How to Get Married in Washington DCdc elopements

Frequently Asked Questions


 The DC Marriage License


Do I need a witness to marry in Washington DC?

When marrying in Washington DC, witnesses to the marriage are NOT required.  This make it easy for couples to marry quickly in our Nations Capital.


How do I get a DC marriage license?


  • Have the name of your DC wedding officiant prior to applying for your DC marriage license.  The officiant must be authorized and registered with the DC Marriage Bureau to officiate marriages in Washington DC.  Our officiants are authorized and ready to assist you.


  • Arrive at the DC Superior Court Marriage Bureau (address below) between 8:30 am – 4:30 pm to apply for your marriage license.


  • Sign-in using the computer next to the wall.  Make sure it processes your entry.


  • Wait for your name to be called, but remember who was there before you arrive (so take a head count).  Knowing who is before you will help, if your name is skipped.


  • Each party in the marriage must have proof of identity, such as a driver’s license, government issued non-driver’s identification, or current passport.


  • You will also need to bring payment of $45 for your DC marriage license.  The fee can be paid in cash or by credit or debit card.  The court also accepts money orders made payable to the “Clerk of the Court, DC Superior Court.”  Bonus:  a $35 marriage license application fee is waived for those who are already registered as Domestic Partners in the District of Columbia.


Since The District of Columbia no longer have a waiting period, you will receive your DC marriage license the same day.  Therefore, you can apply for your DC marriage license the same day you’re scheduled to marry.  It’s that easy.

The DC Superior Court Marriage Bureau is Located at:

Moultrie Courthouse
500 Indiana Avenue, NW
Room JM-690
Washington, DC 20001

You can complete the DC Marriage License application prior to arriving at the DC Marriage Bureau in Washington DC.  This way, you’ll be ready before your name is called for service.  If this sounds way too time consuming, use our Marriage License Proxy Services.


Is there a waiting period to use my DC marriage license?

The DC Superior Court Marriage Bureau eliminate the 3 day waiting period in January 2015.  Now you can get your Washington DC marriage license the same day and get married the same day.  DC now joins other states that offer same day marriages.


dc marriages faq

Do we have to be a resident of Washington DC to marry there?

No. Residency is required to marry in the District of Columbia.  People from all over the world marry in Washington DC.


How long does it take to get a Washington DC marriage license?

You will get your DC marriage license the same day you apply.  Allow yourself at least 2-3 hours to get your DC marriage license.  So bring a good book.


In order to complete our DC marriage license application, we must record the name of our officiant, how can we determine who that will be?

  • If you are planning on marrying at the DC marriage bureau, then you can leave that section of the marriage license application blank.
  • In Washington DC you can act as your own officiant if you like.  If so, but both parties to the marriage must appear before clerk at the time the DC marriage license application is submitted.
  • You can also have a friend or family member become a temporary officiant
  • If you’re using our services, you have already found a reliable DC wedding officiant, Starlene Joyner Burns.


If I wanted to get a certified copy of the DC marriage license while I am in town, can I do this?

Yes you can, as long as the officiant is willing to give you the court’s copy of the marriage certificate and the DC marriage bureau is open.


How do I get a certified copy of  my DC marriage license if I’m not hand delivering it?

The DC Marriage Bureau provide written instructions on how to obtain a certified copy of the marriage certificate within the package of material you get with your DC marriage certificate.

  • after 2 weeks you can request a certified copy of your DC marriage license
  • you will have to submit a written request for a certified copy
  • this request is sent to the DC Marriage Bureau at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20001
  • you will have to enclosed the appropriate amount of money for each copy (no personal checks)
  • receiving a certified copy of the marriage certificate is is not automatically done, so you have to take action


What documents will the Washington DC marriage bureau accept if my partner does not have a social security number or a drivers license?

You will need a current passport or a certified copy of the identification pages.




Getting Married in DC


The Ceremony


What types of wedding services are available to couples getting married in DC?

The DC Marriage Knot offer the following services:  elopements, chapel weddings, signature services, and photography.


If I wanted to get married indoors, what are my options?

To name a few, Our DC wedding chapel, a private room in a restaurant, the Women’s Museum, The Newseum, and there are plenty Inns in DC that allow weddings.


How do we book your company for our event?

You can book our services by using this form.  In the additional detail section, note the follow “we’re ready to reserve your services.”


After I’m married, how can I change my name?

You have to put in the leg work to change your name.  A certified copy of the marriage license is needed.

Here’s where you will be submitting a name change request:

  • social security administration
  • department of motor vehicle
  • US passport
  • employer/payroll
  • 401K/retirement plans
  • bank accounts/checkbook, credit card companies
  • landlord/mortgage company
  • utility companies (phone, cable, gas, electric, etc.),
  • doctor, dentist, health provider
  • US postal service
  • life, auto & home insurance
  • investment companies
  • voter registration
  • memberships
  • frequent flyer cards
  • legal contracts, and wills


If I am planning an outdoor wedding is there a way for me to know when it would be too dark for the ceremony?

Yes, once the sun sets, you have about 30 minutes left of daylight.


How do you describe your relationship with most couples?

Question to Rev. Starlene Joyner Burns.

  • Pleasantdc marriage license proxy
  • Respectful
  • Caring
  • Understanding
  • Flexible
  • Many couples continue staying in contact with me after the ceremony is over.


If there is a question you have that has not been addressed here, please send your question to our information desk.