Your Legal Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Married in Hawaii
3 Easy Steps to Get Legally Married in Hawaii
To be considered legally married in Hawaii, you will deal with 2 different documents (marriage license & marriage certificate) in the following order of 3 straightforward steps:
- Apply for a marriage license in Hawaii first (license expires after 30 days, so plan your marriage/wedding ceremony to take place within 30 days of applying for this license!). Eligibility and step-by-step guide below.
- Legal marriage/wedding ceremony is performed by your Hawaii wedding officiant (more info on this below).
- Receive your marriage certificate (usually in the mail 60-120 days after the marriage/wedding ceremony has been performed).
Clarification on the 2 documents: A marriage license and marriage certificate are 2 different documents. The marriage license permits a marriage to take place in Hawaii. Once the wedding ceremony/marriage has taken place (must be within 30 days after you get your marriage license), you will then receive your marriage certificate in the mail - and this certificate indicates that a legal marriage has been performed and serves as legal proof of your marriage.
Step 1: Apply for Hawaii Marriage License
Check if you are eligible to apply for a Hawaii marriage license first:
- Applicants must pay a $65 fee for the license and processing.
- There are no state residence or U.S. citizenship requirements.
- Both applicants must be minimum 18 years old:
- Applicants 16-17 years of age who plan to marry require the written consent of both parents, legal guardians, or the family court. The parents or legal guardians don't have to be Hawaiian residents. Consent forms may be obtained from a marriage license agent. See list of agents and contact information here.
- Applicants 15 years of age who plan to marry require the written consent of both parents or legal guardian, and the written approval of a judge of the family court. The parents or legal guardian don't have to be Hawaiian residents. Consent forms may be obtained from a marriage license agent. See list of agents and contact information here.
- Proof of age is required to apply for a Hawaii marriage license. A valid I.D. or driver's license may be presented for anyone 19 years of age or over. For anyone 18 years old or younger, a certified copy of a birth certificate must be presented.
- If previously married, proof of original divorce decree or death certificate must be presented to the marriage agent by the applicant if the divorce or death was final within 30 days of applying for a marriage license.
- Cousins may marry. However, the blood relationship between the prospective applicants cannot be closer than 1st cousins.
- Blood tests aren't required in Hawaii state.
Great, so you've confirmed that you are eligible! Now you can go ahead and APPLY for this marriage license. Be ready to provide the necessary proof of age and present any required written consents and approvals.
You must fill out an official marriage license application (in person OR online) then file (in-person ONLY, no proxies allowed) with a marriage license agent (agents contact info).
- You can wait until you're in Hawaii to fill out AND file the marriage license application with a marriage license agent in person OR
- Fill out the Hawaii marriage license online in advance (postal mail or e-mail not allowed). Then file the application in person with a marriage license agent once you're in Hawaii.
- The marriage license fee is $60.00 (plus $5.00 portal administrative cost). The fee may be paid online or in-person at the time the application is submitted to a marriage license agent.
- The marriage license is good only in, but is valid throughout, the State of Hawaii.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Upon approval, a marriage license is issued at the time the application is made. This marriage license expires 30 days from and including the date of issuance, after which it automatically becomes null and void. So make sure that you'll be in Hawaii and your marriage/wedding ceremony will take place within 30 days after getting your Hawaii marriage license, otherwise you'll have to reapply for a new one!
And that's it for your Hawaii marriage license!
Step 2: Hold Your Hawaii Marriage/Wedding Ceremony
Now that you've obtained your marriage license, you can go ahead (within 30 days) hold your marriage/wedding ceremony with an officiant who is legally allowed to perform marriages in Hawaii.
So, who is allowed to officiate a Hawaii wedding legally? Ordained ministers and other religious officials, active/retired federal and state judges serving in Hawaii, may all register to obtain an official license to perform marriages. Performers may file marriage licenses with the wedding venue island's Department of Health online or via postal mail and must do so within 3 business days of the ceremony.
You can easily find one of many already registered wedding officiants in Hawaii (do a quick Google search of "Hawaii wedding officiant" or "Hawaii wedding minister" - check out their websites or reviews on Yelp).
If you want your family or friend to be your Hawaii wedding officiant instead, point them to this page where they can apply to be a registered wedding officiant in Hawaii. Details and screenshots on how they should fill out the Hawaii wedding officiant application can be found here.
Note: if you plan to get married on a Hawaii beach, there are some other legal requirements. Check out our article on that here.
Step 3: Wait to Receive Your Hawaii Wedding Certificate
Congratulations on your marriage! Once you've completed steps 1 and 2, all you have to do is wait for your legal Hawaii wedding certificate to arrive.
The marriage certificate is prepared and filed by your licensed marriage officiant or performer with the Hawaii Department of Health. You and your spouse will get (1) certified copy of the marriage certificate (no charge) upon payment of the marriage license fee, which will be sent to the couple by mail (60-120 days) after the marriage has been performed. If a marriage certificate is needed sooner than this, you can apply for one or more additional certified copies here.