Marriage & Divorce
A marriage license is issued by the Recorder of Deeds in each Missouri county and is valid only in Missouri. Marriage license applicants are not required to be Missouri residents.
Both must appear in person before the recorder of deeds or a deputy recorder and present valid identification containing date of birth, along with a Social Security card, to apply for a marriage license.
Fees for a marriage license and copies may vary by county.
Marriage Laws (Revised Statutes of Missouri 451)
- Applicants for a marriage license must be at least 18 years old.
- Applicants who are younger than 18 must have consent from a custodial parent or guardian.
- Applicants wishing to apply who are younger than 15 must obtain a circuit court order.
- Applicants cannot be married already and may not be related by blood, through and including first cousins.
- The license must be picked up prior to the marriage ceremony. The person performing the ceremony must have the license prior to the ceremony.
- The person performing the marriage ceremony shall return the license to the issuing Recorder of Deeds within 15 days.
- If a marriage ceremony does not occur, the license shall be void after thirty days from the date of issuance.
Who can perform a marriage ceremony in Missouri?
According to Section 451.100.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes…
Marriages may be solemnized by any clergyman, either active or retired, who is in good standing with any church or synagogue in this state. Marriages may also be solemnized, without compensation, by any judge, including a municipal judge. Marriages may also be solemnized by a religious society, religious institution, or religious organization of this state, according to the regulations and customs of the society, institution or organization, when either party to the marriage to be solemnized is a member of such society, institution or organization.
Every party not represented by counsel who participates in a family law case shall use the forms approved by the Supreme Court. You are advised to check with your local court to determine if additional specific forms are necessary for representing yourself.
Marriage & Divorce Certificates
Marriage licenses can be obtained from the Recorder of Deeds Office in the county where the license was obtained. Divorce decrees can be obtained from the Circuit Clerk in the county where the divorce was granted. Only Certified Statements Relating to Marriage or Divorce can be obtained from the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City. These statements list limited information such as names of individuals/parties, dates, and county of record. Certified statements can be helpful if an individual is not certain of the county of record or other similar circumstances.