FAQ’s About Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

I am so proud of Washington State since we passed Referendum 74, allowing same-sex couples to marry in our state.  I have had the honor and pleasure of officiating dozens of same-sex weddings since December 6, 2012 when this referendum passed.  I realize that those of you coming from in and out-of-state may have some questions around this subject, and I put together a list below of common questions and answers that I hope will help.

Questions and Answers: Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

1. Where do couples apply for marriage licenses?

Couples can obtain a marriage license from any county, usually at the county auditor.  They do not have to obtain their marriage license from the county where they reside or the county where they plan to have the marriage ceremony.  Follow this link to obtain information about county offices that issue marriage licenses: http://access.wa.gov/topics/licensecertificate/marriagelicense.

2.  What if I am coming from out-of-state?  How do I apply for my marriage license?

You can apply for your marriage license by mail.  You will need to go to the King County Marriage License website and download the PDF Marriage License application.   You will then need to take the application to a licensed notary (banks usually staff a licensed notary) and have your signatures notarized after you complete the form.  You will need proper photo I.D. to have your signatures notarized.  Next, you will send the form with a cashier’s check or money order in the amount of $64 to:

King County Marriage Licensing
King County Administration Building
500 Fourth Ave., Suite 311
Seattle, WA 98104

If an application is mailed, the marriage license must be picked up at this location, it will not be mailed.  Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., except holidays.  (Please note, I am happy to pick up your marriage license for you at the courthouse with a 48-hour notice.)

3.   How long do I have to wait before I can use the marriage license?

Washington law requires all couples to wait three days after applying for their marriage license before having their marriage ceremony.  So if a couple receives their marriage license on December 6, they will have to wait until December 9 to get married.

4.   Is there a fee to apply for the marriage license?

Yes.  The fee varies by county.  In King County, the fee is currently $64.   Cash or checks are accepted.

5. Can same-sex couples marry in Washington if they live in another state?

Yes.  There is no residency requirement to marry in Washington.  However, out-of-state couples should be advised that their marriage may not be recognized in their home state if their state does not permit same-sex couples to marry.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions about marriage for same-sex couples in Washington State.  I would love to be your officiant!

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