Any person legally entitled to marry may apply for a marriage license in the Probate Court of any county in South Carolina. There is no residency requirement, but the marriage must be administered within the State.
Procedure And Requirements For Obtaining A Marriage License
Marriage license applications are taken MONDAY through FRIDAY between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Both the bride and groom applicants must appear in the Probate Court to obtain a marriage license, along with the following:
1) Identification that includes proof of age by presenting one of the following:
- Driver's License
- Military ID
- State issued ID card;
2) Social Security Card, or another legal document that verifies name and social security number such as an insurance card or tax records (W-2, W-4).
Applicants who are non-U.S. citizens can meet this requirement by presenting a valid passport with current visa, a U.S. government issued Resident Alien card, or other suitable identification issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Foreign Consular ID cards, IDP and IDL cards and ICAP cards are not acceptable to meet this identification requirement.
There is a $30.00 fee at the time of application to be paid by cash, check, or money order to Lexington County. Please note there are no tests required. To be legally entitled to marry, applicants must be unmarried, mentally competent, of requisite age and not disqualified due to close relationship by blood or affinity as provided in S.C. Code Section 20-1-10.
There is a twenty-four (24) hour waiting period from the time the application is made until the time the license may be issued. After the waiting period has expired, either the bride or groom may return to pick up the license. For your convenience you may also have a third party pick up the license if you provide written authorization. If you prefer to have your license returned to you by mail, simply provide the court with a self-addressed, stamped envelope at the time of application.
Applications are held for one year, after which time if it is not used it will be necessary to reapply. The actual license is valid for six (6) months from date of issuance. If not used within the six (6) month period, the application process must be repeated in its entirety to obtain a subsequent license. This includes the payment of the license fee.
A South Carolina license can be used in any county in the state.
The marriage may be conducted by a minister or anyone authorized to administer oaths. (Note: A South Carolina notary public is authorized to administer oaths in this State, and therefore authorized to administer a marriage ceremony).
After the marriage ceremony, the officiant will complete the certificate and provide you with a copy of the marriage license. All three copies must be signed with original signatures. The Probate Judge copy and the Probate Judge/DHEC copy must be delivered to this court for filing within thirty (30) days of the ceremony. If not returned to the Probate Court, there will be no legal record of the marriage. After the license has been recorded and placed in the permanent files, you may obtain a certified copy of your marriage license.
The general age requirement to obtain a marriage license in South Carolina is 18 years of age. However, under certain circumstances a 16 or 17 year old may obtain a marriage license. If the applicants are 16 or 17 years of age, the custodial parent, relative or legal guardian with whom the minor resides must give written consent by sworn affidavit. (If the parents are separated or divorced, the parent with custody must confirm custody with a separation agreement or divorce decree.) The minor applicant must also present his birth certificate, or a hospital or baptismal certificate (with parents' names) which has been issued and dated within one year after birth, or a certified copy thereof, showing that he is of lawful age. The applicant must also present a State issued ID, and Social Security Card.
If the minor bride is pregnant or has borne a child, and if she and the putative father agree to marry, she must also submit a report or certificate from a licensed physician certifying that she is pregnant or has borne a child. In such cases State law requires that written consent to the marriage must be given by one of the parents of the bride, or by a person standing in loco parentis to the bride, such as her guardian or the person with whom she resides. In the event no such qualified person exists, the written consent of the superintendent of the department of social services of the county in which either party resides may be provided. In such cases, there is not a requirement for consent from the groom's parent or guardian.
Obtaining Additional Copies Of A Marriage License
Requests for Certified Marriage Records are accepted in person or by mail. Application for the marriage license must have been made in Lexington County from the year 1911 to present.
Walk-in requests are processed at the time you appear. Please allow 7-10 working days for processing mail-in requests. All requests require the following information:
- The names of both parties,
- Date or year of marriage,
- Daytime phone number for all mail-in requests,
- $ 5.25 fee, per certified copy requested, payable to County of Lexington. Please do not mail cash.
- A self-addressed, stamped envelope must accompany the request.
- Mail the request to:
- LEXINGTON COUNTY PROBATE COURT
- 205 East Main Street, Suite 134
- Lexington, South Carolina 29072
NOTE: We only have licenses that were issued in Lexington County. If you received your license in another county you will need to contact them. You may also contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics at: 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201, (803) 898-3630 – http://www.scdhec.gov/VitalRecords/
Additional Services And Fees
Marriage License Corrections $ 6.75
Marriage License Re-Issuance $ 10.00