Applying for a State of Michigan Marriage License

Due to COVID-19 the Justice Complex in Battle Creek is closed to the public.  Therefore, the Magistrate is not performing any marriages at this time. 

Complete the Marriage License Worksheet

The marriage laws in the State of Michigan are:

  1. Both applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application for the marriage license and must provide either a valid Driver’s License or State Identification with a current address, and a Social Security Number.  It is strongly recommended that both applicants apply in person.
  1. Michigan Residents must apply for the marriage license in the county where they reside.  The marriage license will be valid in any county in the State of Michigan. 

    Out of State Residents must apply in the county where the marriage ceremony is to be performed.  The marriage license will be valid only in the county where the marriage license was obtained. Please verify the location prior to the marriage ceremony or the marriage will be INVALID.
  1. The marriage license is valid for a total of 33 days, including a 3-day waiting period.  Notify the clerk at the time of application if you have a need to waive this 3-day waiting period.  There is a $15.00 fee for the 3-day waiver.  Please allow at least 45 minutes to 1 hour to process the marriage license.
  1. There is a $20.00 marriage license application fee for Michigan Residents.  There is a $30.00 fee for Out of State Residents.  The fee is payable at the time of application.
  1. The marriage license application can be completed at our offices located in the Calhoun County Building, 315 West Green Street, Marshall or in the Calhoun County Justice Center, 161 East Michigan Avenue, Battle Creek.  Both offices are open from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  We strongly recommend you arrive by 4:00 p.m. when applying for a marriage license.  Please note:  Summer Hours may vary on Friday Afternoons (closing at noon)
  1. A civil ceremony can be performed by a District Court Magistrate in Battle Creek for a small fee.  An appointment is required.  Please call 269-969-6692 to schedule an appointment.

Instructions for the licensees:

  1. A marriage license for out-of-state residents is VALID ONLY in the county where the marriage license was obtained i.e.; the licensees must be married in the same county or the marriage will be INVALID.
  2. Michigan residents must apply for the marriage license in the county where they reside.  The marriage license will be valid in any county in the State of Michigan.
  3. Please proof read your marriage license before the wedding.  If an error is discovered, please contact our office immediately at 269-781-0718 or 269-969-6908.  A Court Order may be required to correct an error if it is found after the marriage ceremony.
  4. Please use black ink on the Certificate of Marriage portion of the marriage license.
  5. The Licensees, two witnesses (18 years of age or older) and the Officiant must sign the Certificate of Marriage portion of the marriage license.  The Licensees must legibly sign their FULL LEGAL NAMES as they wish it to appear after the marriage. (Only Last Names may be Changed)
  6. If the marriage license is not used within thirty (30) days, please return both copies of the marriage license to the Calhoun County Clerk and Register of Deeds office in the enclosed return envelope or mail to our office at 315 West Green Street, Marshall, Michigan  49068.

Licensees must present both copies of their marriage license to the Officiant who will be solemnizing the marriage.

Instructions for the Officiant Solemnizing the Marriage: 

  1. Please print legibly in black ink or type both witness names and the Officiant’s name, TITLE and complete mailing address including the zip code in the appropriate spaces on the Certificate of Marriage.  Failure to do so will cause problems with the legal filing of the permanent record.
  2. Please state clearly whether the place of the marriage ceremony was in the city, township or village.  If the couple is from out of state, VERIFY the ceremony is in the same county where the marriage license was obtained, otherwise the marriage will be INVALID.  
  3. The couple must sign the Certificate with their married names.  If typing their names prior to the ceremony, please verify with the couple how they will be signing their names.
  4. The Officiant performing the marriage must return the gold seal copy of the marriage license to the married couple.  The second copy, without a gold seal, must be returned in person to Calhoun County within 10 days or mailed in the envelope provided to our office at 315 West Green Street, Marshall, Michigan 49068.  Not returning the license after the marriage ceremony is performed is considered a misdemeanor and the individual performing the marriage could face prosecution.