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Frequently Asked Question for Marriage License

The following are common questions that have often been posed to our office:

My fiancé and I are getting married outside the United States.  Do we need to file anything here in the US, Ohio, or Shelby County?  back to top

No, once you have been married, you are married.  However, you do want to keep a couple of things in mind.  Other countries have different procedures and customs -- especially concerning separation of church and state.  So call and find out what exactly is involved.  There will be times in your life as a US citizen that you will need legal proof of marriage.  Make sure you are able to receive this necessary documentation. 

Is it required by law that we need witnesses? back to top

No.  Witnesses are not required by law to sign the license. 

I have been living with someone for a number of years, are we considered a "Common Law Marriage"? back to top

No.  Common-law marriage is prohibited and is not recognized in Ohio if the parties entered into the "marriage" (or commitment) after October 10, 1991.  However, a common law marriage remains valid if it was created prior to October 10, 1991.  

Do you require a waiting period, or a blood test? back to top

We do not require blood testing.  At one time we did have a five (5) day waiting period, however this was eliminated by the Ohio legislature effective February 12, 2001.

How do we know whether our minister is licensed in Ohio to perform ceremonies? back to top

The best way is to ask the minister.  By law, they have to present anyone asking with proof of their licensing.  You can also call the Ohio Secretary of State's office and ask if they have the minister's license on file.