Iowa Marriage License Information

Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding in Iowa. Please make sure that you understand the marriages laws and requirements about setting your wedding date. After reviewing this information please contact your local County Recorders Office and verify that the information provided here is correct and up to date before setting the date of your wedding.

State and County marriage license requirements can change.

The information presented here is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. It is very important to verfy all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans to a location in the state of Iowa. Please read our Terms of Service for more information.

Find Your County Recorders Office Info

Iowa Residency Requirements: You do not have to be a resident of Iowa. You will need to present picture identification and Social Security Information.

Previous Marriages: If either of you were previously married you will need to show the date of divorce or date of spouse’s death. If the divorce was within 60 days, a signed copy of the divorce decree will need to be provided (see note below also).

Iowa Waiting Period: Iowa has a three (3) day waiting period. An Iowa Marriage License is valid for 6 months.

Fees for Marriage Licenses in Iowa: The fee and acceptance of checks varies from county to county. Most counties charge about $30 and take cash.

Other tests in Iowa: No other tests are required in Iowa for a Marriage License

Proxy Marriage in Iowa: No. However, if one of you can’t be present at the County Recorder’s Office to apply for the license, the absent party can sign the Iowa Marriage License application before a Notary Public.

Cousin Marriage in Iowa: No

Common-Law Marriage in Iowa: Yes

Under Common-Law Marriage in Iowa is legal for the purposes of filing income taxes (Administrative Rule, Chapter 39[701]) and property tax exemptions (Administrative Rule, Chapter 73[701]).

701-73.25(425) states “A common law marriage is a social relationship between a man and a woman that meet all necessary requisites of a marriage except that it was no solemnized, performed or witnessed by an official authorized by law to perform marriages. The necessary elements of a common law marriage are: (a) a present intent of both parties freely given to become married, (b) a public declaration by the parties or a holding out to the public that they are a husband and wife, (c) continuous cohabitation together as husband and wife (this means consummation of the marriage), and (d) both parties must be capable of entering into the marriage relationship. No special time limit is necessary to establish a common law marriage.”

Under Age 18 in Iowa: Applicant 16 or 17 years of age need to have parental consent.

Wedding Officiants in Iowa: Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and Justices of the Peace.

Witnesses: You need to have one witness (over the age of 18) with you when you apply for the license.

For More Information, visit State of Iowa Marriage Laws

Note: Pastor Joseph Karge and Forever Ministries of Victory Promise Church “supports and agrees” with the “Marriage Matters Agreement” as presented by Dr. Mike Hartwig of Marriage Matters of Iowa, which encourages Clergy to:

  • Provide couples with a minimum number of hours of premarital counseling and discourages last minute/short notice weddings
  • Help engaged couples prepare for marriage by instructing them in the biblical roles and preserving the biblical doctrines of marriage, morality and divorce
  • Assist newlywed couples as they begin married life with the tools and mentors they will need to build and maintain strong marriages
  • Enrich marriage relationships; minister to hurting marriages; provide support for blended families, ste-families and single parents
  • Encourage participation in a series of marriage strengthening strategies that will have community wide impact
  • Communicate to the larger community that clergy, who perform 90% of the wedding in Iowa believe in the concept of marriage and are serious about building up marriage relationships through various strategies