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Marriage License

Arrow Icon How To Apply

Marriage License Application
Marriage Information
Performing Marriage in Iowa

BulletIdentification:   Government issued photo ID or passport
BulletWitness:  1 person over the age of 18 (with photo ID) who personally knows both parties
BulletCost:  $35
BulletCheck Payable:  Johnson County Recorder
BulletProcessing Time:  3-day waiting period before license is valid
BulletApplication:  Completed in office or downloaded from link above (if completed off-site, all 3 parties need to have their signatures notarized by a Notary Public)


  Monday Friday  
  Tuesday Saturday  
  Wednesday Sunday  
  Thursday Monday  
  Friday Tuesday  


 'Walk-in' marriages will be performed at the Courthouse Tuesday & Friday at 11:45 am (subject to availability of the judge).  Couples must have two witnesses.

Karen Egerton:  351-5610
Chad Thomas:  331-8127
Lynn Rose:  351-4363
Edward Leff:  430-5263 



If you are unable to come to the office in person to apply for a marriage license, the application can be downloaded (using the link at the top of this page) and mailed to us.  The application must be signed by all 3 parties and notarized.  Please complete the form in its entirety.


Last Name Prior to ANY Marriage is not completed (both parties)
Father & Mother's FULL name (be sure to include middle names)
Social Security numbers are missing (bottom back of application)
Witness information is missing (back side of application)

Please also include your phone number, address, and indicate if you would like the application kept here in the office (for pickup) or mailed back.  Cost to file is $35.

Checks payable and mailing address:  JOHNSON COUNTY RECORDER, 913 S Dubuque St, Iowa City IA  52240  



If you are considering being married in a civil (non-religious) wedding ceremony to be performed by a Judge or Judicial Magistrate, the following may assist you in making arrangements.

You must first obtain a Marriage Certificate (license) from the Johnson County Recorder's Office.  You will find the Recorder's Office in the Johnson County Administration Building at 913 S Dubuque St, Iowa City.  You will be required to complete an application form and pay an application fee of $35 at the time you make your application.  The Marriage Certificate (license) will not become valid until the expiration of 3 days after the date of application.

The 3-day waiting period may be waived upon application to a District Court Judge under conditions of emergency or extraordinary circumstances.  You must first apply for the Marriage Certificate (license) and obtain the waiver form from the Recorder.  There is an additional fee of $5 for a waiver application.

Once you have completed the application and obtained the waiver form, you may then proceed to present the application to a District Court Judge for consideration.  You must come to the 3rd floor of the Courthouse and request to see a Judge.  Order hours are daily 1:30 pm until 2:30 pm.  Judges are not usually otherwise available on a walk-in basis at other times due to the Court docket.

If you wish to be married at the Johnson County Courthouse during normal business hours, you may contact Court Administration at (319) 356-6070 to check on a time for a ceremony.  You will be required to bring the Marriage Certificate (license) and TWO witnesses of legal age with you to the Courthouse.  You may have any number of persons attend the wedding ceremony.  The wedding ceremony may be performed privately in the Judge's Chambers or publicly in a courtroom as you desire.  Wedding ceremonies will be performed only when the regular Court Docket permits.  There will be no fee for wedding ceremonies performed during normal business hours at the Courthouse.

Judges and Judicial Magistrates also perform wedding ceremonies outside of normal business hours and/or away from the Courthouse upon prior arrangements.  There will normally be a fee charged for wedding ceremonies performed at the convenience of the parties.  You must contact the Judge or Judicial Magistrate directly to make these arrangements.


Arrow IconFAQ's

Q:  "I have been married before, do I need to show/bring divorce papers?"
A:  No.  Divorce papers are not required.

Q:  "Do we need social security cards?"
A:  No.  Only government issued photo ID's or passports.

Q:  "Does Iowa require a blood test?"
A:  Iowa no longer requires blood tests.

Q:  "Can the 3-day waiting period be 'bypassed'?"
A:  Yes.  A 3-DAY WAIVER form can be obtained from our office.  The waiver must be approved/signed by a judge at the courthouse between the hours of 1:30 - 2:30.  There is an additional $5 cost to file the waiver.

Q:  "Can people under the age of 18 get married?"
A:  Yes.  A CONSENT TO MARRY A MINOR form can be obtained through our office (or through link below).  Parents of both parties must sign the form, in addition to a judge at the courthouse.  There is no additional cost for filing this form.



Persons 16 years & 17 years of age may be legally married with the consent of the parents of the underage party. This must be approved by a Judge prior to obtaining the marriage license.

Consent to Marry a Minor Application Abobe Icon
Under Iowa Code for Revenue and Finance1, common law marriage in Iowa is legal for the purposes of filing income taxes (Administrative Rule, Chapter 39 [701]) and property tax exemptions (Administrative Rule, Chapter 73 [701]).

   • a present intent of both parties freely given to become married exists
   • both parties publicly declare themselves as common law married
   • the parties have lived together continuously and consummated the marriage (no special time limit, however)
   • both parties are legally capable of entering into a marriage relationship; that is, both are of legal age and neither is legally married to someone else at the time.

Only legally solemnized marriage ceremonies per the Code of Iowa, chapter 595, are registered as an Iowa vital event. Such marriages permit the parties to legally change their surname through the marriage certificate. Common law marriages are not registered in the Iowa vital records system.

Bullet1 Adm. Rule 701—73.25 (425) COMMON LAW MARRIAGE
A common law marriage is a social relationship that meets all the necessary requisites of a marriage except that it was not solemnized, performed or witnessed by an official authorized to perform marriages. The necessary elements of a common law marriage are: (a) a present intent of both parties freely given to become married, (b) a public declaration by the parties or a holding out to the public that they are husband and wife, (c) continuous cohabitation together as husband and wife (this means consummation of the marriage), and (d) both parties must be capable of entering into the marriage relationship. No special time limit is necessary to establish a common law marriage. This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code section 425.17 [Homestead Tax Credits and Reimbursement: Definitions].