Utah County Digital Marriage Licenses
By Russ J Rampton, Supervisor of Digital Services
Wedding planning is a wonderful but hectic time with countless decisions to make concerning venues, photographers, gowns, cakes, guestlists, and so much more. In all the planning, don’t forget that one little thing you will need if you want your union to be legally binding: a marriage license.
In 2019, Utah County developed a completely digital marriage license system. It was the first of its kind and remains a unique innovation. The new 2023 upgrade makes it even easier for couples to apply for their marriage license on their own time from any location. No one needs to come into the office; no one puts ink to paper.
Everything is done in four easy steps:
Step 1. Apply for your marriage license online.
Access the application at https://marriage.utahcounty.gov
Although marriage licenses are issued at County offices, a license issued by any Clerk in Utah can be used anywhere in the state of Utah. There is no waiting period for a marriage license in Utah, but it must be used within 32 days of issuance. We recommend getting your license 10-14 days prior to your wedding.
The weeks just before your wedding can be a crazy time so use the reminder service on our website to get an alert when it is time to apply. Select your wedding date and we’ll send you reminders with a link to the online marriage license application. An email comes two weeks before your ceremony; a text message one week before.
As part of the application, you will use a smart phone to capture images of your government-issued ID and your face for identity verification. The system recognizes many identity cards including driver’s licenses from every US state and passports from nearly every country.
The base price for a Utah County marriage license is $50, but state law requires counties with an online application system to charge an extra $20 to fund the Utah Marriage Commission and its mission to encourage a healthy culture of strong marriages and stable families. As an incentive, sometimes called the marriage education discount, this fee is waived for couples who have completed pre-marital education or counseling. To access free resources including courses, podcasts, webinars, assessments, and handbooks, visit the commission’s website at http://extension.usu.edu/strongermarriage. Before you enter your credit/debit card number on the license payment screen you can enter your course code or otherwise indicate the type of education or counseling to waive the $20 fee.
Step 2. Send your digital license to your officiant.
After your identities have been verified, you have completed the application, and paid the required fees, you’ll be issued a digital marriage license. You then need to share it with the person who will performing your wedding ceremony, known as the officiant.
You will receive an email with instructions for using your digital license. Use the “Send digital license to officiant” link in the email to access the Officiant Information page. There you will enter the email address of your officiant and click “send email.” They will receive an email with the link to your specific license and instructions for using it. You also have the option to share a QR code or provide them with the officiant worksheet. Everything is digital and we won’t send you any paper prior to your ceremony.
If you have a special person you want to officiate your marriage, but they need authority to do so, they can apply to be a County Clerk Designee at https://marriage.utahcounty.gov. Our website also has a list of officiants. If you want a simple ceremony performed by a Deputy Clerk, you can schedule a ceremony to held in our office or by video-conference remote appearance.
Step 3. Have your wedding ceremony.
Wedding ceremonies are as unique and special as the couple getting married, but they all have a few things in common.
Your chosen wedding officiant will guide the two of you through the process of proclaiming your love and willing commitment to one another through a ceremony consistent with your religious beliefs, cultural traditions, or life philosophies. This must be done in the presence of at least two witnesses. Upon the pronouncement of the officiant, you are married.
Following your ceremony, your officiant will use the link or QR code you shared with them to access the online officiant submission and affidavit. They will enter information about themselves as an officiant, the date and location of your ceremony, and the names of the witnesses. After digitally signing the affidavit and clicking submit their job is done.
Step 4. Receive digital and paper marriage certificates.
Within minutes of the officiant’s submission, your marriage is in the records of the Utah County Clerk, and you will each receive an email with a digital copy of your marriage certificate. This file is certified through blockchain technology. The next business day a paper copy certified with a signature and embossed seal will be mailed to the address you provided during the application process.
A marriage certificate can be used for all the legal things that follow your marriage such as changing your name and qualifying for spousal benefits. Keep it in safe place with your other legal documents but know that you can always purchase additional copies from the county for $10 at any time.
The purpose of the Utah County Marriage License Office is to secure for individuals and couples the rights associated with marriage relationships. We strive to provide this public service with the greatest convenience to you and the minimum interference from us whether you visit our website, send us an email, give us a call, or come into the office.
The Utah County Digital Marriage License System is transformative by design, not just a replication of the paper process in a digital space. It intentionally changes the way that you, your spouse, and your officiant interact with a government office so that the end service – a legal document certifying your marriage – is delivered to you as conveniently, securely, and quickly as possible.