State Alaska Getting Married Inback to States


Alaska recognizes both straight and same-sex unions.

Current Legislation:

As of October 12th, 2014, both straight and same-sex unions are recognized in the sate.


Do I have to reside in Alaska to get married there?

You do not have to be a resident of Alaska to get married there.

How can I apply for a marriage license?

The marriage license application from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services can be submitted by either party to the Bureau of Vital Statistics or a local Alaska Court, however both persons must sign the license in the presence of a licensing officer. Marriage licenses picked up in Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Juneau must be sent to the respective Bureau office. The courts in these cities will not handle marriage applications.

What are the fees?

The cost for a marriage license is $60.

Is there a waiting period?

There is a three-day waiting period which begins when either partner begins filling out the marriage license application form at the court. The license will expire one year after it is issued.

What documentation do I need?

Both parties must present an official photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to obtain a marriage license. If either partner has been previously married, the name of the former spouse, as well as the date and place of the marriage, and date and place of the divorce and/or a copy of a death certificate may be required if the marriage ended within 60 days prior to the license application.

Who can marry us and are witnesses required?

A marriage ceremony can be performed by a minister, priest, rabbi, commissioned officer of a congregation, a judicial officer of the state, or a marriage commissioner appointed by a presiding judge of the judicial district. Two witnesses must be present in order for the marriage to be valid.

How can I change my name?

With a marriage license: Obtain several certified copies from the county clerk’s office where your license was filed, as you will need these throughout the name changing process. Fill out an application for a new Social Security card (which can be found here) and go to your local Social Security Administration office (be sure to get there before it opens) with a certified copy of your marriage license, photo proof of identity such as a driver’s license and original proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Be sure to change it with the DMV, your employer, your bank, etc.

Any adult can formally change their name in Alaska without a marriage license by filing a petition in the superior court. While it’s not officially required to be a resident, it’s highly suggested in order to have your petition accepted.File a Petition for Name Change and an Application for Name Change with the county clerk’s office ($150 filing fee). Be sure to make copies of each of the forms for yourself. The court clerk will then give or mail to you an Order For Hearing, Publication and Posting. This order will tell you (1) the date of your court hearing, (2) whether you are required to publish a notice and, if so, which newspaper you must use, and (3) whether or not you must post the notice in addition to publishing it. The hearing date will usually take place at least 40 days after the date of the order. If the order requires you to publish notice, take it to the newspaper and tell the personnel that you need to publish the “Notice of Petition to Change Name” in the legal notices section once a week for four consecutive weeks before the court hearing. Once publications are completed, the newspaper will give you an “Affidavit of Publication” which will contain a copy of the published notice and the dates when it was published. File this affidavit with the court before the court hearing. If the order requires you to post the notice, you must make copies of the notice and post it in the places listed in the order for the number of days stated in the order.  After posting is completed, fill out an Affidavit of Posting (court form CIV-702). The affidavit must be signed under oath or affirmation in front of a notary public by the person who did the posting. A court clerk can provide this notary service for you. File the original affidavit with the court before the court hearing. The day of the hearing, simply explain why you want to change your name to the judge, assuring that you are not seeking to do so for fraudulent reasons. The judge will either sign a judgement for you to take a new name or require additional publication. If the latter, you must publish a Notice of Judgement in a newspaper within 10 days after the date. File the Affidavit of Publication with the court. The judge may also require you to post it, which you must do and then fill out an Affidavit of Posting (court form CIV-702 and file it with the court. Once you complete the following steps, you will be granted a Certificate of Name Change which you will use as proof of name change. Be sure to submit name change to the DMV, employer, the Social Security Administration, etc.

Will my same-sex marriage be legal in other states?

Unfortunately, same-sex marriages are only recognized in the 35 states that they can legally be performed in— Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Hawaii, Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Maine, Mass., Md., Minn., Mont., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Ore., Penn., R.I., S.C., Utah, Va., Vt., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo., as well as Washington, D.C.

**Disclaimer: Requirements and protocols are subject change. Please regard the above information as a guide only, not professional legal advice. It is important to confirm the information with your specific county and state of residence before the wedding.