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OBTAINING A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN WATAUGA COUNTY
A Marriage License MUST be obtained BEFORE the marriage ceremony is performed. (NCGS 51-6)
MARRIAGE LICENSES ARE ISSUED MONDAY-FRIDAY 8:00am-4:30pm (except holidays) BY APPOINTMENT ONLY!!
YOU SHOULD CALL 828-265-8034 FOR AN APPOINTMENT.
THE ONLINE MARRIAGE LICENSE APPLICATION SHOULD BE COMPLETED BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT.
You must first fill out our on-line marriage license by clicking HERE.
Marriage Licenses are valid for 60 days from the date of issuance and there is not a waiting period to use the license. Applicants should NOT apply for a license more than 60 days before the planned marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony may occur in any county within the State of North Carolina, but the license must be returned to the county in which it was issued within 10 days after the marriage.
The fee for the Marriage License, which is non-refundable, is $60 - Cash, Certified Check or Credit/Debit card. NO PERSONAL CHECKS! If the license expires or is lost before it is used, the $60 fee applies to the reissuance of the license.
IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS and PROOF OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
*ALL applicants ages 18 and over must appear in person and present their Driver's License or other government issued ID AND their Social Security card (or other computer-generated document showing the full social security number such as a paycheck stub, W-2, tax return, bank record, etc.). For applicants with no social security number or who is ineligible to obtain one, an Affidavit of Ineligibility must be presented.
*For applicants ages 16 or 17 –
*In addition to the documents listed above, any applicant who is age 16 or 17 must provide a certified copy of their birth certificate; AND
*The age difference between the applicants can be no more than four years; AND
*A written consent is required (per NCGS 51-2) by either a certified copy of a North Carolina district court order authorizing the marriage or a written consent to the marriage signed in the presence of the Register of Deeds by the appropriate person, agency or institution, which could be:
*a parent with full custody
*both parents with joint custody
*by a person, agency, or institution having legal custody or serving as a legal guardian of the underage party.
PLEASE NOTE: Legal documentation of custody or legal guardianship must be presented.
*It is unlawful for anyone under the age of 16 to be married in North Carolina. (NCGS 51-2)
For any applicant previously married which ended in divorce or death, the original or certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate must be presented at time of application.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS
A matricular consular or other similar document, is not acceptable for use in determining a person’s actual identity or residency. (NCGS 15A-311)
Applicants who have any difficulty speaking and/or reading English must provide their own interpreter who is age 18 or older.
Once a marriage license has been issued, the couple should appear before an officiant authorized by North Carolina law to perform a ceremony. Authorized officiants include: an ordained minister of any religious denomination; minister authorized by a church; in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination or any federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe; or a magistrate. (NCGS 51)
The Register of Deeds CAN NOT give an opinion about whether any particular individual or practice, such as online ordination credentials, meets the statutory requirements.
Marriage License FAQs
How do I obtain a certified copy of my marriage certificate?
There are 3 ways in which you can obtain a certified copy.
1. The fastest and easiest way is to order this online through our "Get Certificate Now" link. You will make the request, upload identification and securely pay for the certified copy, and it will be mailed to you.
Click here for online vital record request: https://www.getcertificatenow.com/watauga#1
2. You may come in person to our office complete a request form, present identification and pay the fee for a certified copy.
3., You may submit a written request through the mail. The written request must include the applicants names at the time of the marriage, date of marriage and place of marriage. You must sign your request, enclose a copy of a government issued picture ID, and give an address where we are to mail the certified copy. The fee for the certified copy must accompany your written request.
Click Here to download the request form.