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Marriage & Civil Union License Information

To apply for a marriage or civil union license, both you and your intended partner must appear in person at the license counter at the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, located on the first floor of the Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver.

HOURS TO APPLY FOR A LICENSE ARE 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M., MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. Our office is closed on municipal holidays and city budget furlough days.

How to Apply For a Marriage or Civil Union License

To apply for a marriage or civil union license, both you and your intended partner must appear in person at the marriage/civil union license counter at the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, located on the first floor of the Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver.

Save time when you come in for your license by filling in your license application online.

Hours to obtain a marriage license are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our office is closed on municipal holidays and city budget furlough days.

You must be able to provide the following to obtain a marriage license:

  • Provide the date that you are getting married
  • Tell whether you are getting married in the State of Colorado (license only valid in this state)
  • Tell whether you have been married before and if you are widowed or divorced and be able to provide the exact date and location of your divorce or spouse's death. Both bride and groom must be able to provide this information
  • If you are related by blood, be sure to state how you are related
  • Provide the city and state where parents of both parties were born
  • The marriage license fee is $30 payable by cash, check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover)
  • You may marry in front of a judge, through a religious ceremony, or by self-solemnizing (this means you marry by signing the certificate yourselves by signing the certificate at the marriage counter or an alternate location within the State of Colorado)
  • The certificate must be signed within 35 days from the date the license was issued
  • The marriage certificate must be returned to us for recording no later than 63 days from the date of soleminzation
     

You and your intended spouse each must present one of these valid forms of identification:

  • U.S. state-issued driver's license or permit
  • U.S. state-issued ID
  • U.S. military ID
  • Passport that is bilingual or multilingual and includes English or passport with a certified English language translation if non-English

The name on the license will appear exactly as it is on the IDs provided to us.

You are required to provide a Social Security number, if you have one. If one of the parties does not have a Social Security number (they are from another country or they are in the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship) they are not required to have one to get married.

Please Note: Birth certificates, baptismal certificates and Foreign Consular IDs are not acceptable forms of identification for marriage or civil union licenses. A birth certificate may be used to confirm date of birth when presented along with one of the valid forms of identification listed above. 

Other Requirements

  • Blood tests are not required in Colorado, and there is no waiting period.
  • Applicants need not be Colorado residents.
  • The marriage license is valid for 35 days.
  • The completed marriage certificate (and attached license) must be returned to the Clerk and Recorder for recording within 63 days after solemnization. After that date, late fees will apply
Minors and those remarrying have additional requirements. See the accompanying section for information on remarriages. 

Prohibited Marriages

 
The following marriages are prohibited in the State of Colorado:
  • A marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of either of the parties, unless the earlier marriage is a currently valid marriage between the two applicant parties.
  • A marriage between an ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, uncle and niece, or aunt and nephew, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood.

Marriage between first cousins, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood, is permitted in Colorado.

Prohibited Civil Unions

 
The following civil unions are prohibited in the State of Colorado:
  • A civil union where one or both partners are minors (under the age of 18).
  • A civil union entered into prior to the termination of a marriage or civil union of either of the parties, unless the earlier marriage or civil union is currently valid between the two applicant parties.
  • A civil union between an ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, uncle and niece, or aunt and nephew, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood.  

Civil union between first cousins, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood, is permitted in Colorado.

If either you or your intended partner cannot appear at the Clerk and Recorder's office in person to apply for your marriage or civil union license, the absent party must complete a notarized absentee affidavit. The notarized absentee application must be used within 30 days from the date it was notarized.
 
The party appearing in person must present, on the behalf of the absent intended partner:

  • the completed and notarized absentee application, and
  • a clear and legible photocopy of a valid form of identification of the absent intended spouse (fax copies not acceptable).
  • the identification of the absent intended spouse must have the month, day and year of birth 
  • If the absent party does not have a social security number, an affidavit to accompany the marraige license form must be completed and notarized
     

The absent party's name written on the forms must match exactly to the ID provided.

The absentee application and affidavit to accompany marriage license may be found on the forms page.

The completed license and certificate must be returned to the Office of the Clerk and Recorder within 63 days after the ceremony for recording.

Please do not separate the certificate from the license. You may use the return envelope given to you at the time of application or return the certificate in person.

Recording enters your license and certificate into the official county records for future reference. After recording, the original form will be returned to you by mail at the return address you supplied at the time of application.

There is no fee for recording your license and certificate.  However, if you return your civil union certificate for recording later than 63 days after certification,  late fees will applyPlease see our Fees page.

Committed Partnership Registry

 

The City and County of Denver allows certain couples who are not married to recognize their commitment through the Committed Partnership Registry. 
 
The registry is open to any two partners who:

  • are unmarried, eighteen years of age or older, and competent to enter into a contract;
  • are not prohibited from marrying each other under the laws of the State of Colorado by reason of a blood relationship or by reason of adoption;
  • are sharing a common household; and
  • do not already have different partners under the provisions of the Denver Committed Partnership Ordinance, the Colorado Civil Unions Act, or any other comparable domestic partnership provision.   

View the Committed Partnership requirements here.
View D.R.M.C. § 28-200, Committed Partnerships Ordinance.

