Most courthouses charge $100 to be married by a judge, but you will have to call for your parish to get a quote. 

Can I get a marriage license online in Louisiana? 

Almost everything can be done online so you may be wondering if you can go online to get your marriage license. Yes, you can fill out the majority of the paperwork online to get your marriage license in Louisiana. You will then have to go to the courthouse in person to submit your paperwork and provide the required ID cards. 

Who can marry you in Louisiana?

You can get married to a lot of different people in Louisiana. You can find a U.S. District Court Judge to marry you or a magistrate judge of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Western District of Louisiana, or Middle District of Louisiana. You can also have a priest, preacher, or even a friend officiate your wedding as long as they are registered in the parish where your marriage ceremony will be held.