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Congratulations on your engagement to be married! Every marriage in Virginia must be licensed and solemnized according to state law. The following information is intended to summarize these laws, but should not be construed as legal advice. Marriages-Information on Virginia Marriages-


1. Age Requirements and Consent
The minimum age for marriage in the Commonwealth of Virginia is 18 years or older for both spouses, who are not legally married, incompetent or related to each other to a prohibited
degree. VA Code §20-45.1.

A minor shall provide a certified copy of an order of emancipation prior to obtaining a marriage license. VA Code §20-48.

NOTE: Incompetency is a legal determination and no medical evidence is required.

2. Prohibited Marriages
The following categories of marriages are illegal in Virginia:

  • Persons under the age of eighteen (18) years of age who have not been emancipated by court order

  • A marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the parties

  • A marriage between an ancestor and descendant; or between a brother and a sister; or between an uncle and a niece; or between an aunt and a nephew; whether the relationship is by the half or whole blood or by adoption

  • When either party lacks the mental or physical capacity to consent to the marriage

  • Common law marriages are not valid if entered into in Virginia or any other jurisdiction which does not permit them for its residents



1. Where to Obtain License

A marriage license may be obtained from the Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court in any city or county in Virginia. A license may be obtained in Lee County even if one or both parties do not
reside in the county. Once granted, a marriage license permits a marriage ceremony anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Both parties must appear in person to receive the license. The Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Please arrive no later than 4:00 p.m. to ensure that there is enough time to properly process your application. Each party must furnish the required information under oath or affirmation, and falsifying any information on a marriage license could subject the parties to prosecution for perjury. Your driver's license or a
valid photo ID is required.


2. Time Limitations

There is no waiting period in Virginia between being granted a divorce and remarrying or between applying for and being issued a marriage license. Once a marriage license has been issued, however, the marriage must be performed within 60 days or the license becomes void. After the marriage ceremony is performed, the officiant (person authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage) must return the marriage license to the Clerk of Circuit Court's office within five days.


3. Fees

The Clerk of Circuit Court will charge a fee of $30 for issuing a marriage license. Twenty dollars of this fee is a state tax onmarriage licenses and ten dollars is the statutory clerk's fee for issuing and recording the license. A certified copy of your marriage license is $3.


1. Who May Perform
No person may celebrate the rites of marriage in Virginia who is not authorized to do so by a circuit court.


The following categorizes of officiants may be authorized in the following manner:

A minister of any religious denomination must produce proof of his or her ordination and regular communion with the religious society of which he or she is a reputed member.


Marriages between persons belonging to any religious society which has no ordained minister may be solemnized by the persons and in the manner prescribed and practiced in the society.


Each circuit court appoints persons who are eligible to perform civil marriage ceremonies. The Circuit Court of Lee County has appointed:  Sammie Horton, is authorized to perform marriage

ceremonies. Please call (276) 346-7729 for availability.


2. Structure of Ceremony

There is no statutorily prescribed structure or wording that must be used during a marriage ceremony. Couples are free to write their own vows and plan their own ceremonies in accordance  with their own beliefs and customs.


3. Witnesses

There is no statutory requirement that witnesses be present at the marriage ceremony.


4. Marriage Record

Within five days after the marriage ceremony, the officiant mustcomplete and sign the Marriage license and forward both forms to the circuit court clerk's office that issued the license. The license is then forwarded to the Virginia Division of Vital Records. In addition to these two forms, the officiant is welcome to prepare any other type of certificate to be given to the newly married couple (may not be used for legal proposes).


If you wish to change your last name upon marriage, begin using the new name immediately after the marriage ceremony.

Social Security - Complete Social Security Administration Form SS-5 and either mail it or take it to your nearest Social Security office. Include a certified copy of your marriage license (see below). There is no fee for filing Form SS-5. You should receive your new social security card within four weeks, and your social security number will not change. (For more information about changing your social security records, click here.)

Driver's License - Bring your driver's license, social security card and a certified copy of your marriage record (see below) to the Department of Motor Vehicles. There is a $5 fee for a new driver's license card. (For more information about correcting your DMV records, click here.)

Voter Registration - Notify the Registrar's Office of your name change.

Personal Property - Notify the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office of your name change within 30 days.

Address Changes - If you will also be changing your address, don't forget to notify the Registrar's Office, the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office, the U. S. Postal Service with the USPS Change of Address Form and the Internal Revenue Service with IRS Form 8822.

Other - Don't forget to notify other agencies, businesses and associates that your name has changed.




Certified copies of marriage records may be obtained in person or by mail from the circuit court clerk's office that issued the marriage license for a fee of $3.00 or from the Virginia Division of Vital Records in Richmond for a fee of $12.00. The full names of the parties and the date and place of marriage must be provided.




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