Marriage License

 

ALERT:  REVISED MARRIAGE LICENSE PROCESS (3/27/2020 at 4:05 PM) 

During the current healthcare crisis, our marriage license process has been revised to protect our Probate employees and the public.  At this time, we ask that you only apply for a license within 14 days of your scheduled marriage ceremony. Please be sure your officiant is still able to marry you before you go through this process and schedule an appointment.  You may choose either the Online Process or the Pick Up Process.

ONLINE PROCESS

  • Fill out our online marriage license abstract (pdf fillable form) or print blank copy: 
  • Complete all forms, including addendum (if necessary), electronically or print legibly in black or blue ink, include your mailing address, telephone number and email address on the third form. Please be sure both applicants sign the license (first page on the line with the 'X') before returning it.
  • Mail completed forms to Hamilton County Probate Court, 230 E. 9th Street, 10th Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202 along with your money order made out to "Hamilton County Probate Court" or cash for $75.00 (exact amount only).
  • Once our Clerk has received your application, they will call you to setup an appointment to come into our office to complete the process. Bring valid identification and certified copy of most recent divorce decree, if applicable. Appointments will be set every 30 minutes from 8:15 – 3:15 Monday through Friday. If you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, it will be canceled and you will need to reschedule.
  • After your appointment is concluded, you will leave with all the documents necessary for your marriage. Please remember that your license is only valid for 60 days from the day it is issued.
  • Upon the completion of your ceremony, your officiant should complete and mail the Marriage Certificate Form to our Marriage License Department. Upon receipt of the Marriage Certificate, the Certified Abstract of Marriage will be completed, certified, and mailed to Applicants.

PICK UP PROCESS

  • You can pick up marriage license forms on the 1st floor of the William Howard Taft Center located at 230 E. 9th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
  • Fill out forms as discussed above, sign it, enclose money order for $75.00 made out to Hamilton County Probate Court or cash for $75.00 (exact amount only).
  • Place forms in envelope provided and put in drop box located on 1st floor.

Please note:  As a precaution, the mail and any envelopes placed in drop box will be quarantined for 24 hours before our staff opens them. This procedure has been implemented in order to issue marriage licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic only. This is a temporary situation. Once business operations resume as usual, licenses will be issued as they were previously.

If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact our Marriage License Clerks at 513-946-3564.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this difficult time.

 

Marriage License Department

Hamilton County Probate Court

Ralph Winkler, Judge

 

Our purpose is to issue Marriage Licenses to Hamilton County residents who wish to marry in Ohio, and those out of state residents wishing to marry here in Hamilton County. The Probate Court has also been entrusted to keep and maintain records of said marriages. Our goal is to serve the public in the most helpful and courteous manner possible.

Requirements for Marriage License

The following are the absolute minimum requirements for every applicant (see Checklist for Minors for the added requirements for minor applicants).

Usually both applicants must be present at the time of application unless an appropriate legal exception applies.  All marriage licenses are applied for and issued in compliance with federal and state law.

The fee for the license is $75.00. Cash or credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) are accepted. Checks are not accepted. There is an additional fee when paying with a Credit Card: See Credit Card Fees.

Each applicant must each have a government issued photo ID (i.e., Driver's License, State ID, passport, VISA, etc.).

The residency of the applicants is also an issue. Ohio residents wanting to marry in Ohio, apply in the county where they reside. Out of state residents getting married in Ohio, apply in the county in which they are getting married. Ohio residents getting married in another state or country, must apply in the state or country in which they are getting married.

If either applicant has been married before, then a certified copy of the Decree of Divorce (or Dissolution) must be presented. Note: the copy of the decree presented should have the proper stamps and signatures showing it was in fact entered in the court, and we do not accept copies of separation agreements or custody papers. Decrees written in a foreign language must be translated into the English language with a certification from the translator that the translation is true and accurate. If either applicant is a widow or widower we do not require a Death Certificate.

The couple must get married within 60 days of our issuing the license. While there is no blood testing or waiting period, the license does expire 60 days after issuance.

The couple must swear, or affirm, that all information and testimony provided is true, correct, and complete.

The couple must sign their full name (including middle name) on the actual Marriage License.

If you are in need of an interpreter, please refer to the following information: Interpretation Services.

For information on obtaining a marriage license when an individual is incarcerated click here.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Upon entering our office a couple will fill out an application, gathering information that will appear on the actual Marriage License.  When finished, the couple will be called on by one of our clerks, who will then verify that the above requirements have been met. The clerk will then administer the oath, ring up the $75.00, and print the license for signing.  Before signing the license, it is important that the couple confirm all information is spelled correctly and is completely accurate. 

