It’s time to get married, Arizona!
What do you need to know to marry in Arizona?
The U.S. District Court of Arizona has struck down the state’s unconstitutional marriage ban and now, across the state, same-sex couples can finally share in the freedom to marry.
Each county has at least one location where couples can apply for marriage licenses. If the websites below do not have detailed information on where to obtain a license, call your county’s Superior Court clerk.
La Paz County
Santa Cruz County
Do both people have to appear in the county clerk’s office to obtain the license? Yes, both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license.
After I apply for a marriage license, when will I receive it? You will receive your marriage license on the same day you apply for the license.
Once the marriage license is obtained, when can the marriage be performed? The marriage can be performed on the same day if you have made arrangements with an officiant to perform the ceremony.
How long is the marriage license valid? You have up to one year from the date the marriage license was issued to get married. The license expires one year from the date of purchase.
What are the age requirements to get married? You must be 18 or older to be married without parental consent. If you are under the age of 18, you must either have a notarized parental consent form or have your parent(s) accompany you, present the proper identification, and sign the parental consent form in front of the clerk issuing your license. Additional requirements apply to people under 18 seeking a marriage license. You should consult your county clerk’s office for details.
What identification and information will be necessary to get the marriage license from the county clerk? You are required to provide a valid, government-issued photo I.D., such as a driver's license or passport, to show proof of age and confirm your identity. Additional identification requirements apply to people under 18 who are seeking a marriage license.
Do we need to get blood tests? No, blood tests are not required.
Do we need witnesses? Yes, two witnesses to the marriage ceremony must sign the marriage license.
What is the fee for a marriage license and how do we pay for it? The fee for a marriage license is $76.00. It is typically payable by cash, money order, debit card or credit card. However, these rules vary by location and you should check with the specific office before you go. For instance, if you are purchasing a license at the Maricopa County Justice Courts, only money orders are accepted.
Who can officiate the wedding and sign the marriage license? The officiant must be legally authorized to perform marriages in the state of Arizona. Marriages may be performed by any of these officiants:
- Duly licensed or ordained clergy (includes ministers, elders or other persons who by the customs, rules and regulations of a religious society or sect are authorized or permitted to officiate at marriage ceremonies)
- Judges of courts of record
- Municipal court judges
- Justices of the peace
- Justices of the United States supreme court
- Judges of courts of appeals, district courts and courts that are created by an act of Congress if the judges are entitled to hold office during good behavior
- Bankruptcy court and tax court judges
- United States magistrate judges
- Judges of the Arizona court of military appeals
Do I have to be an Arizona resident to get my marriage license in Arizona? No, you do not.
If we were married in another state or country, do we need to get married in Arizona? No, if you were legally married in another state, you do not need to marry again in Arizona. Same-sex out-of-state marriages are now recognized in Arizona.
Do I have to get my marriage license before the marriage ceremony? Yes. A marriage license must be issued prior to the ceremony, signed after the completion of the ceremony, and returned to the clerk’s office within 30 days in order for the license to be recorded.
Can the court clerk perform the marriage ceremony? No, the clerk’s office issues marriage licenses but does not perform wedding ceremonies.
What do I do with the marriage license after the ceremony? Once the marriage ceremony has taken place, in order to be officially recorded, a portion of the signed marriage license must be returned to the clerk's office where the license was obtained. The newly married couple keeps the remainder of the original license.
What should we do if the clerk refuses to issue a marriage license to us because we are a same-sex couple? This would be illegal and hopefully it will not happen. But if it does, contact the ACLU of Arizona at (602) 650-1854 or email@example.com and file a complaint at http://acluaz.org/get-help/file-complaint.
What should we do if a judge refuses to perform a same-sex marriage? Some Arizona judges perform civil wedding ceremonies as part of their duties. If a judge refuses to provide a civil wedding ceremony for a same-sex couple as part of his or her routine duties, he or she would be violating the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct, which demands judges perform their duties “without bias or prejudice.” If a judge refuses to perform a civil same-sex marriage ceremony, contact the ACLU of Arizona at (602) 650-1854 or firstname.lastname@example.org and file a complaint at http://acluaz.org/get-help/file-complaint. A complaint should also be filed with the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Can I be discriminated against by my employer for marrying someone of the same sex? Yes. Arizona does not have an employment non-discrimination law that covers sexual orientation or gender identity. A private employer may legally discriminate against a gay, lesbian or transgender person. An executive order, however, bars state agencies in Arizona from discriminating in employment because of an employee’s sexual orientation. In addition, several municipalities in the state have ordinances banning employment discrimination based on familial status, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. If you are discriminated against by your employer because of your sexual orientation or gender identify, you should consult a lawyer and file a complaint with the ACLU of Arizona by calling (602) 650-1854, emailing email@example.com or going online at http://acluaz.org/get-help/file-complaint.
What should we do if a bakery, florist, wedding venue or other business refuses to serve us because we are a same-sex couple? Arizona does not have a statewide law banning sexual orientation or marital status discrimination by businesses of public accommodation. Some municipalities in Arizona, however, do have local ordinances banning sexual orientation, gender identity and/or marital status discrimination by businesses. If a business of public accommodation denies you services because you are gay, lesbian or transgender, contact the ACLU of Arizona at (602) 650-1854 or firstname.lastname@example.org and file a complaint at https://www.acluaz.org/en/preliminary-questions.
This document is for public education purposes only and is not legal advice. Download a PDF of this document.