How do you get married in Indiana? That's a great question. I've been marrying couples in Indy as a professional Wedding Officiant for over 9 years and have married thousands of couples. I've asked a lot of questions along the way and am happy to share my knowledge and experience with you.
Marriage is regulated on the state level. Indiana, like every state, has their own, unique marriage laws. How marriages are regulated and performed in other states has nothing to do with Indiana. Indiana is actually a very easy state in which to get married. We have no waiting period, so you can pick up your marriage license and get married all in the same day. We also don't require witnesses. Indiana is a great place to get married in secret. So if you are looking for a real secret elopement, Indy is great for that. Every state has their own marriage laws but a legal marriage is legal in every state in the US.
While marriage laws are regulated on the state level, it is the County Clerk's offices that issue marriage licenses and each county clerk can interpret marriage laws in their own way. If you have specific questions, ask your county clerk.
The biggest differences I have seen between counties are how you proceed if you forgot to file your completed marriage license within 30 day. You are still legally married, you might have to complete additional paperwork to make sure it's properly filed. The other difference is obtaining a marriage license if one person is incapacitated - meaning can't physically get to the clerk's office to pick up the marriage license because they are incarcerated or simply immobile.
Disclaimer: I'm putting for this information to be helpful. If I find out something changes, I will update this page. Please just don't take my word for it.
How to get married in Indiana Checklist
In order to be legally married you need a marriage license.
A marriage license is a legal document issued by the County Clerk.
What County Clerk to I go to?
If you, or the person you are marrying, live in Indiana
If you don't live in Indiana
You need to apply for your marriage license online.
Bring Proof of Address - If you are an Indiana Resident. Non-residents don't need proof of address.
That's it. REALLY! You just need to bring proof of who you are and your address. If you have a valid driver's license with your current address that's all you need. The number one problem I hear about from couples I marry is they forgot proof of address. You can actually bring up an e-statement on your phone, if you are set up to do that, in a pinch. If one of you has your current address on your driver's license that's fine.
If you or your partner are an Indiana resident your marriage license is good anywhere in the state.
All of this sounds like a really long and drawn out process. It is not. Really not. You can literally get married in Indiana in less then an hour. In my years as a wedding officiant in Indiana I've literally met couples at the courthouse and, in less than an hour, they have their marriage license, we've signed it, performed a ceremony, taken a few pictures, they've turned the signed license back in and received certified copies of their marriage certificate. It's literally that fast, easy and inexpensive.
How much does it cost?
Indian has been issuing marriage licenses to same gender couples in Indiana since October of 2014 with no issues. As a wedding officiant in Indiana I have been performing same gender ceremonies since before it was a legal contract. If you are looking for an LGBTQ friendly wedding officiant in Indy I am happy to marry you!
What are the criteria to marry in Indiana?
Check the spelling of your names!! Check everything on the application, if you misspelled something or left something out, you can't just put it back on or correct it after the marriage license is printed and issued. It requires a court order and $$$$
You have your marriage license. Now what?
Between you and the state, you are entering into a legal contract. That is it is. Whatever you believe marriage to be is up to you. If you choose to be acknowledged by the state as a married couple you need to enter into the legal contract of marriage. That is what your marriage license is. If you deem marriage to be a spiritual or religious union that is up to you. Technically, you just need to have your marriage license signed.
The easiest and most cost effective way to get married in Indy is to hire a wedding officiant. A wedding officiant is a person who is authorized by the state to solemnize marriages. A judge, Justice of the Peace, a lawyer, a mayor or an ordained minister are just a few people authorized to marry couples. I'm an ordained minister and my job title is Wedding Officiant. I perform everything from simple, civil, justice of the peace style weddings, elopements and full, formal wedding ceremonies. I can be as business-like or as romantic as you like.
RETURN YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE
Once you are married and your marriage license is signed you need to RETURN your marriage license to the same county clerk. In order for your marriage to be recognized by the government the license MUST BE RETURNED! You can mail it in or you can return it in person. You both don't have to go together to return it. When you return the license you also need to request certified copies. There is a fee for the copies. It's usually $2 each. Some counties are $1. Some counties require you to pay ahead of time and will automatically send them to you. ASK the clerks office. You will need a certified copy in order to change your name or legally prove to anyone you are legally married. Your decorative copy is not a legal copy.
HOW DO I CHANGE MY NAME?
You need to change your name with your social security number first. You can do that in person or through the mail. All of the information is included in the packet you receive when you pick up your marriage license.
Click here for Social Security Office Locations.
Click here for more information from the state.
After you have changed your name with social security you then need to go to the BMV to change your name on your driver's license.
Click here for more information from the BMV
We forgot to file our completed marriage license. Are we still married?
Yes, and no. You are legally married as of the day you signed the marriage license. Your marriage isn't legally recognized by the state until you file the completed marriage license. If you don't want to be legally married by the state and you didn't file the completed license there is nothing to legally undo.
If it has been more than 30 days since your marriage license was signed, contact your county clerk to ask what you need to do. They will explain their procedure.
We lost our completed marriage license. Are we still married?
Yes! Go to the county clerk the issued your license. They will print you out another copy and then you have your Wedding Officiant sign it for you again effective the day you were actually married. Then, take it back and file it in person to make sure you don't lose it again!