Getting Married in Washington DC: What Permits and Licenses Are Needed?

Planning a wedding or special event in Washington DC? Learn about what permits and licenses are required to get married in Washington DC.

Getting Married in Washington DC: What Permits and Licenses Are Needed?

Planning a special event or wedding in Washington DC requires obtaining the necessary permits and licenses. The application process is made easier with the forms and links provided by the DC government. After completing the form, it must be mailed to the address included in the document. All event organizers must also upload a complete public health guideline plan with the full site map when submitting the application for permission for special events in APEX.

Once the license has been issued, couples can get married at any time; marriage licenses in DC have no expiration date. The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is not responsible for activities that take place in the immediate vicinity of the area and are allowed to celebrate a special event or a wedding. If you live in the DC metropolitan area, you can apply for a marriage license yourself by visiting the DC Marriage Bureau. You can also request a civil wedding with a judicial official.

Applications must be submitted at least 6 months before the event date and applications for all-year permits are accepted by submitting an online special event permit application. To organize an event in a public area that is not listed above, indicate the area in the request for permission for special events. If you live outside of the DC metropolitan area or don't have the time, desire, or ability to apply in person, the DC Marriage Bureau is now accepting online marriage license applications. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all special events allowed in the city of Alexandria must comply with public health guidelines issued by the Office of the Governor of Virginia. It's possible to get married in court for free, but you have to request an appointment for a civil wedding ceremony; currently, the District of Columbia Marriage Bureau requests that it be at least 10 days after the license is issued.

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