Brides Wanna Know

Sign On The Dotted Line

The fine print on obtaining a legal marriage license may seem daunting, but not to fret, we'll share the simple low down and how-to right here.

Everything seems to be falling into place... your guests have RSVP'd, the seating chart is complete, and you've found the most stunning bridal party gifts to shower your besties with. According to TWC's wedding timeline, you're right on track! Now, it's time tackle the last bullet: Pick up marriage license.

The fine print on obtaining a legal marriage license may seem daunting, but not to fret, we'll share the simple low down and how-to right here:

March 17, 2012

Photo Credit: Kris Labang Photography

Q :: What's a marriage LICENSE and is it the same thing as a marriage CERTIFICATE?
A :: Nope, they're different! A marriage license is needed BEFORE the wedding date and allows a wedding to happen. A marriage certificate indicates that a legal marriage has taken place. You will receive the marriage certificate in the mail AFTER your wedding. Think of it like a birth certificate, so be sure to keep it in a safe place.

Q :: Where do I get a marriage license?
A :: Luckily, the Department of Health offers a form you can download from their website to print and fill out at home, or you can also fill out the form at the Health Department Building located at 1250 Punchbowl Street, right across from the state capitol. There, you will meet with a marriage license agent who will review and approve the documents and paper work. The total process takes about 15 minutes if there's no line.

For those couples wanting to be one step ahead of the game, The Department of Health also allows you to apply online for a $5 processing fee. Instead of filling out the long application at the state office, simply fill out and submit your information at ahead of time, so the two of you can wait in line stress free and meet with an agent who can quickly pull up your information.

Use this handy-dandy instruction list provided by The Department of Health so you can efficiently and correctly fill out the online form HERE.

Sorry, appointments cannot be made, so be sure to account for state hours. Hours are Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 8am-4pm. Bring your honey with you (it's required!), you both need to sign off on the paperwork, take an oath and then VOILA! You'll be skipping out with your marriage license that same day.

March 17, 2012

Photo Credit :: Dave Miyamoto & Co.

Q :: What are the requirements for applying for a marriage license?
A :: Both you and your fiance must apply for the marriage license in person, together, even if you both filled out the info online. In Hawaii, blood tests aren't required, but if you're tying the knot in another state be sure to check out their regulations.

You MUST bring these items with you:
  • A copy of your birth certificates.
  • Valid I.D.s (State I.D. or driver's license is OK!)
  • If you were previously married or lost a beloved partner within 30 days of applying for the license, you will also need the original divorce decree or death certificate.
  • $60.00 CASH. Yes, cash ONLY, be sure to hit up the ATM before you go! And quarters... the parking is metered. Or pay online! Our tip? If you pay an additional $10 you can get your marriage certificate expedited, which means it comes in 10 business days versus the standard 60-120 days. Do it! This is the only way you can start your name changing process.
  • Other things to know: Your Mother's middle and maiden name, Your Father's middle name and the full name of your officiant.
Q :: When do I apply for a marriage license?
A :: The marriage license is only valid for 30 days, so be sure to squeeze in time the month before the big day. And be aware that applying for your marriage license the Friday before your wedding weekend MAY leave you in a pinch if there's a line or the office closes earlier than expected. Leave yourself a few days of cushion time just in case your schedule gets jam packed (and it will!).

Q :: After I have my marriage license, what do I do with it?
A :: Keep it in a safe place and bring it with you to the ceremony! You two will sign it, along with your wedding officiant and two witnesses. Witnesses are often your Maid Of Honor and Best Man or can be any two people you select. Be sure to give them a heads up! Marriage signing happens immediately after the ceremony. After the license is signed by all the appropriate parties, your officiant is responsible for filing the signed license with the Hawaii State Department of Health.  If your officiant is registered online with the State of Hawaii, they can register your marriage in seconds online and you'll have access to a temporary certificate good for 90 days. TWC tip: Ask your officiant or the DOH to find out if they're able to do this. It'll make changing your name and accounts a total breeze!

Q :: UH OH! What if I leave the license at home?
A :: If no one can swing back and get it for you, see if your officiant can arrange an alternative date to sign it. Our tip? Remember the license expires in 30 days and that the date on the license and certificate will reflect when it was filed... not the ceremony date.

March 17, 2012

Photo Credit :: Dave Miyamoto & Co.

Our Tips:

1. Take a look at the marriage license application online so you know what information you will need. A few things you'll need to know are the full names of both your parents, the name of your wedding officiant and your wedding date.

2. You have your wedding certificate... great! But now what? Read our article on how to legally become a MRS to see why that certificate is like gold HERE.

3. The Department of Health is a state run office, which means they have set hours (no skipping in late!). The Health Department Building is open Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 8am-4pm.

4. Some officiants bring nicely decorated keepsake certificates that couples can sign for memorable photos. Remember these are not legal certificates... while they look great framed in your home, they are not valid certificates to start the name changing process.

5. Have more questions? Call the DOH Marriage License office: (808) 586-4543.

Ward Warehouse
1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814

Mon-Sat: 10am - 9pm
Sunday: 10am - 6pm