Marriage Licenses

Marriage license applications are accepted in person by appointment only. Use the button below or call  610-344-6395 to schedule an appointment. 

The Marriage license office is open for extended hours until 6:00pm on Wednesdays for in-person appointments. The extended hours are ONLY for applying for a marriage license and you MUST have an appointment. All applicants with appointments at 4:30pm or after must pay with a credit card. No cash payments will be accepted. Any couples with appointments at 4:00pm or later who require an interpreter MUST bring an interpreter with them. The interpreter must be 18 years or older and have photo identification.

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Marriage License Application Requirements

  • Applications are taken by appointment only on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8:30am-4:00pm and Wednesday 8:30 am until 6:00 pm.  Schedule an appointment by using the button above, or call 610-344-6395.
  • Blood tests are not required.
  • The fee is $75 payable by cash or credit card. There is a $1.69 processing fee for using credit cards. Checks and money orders are not accepted. This fee cannot be waived. If for any reason the marriage does not take place, there is no refund. During extended hours on Wednesdays ONLY credit cards will be accepted.
  • BOTH applicants must appear together in the office at their scheduled date and time to apply for the license. The ONLY exception may apply to an applicant who is in Active Military Service. For more information please call the office at 610-344-6395.
  • There is a three-day waiting period before the license is valid so application must be made at least three days but, not more than 60 days before the marriage date.
  • License is valid for 60 days starting from and including the issue date that appears on the License. If not used within the 60 day period, the application process must be repeated in its entirety to obtain a subsequent license. This includes the payment of the license fee. 
  • License can be used in any county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. An out-of state marriage license cannot be used in Pennsylvania nor can a Pennsylvania marriage license be used out-of-state.
  • A Social Security Number is required by state law if the applicant has one. It is not necessary to present the social security card as the number is confidential and not public record. If either applicant refuses to give their social security number, the application will be denied.
  • Applicants must provide identification that shows their current legal name and date of birth. Photo ID is required. We reserve the right to require any further identification as deemed necessary.
  • If either applicant was previously married, the date of the most recent divorce, legal annulment, or death of previous spouse must be provided. If the divorce or legal annulment was final within six months of the application date, a certified copy of the final decree must be presented. 
  • Age Requirements - Both applicants MUST be at least 18 years or older.
Print Requirements
Requisitos para la licencia de matriomonio

Emergency Waiver of the 3-Day Waiting Period 

  • Except for Active Duty Military personnel, the waiver request must be submitted to the Marriage License Department for approval by the Court at least two working days before the day of the application. For example, if marriage day is Saturday, the latest day to submit waiver request is Wednesday. An application will not be taken until the waiver is approved by the Judge. Both parties should be prepared to return to apply some time after the request is submitted.
  • A $25 fee must be paid when waiver request is submitted - cash, money order, or credit card only. Checks are not accepted. Make money order payable to "Clerk of the Orphans' Court." Do not mail cash. Requests are presented to the Judge only after the fee is paid. Active Duty Military personnel are not subject to this fee.
  • Request must be in writing. Both applicants must sign the request. If either applicant is not able to sign the request, please provide an explanation.
  • The reason for the waiver request must be given. Include date of marriage and time period involved.
  • The request can be prepared by the applicants using the Marriage License Waiver Request form
  • Mail or hand-deliver the request and fee to:

Marriage License Department
Chester County Justice Center
201 W. Market Street, Suite 2200
West Chester, PA  19380-0989

To receive a copy of the approved waiver, enclude a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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Officiant of the Marriage

Pennsylvania has no provision for the registration of officiants to perform marriages. Selection of, and arrangements for, an officiant to perform the marriage ceremony are the responsibility of the applicants. Below are a list of judges that performs marriages in Chester County.
  • Court of Common Pleas Judges
    • Honorable Bret M. Binder - 610-344-5900
    • Honorable Sarah B. Black - 610-344-4441
    • Honorable Nicole Forzato - 610-344-6222
    • Honorable Fredda Lewis Maddox - 610-344-5485
    • Honorable Thomas P. McCabe- 610-344-6604
    • Honorable Alita Rovito - 610-344-4494
    • Honorable Allison Bell Royer -610-344-4086
    • Honorable Analisa Sondergaard - 610-344-6182
  • Magisterial District Judges - contact your local jurisdiction.
  • Policy concerning officiants of marriages

