The following are common questions that have
often been posed to our office:
and I are getting married outside the United States. Do
we need to file anything here in the US, Ohio, or Hamilton County?
Also, I was told by a foreign institution to bring a form stating
I have never been married before, do you provide those forms?
back to top
For the first question: no, once you have
been married, you are married. However, you do want to
keep a couple of things in mind. Other countries have
different procedures and customs -- especially concerning separation
of church and state. So call and find out what exactly
is involved. There will be times in your life as a US
citizen that you will need legal proof of marriage. Make
sure you are able to receive this necessary documentation.
For the second question: yes -- in part. We have a form
that certifies we (meaning Hamilton County) have never issued
you a marriage license. This is called a "Certification
of Records." This does not necessarily mean that
you have "never been married before," because we cannot
certify for every county in the United States.
We were interested
in getting married on the Ohio River, where do we apply? back
That depends. Technically the Ohio River
is not owned by Ohio or Kentucky. Therefore, Hamilton
County's stance is this: the officiant does need to perform
some type of ceremony on either Ohio or Kentucky's shore.
This does not need to be an elaborate formal ceremony.
The formal ceremony, before friends and family, can be done
once on the river. As a result, where you obtain the license
depends on which shore you decide to exchange vows.
Is it required by
law that we need witnesses? back to top
No. Witnesses are not required by law
to sign the license. However, there are signature lines
provided on the souvenir marriage license. These are typically
reserved for best man and maid of honor, but since the souvenir
copy is for decoration only, it is completely up to the bride
and groom as to who they want to sign.
I have been living
with someone for a number of years, are we considered a "Common
Law Marriage"? back to top
No. Common-law marriage is prohibited
and is not recognized in Ohio if the parties entered into the
"marriage" (or commitment) after October 10, 1991.
However, a common law marriage remains valid if it was created
prior to October 10, 1991.
Do you require a
waiting period, or a blood test? back to top
We do not require blood testing. At
one time we did have a five (5) day waiting period, however
this was eliminated by the Ohio legislature effective February
do we know whether our minister is licensed in Ohio to perform
ceremonies? back to top
The best way is to ask the minister.
By law, they have to present anyone asking with proof of their
licensing. You can also call the Ohio Secretary of State's
office and ask if they have the minister's license on file.
Please refer to Information on Who
Can Perform Marriage Ceremonies.