South Carolina Marriage License 101

South Carolina Marriage License 101 | Use our Q & A to make your “I dos” legal

Q: When do I need my marriage license?

A: You must present your marriage license to your officiant before your wedding ceremony and to various agencies and businesses if you apply to change your name after the Big Day. Expect to wait 24 hours from the time you apply for a license and when you can pick it up, as mandated by South Carolina law. Anyone—including your maid of honor, best man, family member, or your wedding coordinator—can pick up the license after the waiting period. We suggest couples (especially those who live elsewhere) apply weeks before the ceremony as a South Carolina marriage license does not expire. Many out-of-towners apply when scouting out locations and wrapping up details months before their nuptials


Q: Where do I apply for my marriage license?

A: Both members of an engaged couple must appear at the probate office (see list below) to apply for a marriage license. Each person should bring two forms of identification, such as a driver’s license, original birth certificate (or a certified copy), passport, or military identification. You can apply for a license at any South Carolina probate office, and it will be valid throughout the state. Probate offices are closed for federal holidays including: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Presidents’ Day, Columbus Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.


Q: Is there a fee to apply for a marriage license?

A: Yes, there is a $70 application fee. The office only accepts cash payments. At press time, rates were not scheduled to be raised during 2010.


Q: Are there other requirements?

A: You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a marriage license in South Carolina. But, those under 18 years old must have parental consenthave a parent with them to sign their consent. No blood test is required, and you are not required to be a South Carolina resident. However, the wedding must take place in South Carolina.


Charleston County Probate: Marriage License Division
Judicial Center
M-F 8:30-4:30pm
100 Broad St., Suite 469
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 958-5183
Information recording: (843) 958-5182
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. 


For more information, visit the Charleston County Probate page.