Decision Day Resource Center

BY BTL STAFF

LANSING - In the past year, throughout the marriage equality movement, Michigan for Marriage has provided countless LGBT stories, maintained an up-to-date website full of reference material and community activism and served as a community hub for the marriage movement. IN anticipation of the June 26 ruling by the U..S. Supreme Court that extended full marriage rights to same-sex couples, Michigan for Marriage has created a Michigan Decision Day Resource Center to help LGBT couples across the state navigate their marriage in upcoming months.

The Decision Day Resource Center is a one-stop shop for everything there is to know about the high court's ruling on marriage equality and features a Q&A that discusses common questions faced by same-sex couples when applying for their marriage licenses, including where to get the marriage license, what documentation is needed when applying, when and where a couple can apply, cost and who can officiate the ceremony for their day of love.

The live blog and updates section will stay updated to make sure that users have the most recent status regarding marriage equality. Follow the latest SCOTUS news on the Michigan for Marriage Twitter page located under "Live Twitter Feed."

The guide contains information many Michiganders will need to get married but isn't exhaustive. For full details on how and when to apply for a marriage license in Michigan, please contact the local county clerk's office.

The following information is excerpted from the site.

Where can I get a marriage license?

Michigan marriage licenses are available at a Michigan County Clerk's office and many county applications can be found online. Note: At least one of the applicants must go to the clerk's office to pick up the license in person and provide for both applicants proof of age, identity and residence (Michigan residents must apply in the county of their current address). For any applicant not present, a copy of their birth certificate, driver's license along with their social security number must be provided. Call ahead before going to apply for a marriage license.

Can we marry the day we obtain and submit our marriage license application?

There is a three day waiting period for marriages after the couple applies for a license -- that means the marriage license becomes valid on the third day following application. This waiting period may be waived at the clerk's discretion. The license is not available for pick up on weekends or legal holidays. If married on Thursday or Friday, pick up the marriage license on the following Monday.

How long does the marriage license stay valid?

The marriage ceremony must be performed within 33 days of application.

What identification will we need to provide the county clerk?

The following is required of both persons at the time of application:

valid driver's license or state-issued ID showing a correct address; birth certificate (only certificates issued by a government office, not a hospital certificate); and social security card (if an applicant does not have a social security number they must appear in person).

In addition to state-issued ID or driver's license (if available), foreign born persons must have one of the following: valid passport, U.S. or Foreign (with acceptable visa status, if applicable); green card; naturalization papers; Canadian or Mexican-born persons may use their birth certificates (if translated).

How much does it cost?

Marriage license applications cost $20 for Michigan residents and $30 for non-Michigan residents.

Can I get a license in a different county than where I live?

One or both parties must reside in a county for a marriage application to be filed correctly. In other words, a couple cannot apply for a license in a county neither future spouse currently has residency in, as determined by a current, valid driver's license or state issued ID card. The license is valid throughout the state.

If both persons are out-of-state residents, they must apply in the county where they are to be married. The license is valid in that county only.

Do we both have to be present to receive a marriage license?

One or both applicants must appear to apply for the marriage license. If only one applicant is present, they must have all items listed below for both persons. Photocopies (front and back) of driver's license and birth certificate for applicant that is not present will be accepted.

The following is required of both persons at the time of application:

A valid driver's license or state-issued ID showing a correct address; birth certificate (only certificates issued by a government office; not a hospital certificate);

social security card (if an applicant does not have a social security number they must appear in person); each parties parents' full names, including mother's maiden names and the state where each parent was born;

If we were married in another state or country, can we get married in Michigan?

No. If you were legally married in another state or jurisdiction, congratulations! You are already legally married and you do not need to get married in Michigan. Once the freedom to marry is won, Michigan will recognize legal marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Many couples may choose to renew their vows in Michigan, but a renewal of vows does not require a marriage license.

What if one of us was previously married?

If one, or both parties, has been married before, the application must include the number of times previously married. It is advised to bring a certified copy of the most recent divorce decree when applying. (If the former spouse has passed, bring a certified copy of the death certificate.)

We have a civil union or domestic partnership in another state; do we need to get married in Michigan?

Yes. Michigan does not recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships. A couple must be officially recognized by the state of Michigan.

Do I have to be a resident of Michigan to get a marriage license in Michigan?

No. You do not have to be a resident of Michigan to receive a marriage license in Michigan. If neither party is an Michigan resident, you must apply in the county where the marriage will be solemnized.

Who is qualified to officiate a ceremony?

Pursuant to Michigan Compiled Law 551.7 -- Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following:

A judge of the district court, anywhere in this state, a district court magistrate; a municipal judge, in the city in which the judge is serving or in a township over which a municipal court has jurisdiction under section 9928 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.9928; a judge of probate; a judge of a federal court; a mayor of a city, anywhere in a county in which that city is located; a county clerk, in counties having more than 2,000,000 in population, by a county clerk employee; minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner, anywhere in this state, if the minister or cleric or religious practitioner is ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of the denomination; a minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner, anywhere in this state, if the minister or cleric or religious practitioner is not a resident of this state but is authorized to solemnize marriages under the laws of the state in which the minister or cleric or religious practitioner resides.

Read more about how marriage looks under the law and how to apply by going to http://www.MichiganForMarriage.org.
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