Residency and Citizenship Requirements
Start the process by applying online for your marriage license. After submitting your application, you will receive an email with instructions for completing the application process.
Signing Application in Office:
Follow the instructions in the email you received after applying online. This is the most common way couples apply.
Completing Application by Mail or Drop Off:
After applying online, contact our office so we can send the Application and Affidavit for Marriage License to you. Both parties must have their signature notarized.
To complete the application, submit the following:
The marriage application and payment can be mailed to our office or placed in our drop box inside the courthouse at 311 Grand Ave #103, Bellingham WA 98225.
The 3-day waiting period begins the day the marriage application is processed at the Whatcom County Auditor's Office. You may not get married during this waiting period. The marriage license is valid for 60 days following the 3-day waiting period.
It is up to the couple to arrange a ceremony. Once you've received your marriage license, your ceremony must take place in the state of Washington. The license is valid for 60 days following the 3-day waiting period. You cannot get married during the 3-day waiting period. (See Below)
Who Can Officiate a Ceremony?
According to Washington state law RCW 26.04.050, the ceremony can be performed by:
The officiant who performs your ceremony has 30 days from the date of the ceremony to return the Department of Health Certificate of Marriage to the Whatcom County Auditor's Office.
The Recording Division will record the certificate and mail a certified copy to the address provided during the application process. One certified copy is included with your application. You can request additional copies of your marriage license by contacting our office.
The certified copy of the Department of Health Certificate of Marriage is required for Social Security name changes, changing driver's license records, updating passports, etc.
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