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How To Get a Marriage License in Colorado

How To Get a Marriage License in Colorado

Colorado is a beautiful state, full of stunning mountain paths and lakes where you can tie the knot. And fortunately, obtaining a marriage license in Colorado is pretty simple compared to some other states. Below, we’ll tell you how to prepare to file, what to do in the Clerk’s office, and what to do on the day of your ceremony!

Preparation

Make an appointment with your closest County Clerk — the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder is at 201 W. Colfax Avenue. You don’t have to go to the Clerk in the specific county you’re going to get married in, whichever office is closest is fine. The licensing process itself is very short, but making an appointment allows you to skip the lines if you have limited availability.

After you’ve made your appointment, fill out the online application. This is more of a convenience thing, as they can’t deny your application (so long as you’re over 18). It’s simply easier for the clerk to get your information digitally ahead of time so they can fill out the paperwork, rather than you filling out the paper form in the office.

Bonus tip: Be sure to note any holidays or other office closures near your wedding date, and plan accordingly!

In the Clerk’s office

Both partners need to show up in person to file for a marriage license. If that’s not possible, there are a couple of options:

You can fill out an absentee affidavit and have it notarized. If using the absentee affidavit, you will still need photocopies of the absent partner’s proper IDs, age verification, and social security. 

You can also file for marriage by proxy if the absent partner is an active member of the armed services or a government contractor of the armed services. Marriages by proxy are only allowed if one partner is a resident of Colorado. You will also need photocopies of all the required IDs and a notarized absentee affidavit.

If you are both present, then you and your partner will need your state IDs or passports when filing. Please note: birth certificates are not accepted forms of identification in the State of Colorado. However, they can serve as age verification when coupled with other forms of acceptable ID, listed on the Clerk’s website.

After you present your IDs, the clerk will ask you to raise your right hand and swear that you are who you say you are. If you’ve been previously married, they’ll ask for your proof of dissolution. After that, they’ll charge you $30 for the licensing fee — payable by cash, check, or credit card.

And that’s it! After these steps, you’ll officially have a Colorado marriage license. You’ll have 35 days to sign the certificate in the state of Colorado. After you’ve signed the certificate, you’ll have 65 days from your wedding date to return it, or you’ll incur late-filing fees.

On your wedding day

Bring your license to your ceremony and have your officiant fill it out and sign with their official title. (Fun fact: All Simply Eloped officiants are ordained ministers capable of legally signing marriage licenses.) You’re not required to have a witness in Colorado, so the only signatures required will be yours, your partner’s, and your officiant’s.

Important note: Your names will appear on the top of the license, designated as Party 1 and Party 2. It is very important that you pay attention and sign the appropriate fields.

After the ceremony

Return your license to the same county clerk you filed at. You can go in person, which they recommend, or mail it —  send it as certified mail if you go this route! They’ll get it notarized and returned to you. Currently, you can request certified copies for $1.25 each. If you own a business or multiple real estate properties, you should make a list of every account you have and grab one certified copy for each.

Then you’re all set! Getting a marriage license in Colorado is a pretty easy process. Even so, make sure you make your appointment and gather all your documents early, so you have one less thing to worry about!

Article written by Tori Ward
Victoria Ward is a writer at Simply Eloped as well as a Keats Marginalia scholar and Storyfort finalist for her fiction and creative nonfiction. When she is not writing about elopements, she writes grants for her research and non-profit work.

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