To obtain a marriage license, you need to know the requirements for the state you are getting married in. Here are the easy steps to getting legally wed in Oregon.
Step 1: Visit your county Clerk’s office. You can go to any County Clerks office in the state if you plan to get married anywhere in Oregon. You have to appear together to apply for a marriage license . If you are getting married anywhere in Oregon and you work in Portland, you can meet on your lunch break, go to the Multnomah County office, fill out the form and prove your identity. The standard fee is $60 (may vary for different states and county offices). Some will accept a certified check, debit or credit cards and cash, they will not accept personal checks, please check before you go.
It’s important to note the timing of applying for your marriage license. There is usually a 3 day waiting period in Oregon. Once your license application is approved you have 60 days to make it official. If you are getting married in Washington or any other state you have to apply for a marriage license in that state. You cannot use an Oregon Marriage License in another state.
Step 2: Get married. You must have an official present to officiate your ceremony. You will want two witnesses, in addition to your officiant. If you are eloping, you may use your vendors as a witness, but make sure you ask them in advance. Traditionally the Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor serve as your witnesses.
Step 3: Your officiant is responsible for submitting the official marriage certificate to the County Office in a timely manor. You will be given a decorative, non-official certificate when you apply for your marriage license, and sometimes your officiant has their own ornate certificate – none of these are your legal documentation for official purposes. These are keepsakes only.
Step 4: After your official documentation is submitted by your officiant and confirmed by the state, you will be able to order certified copies from your County office. In Multnomah County the cost is $7.95. We recommend you order at least 1 certified copy for your records and from 3 to 4 copies if one or both of you plan on changing your legal name. You’ll want to be able to mail copies while retaining a copy during the process of changing your ID and documents.
So that brings us to part two of making it legal – how do you change your name legally?
Step 1: Obtain certified copies of your marriage certificate.
Step 2: Visit the Social Security website, print up the name change form and order a new copy of your Social Security with your new name, by mailing in the form and necessary documents
Step 3: Go to the DMV – it will be a long wait. Bring your certified marriage certificate and proof of address if your address has changed.
Step 4: Change your name on your passport once you receive your corrected social security card and ID from the DMV
Step 5: Change your bank account, notify your employer and all accounts.
Step 6: Let everyone else know.
If this doesn’t sound fun, you can use a service, such as Hitch Switch, but it truly isn’t a ton of work and if you just update your accounts with every interaction you have as you go – you’ll get there before you know it.