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At Whimsical Elopements, we understand that obtaining a marriage license can be overwhelming and confusing. That's why We have put together a comprehensive guide to obtaining your license in Oregon, Washington, or California. With our guidance, you can rest assured that the legal aspect of your elopement will go off without a hitch and you'll be able to fully enjoy your special day!

Getting your marriage license in OREGON

OREGON MARRIAGE COMMON QUESTIONS

Do you need a witness to get married in Oregon?

Yep! To get married in Oregon you’ll need two witnesses present at your ceremony.

How long is a marriage license good for in Oregon?

Your Oregon marriage license will be valid for 60 days! After those 60 days run out, you’ll have to apply for a new one.

Is there a waiting period for Oregon marriage licenses?

Yes, there is a 3-day waiting period between the day your license is issued & the day you can use it to get married. So plan accordingly for those 3 days if you’re eloping at the last minute!

Note that sometimes a county clerk can waive this waiting period for a “good cause” (and there may be an additional waiver fee), so it’s worth looking into/asking if you do want to get married ASAP!

Thanks to the Oregon State bar website for all the helpful info regarding marriage laws!

Can you get married in Oregon without a ceremony?

Depends on what you mean by ceremony! You’ll need some sort of “ceremony” officiated by an ordained minister/officiant with your witnesses present, but by no means does it have to be a huge fancy wedding ceremony. You can get legally married at your local courthouse if that’s all you want to do, or you can do that and then have a larger celebration without a ceremony since you’ll already have done the legal part! 

This is a great way to make destination weddings easier on yourselves. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of legally getting married in a foreign country and working with the local embassy/consulate, you can legally get married in your home county. Then simply have a meaningful unity ceremony (with nothing legal involved) at your actual destination wedding/elopement!

Can you get married online in Oregon?

You can’t legally “get married” online, but you can apply for your license online through your county’s website. Once you’ve applied (whether in person or online), you’ll both have to go into the county office to sign your license with valid photo ID’s.

How do I change my last name after marriage in Oregon?

If you want to change your last name or combine it with your partner’s after getting married in Oregon, you can do so through your county. Once you’re officially married, your marriage certificate will be issued & will serve as proof of your legal name change!

How old do you have to be to get married in Oregon?

You have to be at least 17 years old to get married in Oregon. If you’re under 18, you’ll have to have written consent of a parent or guardian first.

Will we need to do a blood test at the time of applying for our license?

No you won’t!

Do you have to be a resident to get married in Oregon?

Nope, you don’t have to be a resident of Oregon to get married in Oregon

Who can legally marry a couple in Oregon?

Your Oregon marriage can be performed by an Oregon judicial officer, a county clerk, or any ordained minister/officiant. 

Fun fact – I’m ordained! Which means I can not only photograph your wedding, I can ALSO officiate it + fully guide you through the process!

If you’d rather hire a separate officiant, I cannot recommend my friend Jimmie enough – check him out @officiantjimmie on IG!

Can my friend marry us in Oregon?

Hell yeah they can! If you’d rather have a friend or close family member officiate your wedding, they have to be at least 18 years old, and aren’t required to be an Oregon resident. They can get their ordination through your county or through an online ordination website such as the Universal Life Church.

Can you officiate your own wedding in Oregon?

Unfortunately you can’t self-solemnize, or officiate your own wedding in Oregon! So don’t worry, I’ve got you covered and you won’t have to hire a separate officiant to be present at your ceremony – being ordained myself means one less person at your intimate celebration!

A RECAP OF THE BASICS

To recap, here’s what you need to know about Oregon’s marriage laws & getting your Oregon marriage license:

  • Witnesses Required: 2

  • License Validity: 60 days

  • Waiting Period: 3 days

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 17

  • Who Can Officiate: Any ordained minister/officiant (including through online ordination)

  • Self-Solemnization Allowed? No

  • Oregon Residency Required? No

  • Blood Test Required? No

  • Cost: varies by county; typically $50-$60

How to get your Oregon marriage license

Now that you’re familiar with the laws in place surrounding Oregon marriages, let’s talk about how to actually apply for + receive your Oregon marriage license!

The exact process varies by the county you apply for your license in, and so does the cost – typically the cost of applying will range from $50-$60, but there may be additional fees depending on the details of your wedding/license. 

Your license can be issued by any county in Oregon as long as you make sure to submit all of your paperwork to the same county that issued your license after you get married! Your license can also be used in any county – e.g. if you get your license from Multnomah County, you can get married in any county, not just Multnomah. 

Here are the steps to follow to get your Oregon marriage license:

1. RESEARCH THE COUNTY YOU’LL BE APPLYING THROUGH

First up, you’ll need to get the details on how to get your license through the county you want to apply through, as the process differs between counties.

Follow this link to see a full list of all the Oregon County Clerk Offices, and click the link for the county you want to apply in.

Note: since the process is slightly different for each county, these next few steps are going to be specific to Multnomah County, simply to show you an example of what the basic steps may look like!

2. FILL OUT YOUR MARRIAGE APPLICATION EITHER ONLINE OR IN PERSON

You can choose to either fill out your application online or go to the county clerk’s office in person. If you fill it out online, you’ll still have to go to the office in person to show identification. Walk-in’s are usually available on weekdays at most offices!

3. BRING YOUR VALID PHOTO ID TO THE COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE

Once you’ve applied for your license, visit the county clerk’s office that you’re applying through and bring a copy of a valid photo ID for each of you, such as your driver’s license, state ID card, passport, etc. It’s important to note that you both have to be present in order to receive your license!

4. PAY YOUR APPLICATION FEE

The fee for a marriage license in Multnomah County is $60, which you can pay via cash, credit/debit card, cashier’s check, or money order. Multnomah County allows you to request a waiver of the 3-day waiting period as well, which costs an extra $5.

5. SUBMIT YOUR LICENSE AFTER YOUR WEDDING

Woooo you’re married!! Once your ceremony is over, your officiant will need to fill in the required info on your license, sign it, and return it to the county office. In Deschutes County, this needs to be done within 5 days of your ceremony!

How to get your oregon elopement + wedding permits

Now that you’re familiar with the process of legally getting hitched in Oregon. You’ll also need to make sure to get the appropriate elopement/wedding permits for your ceremony location! 

If you’re getting married in an Oregon National Park or national park site, you’ll have to get a park-specific Special Use Permit. To get married in an Oregon State Park, you’ll need a Special Use Permit only if your wedding will have over 50 people present.

Hell yeah, you made it to the end!! I hope that now you’re feeling MUCH more confident in youtube knowledge about Oregon’s marriage laws than when you arrived at this article.

Remember that I’m ordained, so I help guide all my couples fully through the process and love that I can serve you above & beyond by officiating your ceremony, too. Reach out to me and let’s talk all things Oregon weddings + elopements!!

Below are a couple of helpful links to follow for more info about Oregon marriage laws, as well as a few more of my favorite recent blog posts that I think you’ll LOVE. 

List of All Oregon County Clerk Offices

Oregon State Bar Website – Marriage in Oregon

Getting your marriage license in WASHINGTON

How to get your Oregon marriage license

Now that you’re familiar with the laws in place surrounding Oregon marriages, let’s talk about how to actually apply for + receive your Oregon marriage license!

The exact process varies by the county you apply for your license in, and so does the cost – typically the cost of applying will range from $50-$60, but there may be additional fees depending on the details of your wedding/license. 

Your license can be issued by any county in Oregon as long as you make sure to submit all of your paperwork to the same county that issued your license after you get married! Your license can also be used in any county – e.g. if you get your license from Multnomah County, you can get married in any county, not just Multnomah. 

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