How to Get a Marriage License in Virginia if Divorced
I receive many inquiries from couples looking to be married in which either both or one of them are divorced from a previous spouse. Many of the questions I receive often read:
“I am divorced. Can I get a marriage license in Virginia?”
“Do I need a copy of my divorce decree and papers to get my Virginia marriage license?”
“I’m unable to find a copy of my legal divorce decree from my previous marriage. Can I still get married?”
At the Frederick County / Winchester Courthouse in Winchester, VA, NO divorce documentation is required to obtain your marriage license!
Why Are Divorce Papers Not Needed for a Marriage License in Frederick County / Winchester, VA?
When applying for your marriage license in Virginia you are required to indicate if you have been married once or multiple times before. Upon issuing your license, the court clerk or deputy clerk makes you take a solemn oath stating that all information provided on your marriage license application is truth.
Under oath your word is accepted as truth and therefore no proof is needed documenting your divorce.
What happens if you lie? If you indicated you were divorced, but your divorce was not officially finalized or could not be legally proven…your marriage license would be null and void. This also means that if you used this nullified marriage license to get married by myself or another marriage commissioner / officiant…your marriage would be invalid and not legally recognized.
Not only would your marriage not be recognized, but providing false information on your marriage license is indeed a crime!
Per the Code of Virginia:
§ 18.2-208. Making false statement, etc., for marriage record, etc.
If any person, upon whose information or statement any record or registration may lawfully be made under Title 20 (§ 20-13 et seq.), knowingly give any false information, or make any false statement to be used for the purpose of making any such record or registration, he shall, for every such offense, be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
However if you are obtaining your marriage license at Virginia courthouse OTHER than Frederick County / Winchester, divorce documentation MAY be required.
Some Virginia courts request that you provide a certified copy of a court-issued Decree of Divorce to the Clerk’s Office before a marriage license will be issued. If the Decree is in a language other than English, you must present a certified document translation, signed and dated by a translator attesting to the document’s accuracy. After a finalized divorce, there is no waiting period to get remarried.
If you have any questions on if your divorce is official and legally recognized, please consult with your divorce attorney before proceeding to obtain a marriage license in Virginia. Once you are sure your divorce is final and legal, getting your marriage license in Virginia is very easy and can be done in as little as 30 minutes (learn how)!