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 Marriage Licenses

 

This office will not determine what is/is not a church and/or congregation.

To be recognized as legal by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, marriages must be performed under a valid marriage license duly issued by a Clerk of Orphans’ Court & MUST BE OFFICIATED by one of the following individuals specially recognized under PA law as authorized to officiate, to wit:

 
 §1503. Persons qualified to solemnize marriages.

(a) General rule – The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part. PLEASE BE ADVISED: If you choose to be married by someone other than the officiants specifically listed as authorized by PA law, the burden of proof will be on you regarding the legality of your marriage – should future issues arise that require a determination of the marriage’s validity:
 
a. A Justice, Judge or District Justice of the Commonwealth.

b. A former or retired Justice, Judge or District Justice of the Commonwealth who is serving as a Senior Judge or Senior District Justice as provided or prescribed by law.

c. An active or senior Judge or full-time Magistrate of the District Courts of the United States for the Eastern, Middle or Western district of Pennsylvania.

d. An active or Senior Judge of the United States Court of appeals for the Third Circuit who is a resident of this Commonwealth.

e. A Mayor of any city or borough of this Commonwealth.

f. A minister, priest or rabbi of any REGULARLY ESTABLISHED CHURCH OR CONGREGATION.
 
(b) Religious Organizations – Every religious society, religious institution or religious organization in this Commonwealth may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization. (Amish & Quakers if you are a member)

(c) Marriage license needed to officiate – No person or religious organization qualified to perform marriages shall officiate at a marriage ceremony without the parties having obtained a marriage license issued under this part.

Effective 01/01/2005 Common Law marriage is no longer valid in Pennsylvania.

 

 

Guidelines for Marriage License Applicants

  1. Applicants must be 18 years of age to apply without parent’s consent.

  2. The couple must appear together at the courthouse to apply. Proof of identity is required such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, military ID or passport.

  3. Applicants must know:
        a. Their birthdates and birthplaces.
        b. Their social security numbers.
        c. The birthplaces of their parents.

  4. Blood tests are no longer required.

  5. There is a three day waiting period from the time the couple applies for the license until the couple can pick up the license.

  6. The license is good for sixty days once it is issued. 

  7. The fee for the license is $43.00 payable by cash or check at the time of application. Payment by debit/credit card is permitted, however there is a $3.00 convenience fee added to the license fee.

  8. If either of the couple have been divorced, they must know the dates and causes of each and all divorces as listed on the divorce decree(s). If a divorce has occurred within the last 30 days prior to the date of the application, the divorce decree must be presented at the time of application.

  9. If either of the couple have had a marriage end through death of a spouse, the date
    of death must be known. 

  10. The license may be used anywhere in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

  11. The office only issues licenses; it does not perform wedding ceremonies.

  12. Couples may apply for a marriage license at the office of Gregory K. Mortimer, Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, 1st Floor, Clarion County Courthouse, Clarion Pa. 16214 on Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Couples should be present to apply for an application no later than 4:00 pm.
 

 Certified Copies of Marriage Licenses

 

​One important thing a couple needs to know before contacting the Register & Recorder's Office: The marriage license for the couple will be found in the county in which they applied for their marriage license, not necessarily in the county where they were married.  For instance, a couple that got married in New Bethlehem but applied for their license in Kittanning would need to contact the Armstrong County Register & Recorder’s Office to obtain a certified copy of their marriage license. Likewise, a couple who got married in Knox Borough but applied for their marriage license in Franklin would need to contact the Venango County Register & Recorder’s Office to obtain a certified copy of their marriage license.

The Register & Recorder's Office requires the following information to obtain a copy of Marriage License Certificate:

    • Names of the couple at the time of application (which would include the female's maiden name)

    • $5.50 fee per certified copy by cash, check payable to Clarion County Register & Recorder, or debit/credit card.  There is an additional $3.00 transaction fee is paid by a debit/credit card.


There are several different ways a couple can request a certified copy of their marriage license:

    • They can visit the office to obtain a certified copy which only takes several minutes to complete. They can also call the office at (814) 226-4000 Ext. 3501 to request it in advance and the office will have it ready for them when they arrive to pick it up.

    • They can write and request it through the U.S. mail by including the fee, names of the applicants at the time of application and a self-addressed stamped envelope for the office to return it to them. The office address is “Clarion County Register & Recorder’s Office at 421 Main Street, Suite 24, Courthouse, Clarion, PA 16214.   We return a mail request for a certified copy of a marriage license the day we receive it or the very next working day at the latest.

    • They can request a certified copy over the phone at (814) 226-4000 Ext. 3501, if paid by a debit/credit card.  We will return it the day of the request or the very next working day at the latest.


The office can also provide an uncertified copy of a marriage license for 50 cents but most places will require a certified copy for official use.