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Marriage Licenses

State of Iowa Marriage Instructions

It is the responsibility of applicants to read this carefully before making application!

General Information

In Iowa, a license to marry may be applied for only from a County Registrar. These officials also perform County Recorder functions and have offices either in a county courthouse or county administration building.

Marriage licenses issued in Iowa are valid only for marriage ceremonies performed within the boundaries of the State of Iowa by authorized officiants as defined in Iowa Code section 595.10.

All parties involved in the marriage ceremony must be in the same geographic location. At a minimum, the parties to be married, the officiant, and two witnesses must be physically present.

Iowa law provides that marriage is a civil contract between two persons who must be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Legally competent to enter into a civil contract
  • Not already or still legally married to someone else or to each other
  • Not closely related by blood or first cousins


Persons aged 16 and 17 may only marry with special permission from a judge and should request a "Consent to Marriage of a Minor" form when making application for their marriage license.

Complete the form and present it to a judge within the same judicial district as the county in which you wish your license issued. The Clerk of District Court office can provide additional information. Return the signed form to the County Registrar in order to complete the marriage application process.