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Sample South Carolina Marriage License

South Carolina Marriage License

As all the other states, South Carolina has its license requirements. If you want to make your wedding legally valid, you have to meet all of them. We will lead you to own your South Carolina marriage license step by step.

At first, we will introduce you to the whole appliance process. After that, we will talk about the initial requirements. You’ll know how, when, and where you need to apply for your South Carolina marriage license.

What do I need to get a South Carolina marriage license?

Firstly, you don’t have to be a resident of this state to obtain a South Carolina marriage license. Moreover, as soon as you get your license, you can use it in any county within the state. Yet, the license is invalid out of South Carolina, as in the case of North Carolina marriage license.

Where can I get a marriage license in the state of South Carolina?

Like all the other states, South Carolina as well has many offices where you can get your marriage license. Those are the probate court offices, spread all over the state.

Each county has plenty of probate court offices. You just need to visit the one which is in your county. The probate clerk will receive your application and do all necessary steps.


Before you decide to apply for a SC marriage license, you need to consider some things. Remember, that all these requirements are for both residents and non-residents.

Firstly, you and your partner must be present together and in person. There can be no exceptions. Neither of you is allowed to be absent during the appliance process.

Age requirements

The permitted age for legal marriage is 18. At this age, you don’t need anyone’s consent to get married. Otherwise, you’ll need to provide some documentation if you are under 18.

Applicants, who are 16-17 years old, need the consent of either their parents or a guardian. They must be present at the office in person (together with parents or a guardian).

Those who are even younger (under the age of 16) can get married in no way. The only exception may be the cases of pregnancy. Yet, it won’t be so easy.

Paperwork requirements

If you want to apply for a South Carolina marriage license, you need to provide this documentation:

  1. The application form of your SC marriage license
  2. Current identification card
  3. Social Security Card (it is not a must in all court offices)
  4. Current driver’s license
  5. The original or the copy version of your birth certificate
  6. Military identification card
  7. Passports
  8. Required payments
  9. The copy of a divorce decree (if any of you has been in another marriage)

For those applicants who don’t have a current social security number, there is another opportunity. They can present proof papers of SSC. It can be either a tax return or a tax form (with your name and SSC on both).

In the case of non-residents, there may be a need for more documents. You’ll have to present either your valid passport copy or your current VISA. With the latter, you should have your Alien Registration Number (ARN).

Who can officiate at my wedding ceremony in South Carolina?

Thousands of couples want to choose special people for performing their wedding ceremony. However, state law claims that only qualified officiants can preside over the ceremony. As they must as well sign the license and return it back to the court office.

Those officiants are the following:

  • Gospel ministers
  • Jewish rabbis
  • Licensed judges
  • The leaders of a North American-Indian entity
  • South Carolina Notary
  • Oath administering officials

Can I apply for a South Carolina marriage license online?

Usually, the probate courts have their websites where you can apply for a South Carolina marriage license online. One of those is The Charleston County Probate Court.

In fact, the requirements for don’t vary that much. This can be an example for you when you’ll apply through the probate court’s website of your county.

Applying for a South Carolina marriage license

Firstly, you should apply only once. As in the case of in person appliance, you must provide different documents. The required paperwork is nearly the same, only these must be in PDF version.

Before submitting your application, make sure all the data is correct. Also, provide your email address everywhere necessary. In two days after the submission, you’ll get your marriage license via mail.

After you receive it, check the document and reply back by mail if you find any mistakes. If there aren’t any, you can print it afterward. The last step is the fee of $70-80, which you should pay by credit card. It includes also some minor transaction fees.

How long is a marriage license good for in South Carolina?

Nearly all states have an expiration date for their licenses. However, there may be some exceptions. Luckily for you, the state of SC is one of those exceptions.

In fact, this is a rare thing. Yet, you can obtain your South Carolina marriage license and use it at any time you like. Unlike other states, SC won’t make your license invalid.

How much is the fee for getting a South Carolina marriage license?

As we have already mentioned, you can use your SC marriage license in every county of the state. However, your county residency has a considerable impact on the license fee.

On average, the current marriage license fee in South Carolina is about $70-80. Plus that you must pay a $5 fee for getting the certified copy of your license. You must pay all of them in cash.

How long will it take to receive a South Carolina marriage license?

This waiting period varies not only from state to state but also from county to county. South Carolina is one of the few states that have a really short waiting period. To clarify, you’ll have to wait for only 24 hours to receive your SC marriage license.

Unfortunately, this period is not subject to change. You can pick it up neither earlier nor later than a day. You just need to wait those 24 hours and return to the office to get it. Don’t you ever try to waive it under any circumstances!

Also, don’t forget to return your license to the court office after the wedding ceremony. You’ll only have 15 days for that. The return is necessary for recording and indexing your South Carolina marriage license.

Do I need to have witnesses when getting married in South Carolina?

Luckily for most couples having witnesses is not obligatory in this state. It is good news especially for young people, who prefer spending this day on their own. Except for the officiant, other people’s presence is your choice.


In South Carolina, applicants mustn’t take any tests while applying for a marriage license. Unlike other states SC won’t require blood tests as well. You’ll only receive information about family planning.

Proxy marriage

South Carolina doesn’t accept proxy marriages. You must be present in person during the ceremony. No one can replace you on that day.

Common-law marriage

The state of SC has nothing against common marriages. These marriages have never been prohibited here. Moreover, the applicants who are already 16 years old can get married in this way.

Illegal marriages

In the first place is the marriage between close relatives and family members. The state law doesn’t accept marriages with descendants, (step)siblings, aunts, uncles, nephews or nieces. The only exception is the marriage with a first cousin (however crazy it may seem).

In the case of a previous marriage, there is another ban. Without getting divorced, you can’t enter into a second matrimony. Except for the cases when the spouse has left and there has been no news during the past 5 years.

Alla M.

Alla is a SEO specialist and a content writer with an experience of 10 years. She has written many articles for different websites and companies. Alla has been working with writing challenged clients for over four years. She provides ghost writing, coaching and ghost editing services. Her educational background in family science and linguistics has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. Alla writes SEO articles for businesses that want to see their Google search rankings surge. Her articles have appeared in a number of websites, including, and She contributes articles about SEO techniques regularly. Her articles focus on balancing informative with SEO needs–but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read.

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