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How to Get Married

The first step in getting married is to obtain a marriage license. Pennsylvania no longer recognizes common law marriage, except in very limited circumstances.

Couples who intend to be married in Erie County, Pennsylvania must obtain a marriage license here. The prospective bride and groom must appear in person at the Erie County Marriage License Bureau, Room 123, Erie County Courthouse, in Erie. A brief interview will take place at which the following information is needed:

  1. Your Social Security Number and the address where you currently reside
  2. Your mother's maiden name
  3. Your parents' current address
  4. The state where your parents were born
  5. Your parents' occupation
  6. Divorce Decrees from prior marriages
  7. Death certificates for prior spouses
  8. Resumption of Maiden Name Certificates from prior marriages
  9. Cash of $45.00 – application fee

Physicals and blood tests are not required.

Both applicants must be at least 18. If between 16 and 18, parental consent is necessary. Court approval is necessary for anyone under 16.

The license will be issued three days after the application. This requirement may be waived by the court if special circumstances exist, such as military deployment, health of one of the applicants, or expected birth of a child. The couple must be married within 60 days of the issuance of the license.

After the ceremony, the Return of Marriage form must be returned to the courthouse as proof that the marriage took place. This is usually done by the person performing the ceremony. The ceremony may be performed by various civil authorities including judges and magisterial district justices, and clergy from religious denominations.

If you need to consult with an attorney regarding marriage please contact the Erie County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service.