State Pennsylvania Getting Married Inback to States


Pennsylvania recognizes both straight and same-sex unions.

Current Legislation:

As of May 20th, 2014, both straight and same-sex unions are recognized in the state.


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

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

How can I apply for a marriage license?

Both parties must be present when applying for a marriage license at the county courthouse and marriage applicants may use the license in any county in the commonwealth.

What are the fees?

The cost for a marriage license varies by county, averaging $40-$80, and most offices accept cash only.

Is there a waiting period?

There is a three-day waiting period but the license will expire 60 days after it is issued.

What documentation do I need?

Both parties must present proof of age and identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID when applying for a marriage license. In cases of previous marriages, you must provide a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate.

Is a blood test required?


Who can marry us and are witnesses required?

Judges (including retired) who have served at least one full term, mayors and former mayors, religious leaders. Also, some counties still recognize self-uniting marriages during which “every religious society, religious institution or religious organization … may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.” If you choose to have a self-uniting license, you must confirm with your county. Two witnesses are required for all ceremonies.

How can I change my name?

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 or civil union 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 Pennsylvania resident can formally change their name without a marriage license, but it must be done in your county of residence. You must first get your fingerprints taken so that law enforcement can verify the applicant is not changing your name for fraudulent reasons (cost is about $20). Then head to the County Court Clerk’s office and fill out and file a Name Change Petition and Civil Cover Sheet (available here) along with your fingerprint cards ($151 filing fee) and receive a hearing date. Depending on your county, you may have to make public notice of your name change either through: the Court’s bulletin board, the Court’s law journal, or through the local newspaper. You will have to submit a ‘Notice of Name Change’ and have your public notice run the time-frame as instructed by the clerk. After it runs, be sure to obtain a Proof of Publication form. Bring all forms including a Name Change Certification (available at the clerk’s office) to the scheduled hearing. Once your request is granted, be sure to submit your 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.