Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A marriage license is permission from a legal authority for the marriage of two people to be performed. The requirements differ depending on the time and place: licenses to marry have been granted since the Middle Ages. Valid marriages can occur without a license (for example, by obtaining pardon for having married without license, or by cohabitation and representation as husband and wife in jurisdictions permitting common-law marriages).
Every state in the United States issues marriage licenses. After the marriage ceremony, both spouses and the officiant sign the marriage license (some states require a witness). The officiant or couple then files for a certified copy of the marriage license and a marriage certificate with the government.
The requirements for getting a marriage license varies from state to state.
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