Everything you need to know about getting a NH marriage license and exactly who can marry you in NH.
General NH Marriage License Requirements
The most important part of getting a NH marriage license is going to a city or town hall in New Hampshire during the requisite time window to get the license. You’ll need to go with enough time to process the marriage license but within 90 days of your wedding day.
There is no longer a waiting period, but a New Hampshire marriage license typically takes 30 minutes process. And many town clerks are not open 5 days a week. For example, the Franconia Town Clerk’s Office (near the Horse & Hound) is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays 8:00am to 3:30pm and Thursdays from 8:00am to 5pm. So we recommend going at least a week in advance, just to be safe!
Note that some town clerk’s offices, like in Manchester, prohibit non-New England residents from obtaining a marriage license due to COVID quarantine rules. But it doesn’t matter which city or town you visit to get your marriage license, as long as it’s in New Hampshire. So just make sure you check COVID marriage license requirements ahead of time. Other than the COVID restrictions, the same marriage license requirements apply to New Hampshire residents as non-residents.
Finally, not surprisingly, a NH marriage license is only good for ceremonies taking place in New Hampshire. So, if you’re not getting married in NH, don’t get a NH marriage license :). But if you’re getting married at the Horse & Hound, you better have a New Hampshire license to marry!
What Names Should Couples Use on Their Marriage License?
Couples should use the names that they plan to have after the wedding ceremony on the marriage license. You can still change your name after your wedding, but it’s more difficult if you don’t update it on the NH marriage license first.
What to bring when you apply for your NH marriage license
Here are is everything you need to bring to get a marriage license in New Hampshire:
- Bring you fiancé! You both need to be present to obtain a marriage license in New Hampshire. There is an exception if one party in unable to be present because they are in the military.
- A form of ID that shows your age and identity. Best to bring a government issued ID.
- A $50 fee (usually a city clerk’s office will accept cash, debit cards and credit cards and some also accept check).
- A death certificate if either party is widowed and divorce/annulment certificate if either party was married before.
How Old Do you Need to be Married?
You need to be at least 18 years old. But those ages 16 and 17 can ask for special permission to marry. Nobody under 16 can get married in New Hampshire.
How to get a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate?
To get a copy of a marriage certificate in New Hampshire, couples must wait until after their wedding ceremony and pay a small fee. The process and wait times vary from town to town. So ask about the process when you apply for your marriage license.
Don’t Lie on Your NH Marriage License!
It’s a Class B felony if you willfully and knowingly make a false state on your New Hampshire marriage license. So make sure you tell the truth!
Who Can Officiate a New Hampshire Wedding?
Here is the list of persons who can officiate a wedding in New Hampshire.
- A Justice of the Peace commissioned in New Hampshire
- Ministers in New Hampshire (either residing in New Hampshire or at least having part of their pastoral charge in New Hampshire).
- Ministers living outside New Hampshire (ordained or not) can still officiate a marriage in New Hampshire with a license and fee.
- An individual living outside New Hampshire can also officiate a marriage in New Hampshire if they are authorized to perform marriages in their state of residence with a license and fee.
- Certain judges residing in New Hampshire with a license and fee.
- A temporary special marriage license can also be obtained by any individual for a fee.
More details here on who can officiate marriages in New Hampshire.
We hope this helps answer any questions on obtaining a NH marriage license and who can officiate a marriage in New Hampshire. If you’re also looking for a New Hampshire wedding venue head here or here!