The month of June and summer in general is the busy season for weddings.  Many couples choose to tie the knot when the weather is nice - especially here in the Northland.

But before they head to the altar, soon-to-be bride and grooms in Wisconsin will want to take a double-peak at that marriage license.  Especially if they plan to cross state lines or are juggling later calendar dates.

Changes are coming to the marriage license process for Wisconsin residents effective July 1.  And those changes could prove to be applicable for many that are planning their weddings - especially modern couples coming of age that are used to mobility and flexibility.

The most-important changes affect where you apply for the license, what time period you submit your application, a waiting period, and how long it's good for. Here are the details, as shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall]:

"The new requirements allow couples to apply in any Wisconsin county and marry anywhere in the state. If the ceremony is in another state, couples need to apply in that state.  Once a couple applies for the license, there is a three-day waiting period before it is available, and the license is then valid to use for 60 days."

This differs in a few ways from the way that marriage licenses were handled in the state before.  Again, the Telegram details the previous ins and outs:

"Previously, couples had to apply for the license in the county where one of the parties resided for 30 days or where the marriage ceremony would be performed.  They had to wait five days before the license was available and had 30 days to marry once the license was issued."

For Superior or Douglas County residents, there are some steps that applicants need to know.  Here are a few things to keep in mind ahead of the marriage license application process:

  • In order to apply for a marriage license, couples need to schedule an appointment
  • Those couples should call ahead four to five months before their planned wedding date.  This helps to avoid any last minute problems that might come up in the process
  • Couples should check in advance to make sure that they are bringing all of the required documentation with them
  • Required documentation needed to apply for a marriage license in Douglas County includes a "state-issued birth certificate and if they were previously married, a divorce decree, an annulment, or a death certificate"
  • Application fee to get a marriage license in Douglas County is $100.00

Couples applying for a marriage license need to do so at the Douglas County Clerk's office - at the Courthouse, Room 101, 1313 Belknap Street.  Additional details and complete information on the entire process is available on the Douglas County website.

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