Prior to leaving, the clerk will give the couple two forms for the wedding officiant (be it minister, mayor, or judge), a "souvenir" marriage license, and some general information forms. The forms for the officiant are the most important. These two forms are given to the officiant prior to performing the ceremony.  One of the forms confirms that we have issued a license for the couple to wed, the other is for the officiant to fill out (confirming that he / she performed the ceremony) and mail back to us. The license is not complete until this form is returned to our office.  The souvenir license is strictly decorative and does not have any legal significance.  Once we have completed the license, we will make a certified copy and mail it to the couple.  This certified copy is the legal proof of marriage needed to change the bride's name with Social Security and the Driver's License Bureau. Along with the certified copy we will mail a set of souvenir wallet cards.  Like the souvenir license, these cards do not have any legal significance.

For Additional Certified Copies
Sometimes one certified copy proving legal marriage just is not enough.  Find out what the procedure is for obtaining additional copies.

For Additional Souvenir Licenses and Cards
Souvenir licenses and wallet size cards are nice mementos of your wedding.  In the event anything happened to your original we can print more.

For Certification of Records ("Never Been Married Before") Forms
This is for couples marrying outside the United States needing evidence that they were never issued a marriage license from Hamilton County, Ohio.

For Information on Who Can Perform Marriage Ceremonies
This section explains who can legally perform a wedding ceremony in the state of Ohio.  We also provide information for ministers wishing to be licensed in Ohio so that they too can perform weddings.

CERTIFIED COPIES

After the wedding the original Marriage License remains on file with Probate Court. Starting January 1, 1998, the Marriage License office began an aggressive campaign to image all Marriage Licenses in an effort to provide better and faster accessibility to the public.

A certified copy is merely a photocopy of the original license, certified to be a true and accurate reproduction of the record. This certified copy is considered legal proof of the marriage -- required by most bureaus and agencies. Incidentally, marriage licenses are a matter of public record.

Our office automatically mails one certified copy after the license has been completed. The fee for this is initial copy is included in the price of a license.  Typically, this is the only copy ever needed by most couples. However, circumstances arise which may warrant additional copies.

To Order By Mail
Find out how to order certified copies by mail.

Certification of Records ("Never Been Married Before")
Certification that Hamilton County never issued a Marriage License for a particular person. Typically, for someone marrying outside the United States.

Wedding Officiants

Not just anyone can perform a marriage ceremony in the state of Ohio. Marriages are to be performed by an ordained minister of any religious society or congregation within the state licensed to perform marriages; the Probate Court Judge or any other judge appointed as a probate judge; a Judge of a Municipal Court; the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf; or any religious society, in conformity with the rules and regulations of its church.

Please Note: It is the responsibility of the couple to be sure that the person officiating at the wedding ceremony is licensed in the state of Ohio.  A minister, upon producing to the secretary of state credentials of his / her being a regularly ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation, shall be entitled to receive from the secretary of state a license authorizing him / her to solemnize marriages in this state so long as he / she continues as a regular minister in such society or congregation. A minister shall produce for inspection their license to solemnize marriages upon demand of any party to a marriage of which he / she proposes to officiate or upon demand of any Probate Court Judge.

The Application for Minister's License Form can be obtained from the Ohio Secretary of State.

The following is a list of available civil ceremony officiants for Hamilton County. The Duty Judge of the Hamilton County Municipal Court will conduct civil marriage ceremonies. If you are interested in having the Duty Judge of the Municipal Court perform your ceremony, please call 513-946-5200 or visit:

Hamilton County Municipal Court - Municipal Civil Marriages

In addition, the Mayors listed below are willing to perform civil ceremonies with limited restrictions.

CIVIL CEREMONY OFFICIANTS

MUNICIPALITYMAYORPHONE
Amberley Village
(Amberley Village Residents Only)
Thomas Muething531-8675
CheviotSamuel D. Keller661-2700
Deer ParkJohn Donnellon794-8860
GreenhillsDavid B. Moore825-2100
HarrisonJoel F. McGuire276-9552
Lincoln HeightsRuby Kinsey-Mumphrey733-5900 ext. 4
LocklandMark Mason, Sr.761-1126 Ext. 113
MadeiraNancy Spencer561-7228
MariemontBill Brown615-5729
MontgomeryChris Dobrozi607-1845
North BendDouglas Sammons967-3045
SpringdaleDoyle Webster

dwebster@springdale.org

346-5700

Contact Information

Please click here to see our hours of operation and court holidays.*

Telephone

513-946-3590 (24 Hour Recorded Information Line)

*Note: We no longer issue licenses, or conduct transactions, after 3:45 PM.

Fax

513-946-3577

Postal Address

Hamilton County Probate Court, Ralph Winkler, Judge
230 E. Ninth St., 10th Floor
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2145