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Non-English Speaking Applicants

  • If either applicant is non-English speaking, an English interpreter is needed to complete the Marriage License Application. Be advised, without exception, interpreters appearing with the applicants must provide a Photo ID and sign an oath verifying the translation.
  • The County of Chester does not have interpreters on staff.
  • Applicants may not interpret for each other.
Requisitos para conseguir un licencia matrimonial en Español

Self-Uniting Marriage Licenses

If a self-uniting license is required, inform the clerk before the application process begins. Except for the format of the license, the requirements for a self-uniting license and a standard license are the same.

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Public Record and Publishing of Information

All marriage applications are public record. Except for social security numbers and voter declination forms, which are confidential, all other information is available to the public. Local newspapers often publish the names of the marriage license applicants. This office is not permitted to withhold any information considered public record without a Court Order. The applicants should contact an attorney for the procedure to petition the Court to impound the record.

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Certified Marriage Records

Requests for certified marriage records are accepted in person or by mail. Application for the marriage license must have been made in Chester County, Pa from 1931 to the present. Marriage records cannot be certified unless, and until, the duplicate marriage certificate has been returned to this office by the officiant.

This certification is signed by the Assistant Clerk of the Orphans' Court. In some instances, for example, foreign registration of the marriage or foreign adoptions, the certification must be signed by the Elected Clerk of the Orphans' Court and the Court. You must determine which type of certification is needed. Refer to the section on Marriage Records for a Foreign Country for more details.

 A form for requesting certified marriage records is available in the Forms and Documents section. Walk-in requests are processed immediately. Please allow 7-10 working days for processing of mail-in requests. All requests require the following information:

  • Name of both applicants at the time of application
  • Date of marriage
  • Daytime phone number for all mail-in requests
  • $20 fee payable by cash, credit card, or money order only. Please do not mail cash. Money order is payable to "Clerk of the Orphans' Court." If the request is by mail, a self-addressed, stamped envelope must be enclosed for the return of the certification.

 Mail request to:

 Marriage License Department
 Chester County Justice Center
 201 W. Market Street, Suite 2200
 West Chester, PA 19380-0989

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Exemplifications of Marriage Records

An Exemplification is an authentication of the record by a Judge of the Orphans’ Court and the Elected Clerk of the Orphans’ Court.

An Exemplification contains the complete Marriage Application which has all the information provided when the application was made, e.g. applicants place and date of birth, parent information, etc.  Official Seals and signatures are on the document.

The fee for the Exemplification is $40 payable by cash, credit card or money order only. Do NOT mail cash. A form for requesting an Exemplification is available in the Forms and Documents section or contact the Office of the Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, in person or by calling at 610-344-6335. The process may take 7 to 10 days.

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Apostilles for Marriage Records

If the marriage record is for a foreign country you may need to obtain an Apostille issued by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

An Apostille is used by foreign governments to assess the authenticity of an official signature. It is recognized only by countries that have signed the Convention of the Hague of 1961. For those countries that are not signatories, the Department of State attaches a certification. When the Department of State certifies a document with an Apostille, the department verifies that the person who signed the document is a Pennsylvania official and the department has given “full faith and credit” to the official’s seal and signature. The Apostille is prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of State for documents signed and sealed by the County Elected Officials.

The Marriage Application and Duplicate are the most commonly requested documents for authentication by the Department of State.   Marriage Documents are required for Foreign Adoptions, dual citizenship and registering marriages performed in USA in a foreign country. The two types of authentication of the records issued by this office and accepted by the Department of State are (1) the Certification of the Marriage signed by the Elected Clerk of the Orphans' Court and (2) the Exemplification, which includes the complete marriage application, signed by the Elected Clerk of the Orphans’ Court and a Judge of the Orphans’ Court.

For more information or to request an Apostille, contact the Department of State