 

How to Register

Both partners must appear together at the Office of the Clerk and Recorder and fill out a Certificate of Committed Partnership. A sample of this form may be found on the Forms page

The certificate is filled out and attested in the presence of the Clerk who willsign the certificate. One completed original certificate is issued to the partnership and one is retained in the official records of the Clerk and Recorder. The fee for domestic partnership certification and registry is $25.

Note: All certificates of committed partnerships and the Domestic Partnership Registry itself are public records. 

What Registration Does

Registration of your committed partnership creates a public record of your relationship. It provides evidence that your relationship has met the requirements for committed partnership defined by ordinance. An employer or other party may or may not choose to recognize this in offering domestic partnership benefits.

What Registration Does Not Do

Registering as committed partners does not constitute marriage under the laws of the State of Colorado nor change your legal rights with your partner. Registration does not affect your property, contract, inheritance, custody, or benefit rights nor any other legal entitlements. It does not provide for name changes. To provide for such rights domestic partners may need to execute medical and/or general powers of attorney, wills, and/or other legal instruments. Consult your attorney.

A Designated Beneficiary Agreement is a contract between two people ensuring certain rights and financial protections based upon the completed document. To be legally enforceable it must be properly recorded by the Clerk and Recorder.

Designated Beneficiary Agreements become effective once the completed, signed and notarized form is received by the Clerk and Recorder’s office in a county where at least one of the parties resides.

Bring your completed and notarized Designated Beneficiary Agreement to the Recording desk in the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver. The recording fee is listed on the Fees page.

Large Print Form Available

The Designated Beneficiary Agreement form is also available in large print on the Foms page. The large print form is three pages long as opposed to two pages for the regular print.The fee to record and issue certified copies of the two-page form is $19; the fee to record and issue certified copies of the three-page form is $24.50.

Revocation

Designated Beneficiary Agreements maybe revoked. The revocation form may be found on the Forms page. Entering into a marriage or civil union will automatically revoke a pre-existing designated beneficiary agreement.

A domestic partnership is terminated by:

  • the marriage or death of either partner;
  • both partners filing with the Denver Clerk and Recorder a Certificate of Termination of Committed Partnership; or
  • either partner filing the termination certificate with the Clerk and Recorder and sending a copy thereof to the other partner by registered mail, return receipt requested.

If you are widowed or divorced (or your civil union has been dissolved) and wish to apply for a new marriage license, you must provide the exact date (month, day and year) and location of your spouse's/partner's death or of your divorce.

If you are divorced you also must provide:

  • the location (city and state) of your divorce;
  • the type (district, superior, circuit, etc.) of court in which your divorce proceeding occurred; and
  • a certified copy of your divorce decree if your divorce was final within 30 days preceding the date you apply for a marriage license.
  • A copy of your divorce decree can be obtained at the Office of Vital Record

PLEASE NOTE:  If you obtained a Civil Union License and wish to be married, please apply online for a marriage license. Bring your application and IDs into the office, and pay $30 for your license.

You must be 18 years of age or older to marry in Colorado, with the following exceptions:

  • You may marry at the age of 16 or 17 with the consent of both parents or of your legal guardian.
  • Judicial approval is requried to marry at or under the age of 15 along with the consent of both parents or of your legal guardian. 
You must bring your birth certificate.
 
You must present the necessary consent form and court order, as appicable, at the time that you apply for a marriage license.
 
If you are under the age of 18 and one of your parents or your guardian has sole legal custody, you must present proof of that sole custody.
 
Blood tests are not required and there is no waiting period. Applicants need not be Colorado residents. The marriage license is valid for 35 days.

Your marriage license may be used immediately upon issuance. It is valid for 35 days after issuance. It may be used anywhere within the State of Colorado.

If the license is not used, it must be returned to the Clerk and Recorder for cancellation.

Colorado recognizes common law marriage as legal and binding. However, cohabitation alone does not constitute common law marriage. For more information on common law marriage, please see:

 A common law marriage cannot be terminated except by court dissolution (divorce) or death.

A proxy marriage license may be granted to an absent person who is:

  • A member of the armed forces of the United States who is stationed in another country or in another state in support of combat or military operation; or
  • A government contractor, or an employee of a government contractor, working or in support of US military operations in another country or in another state

Requirements for applying for a marriage license for a proxy marriage are:

  • One party is a resident of Colorado;
  • One party appears in person to apply for the marriage license and pays the required fees;
  • The signatures of both parties to the proxy marriage are required, and the party present shall sign the marriage license application and provide an absentee affidavit form containing the notarized signature of the absent party, along with proper identification  documents required for a marriage license for the absent party; and
  • Both parties (and the proxy) are 18 years of age or older.

Self-solemnization is not allowed in a marriage by proxy

You can find a Marriage Ceremony Proxy Power of Attorney form on the forms page. The spouse who can be present and the proxy must both present a valid ID when applying for the license.

Frequently asked questions about Marriage by Proxy

Q. What documents can I use to prove Colorado residency?

A. Colorado driver’s license, lease agreement, utility bill, or a voter registration card are all acceptable forms of ID. Only one of these documents is necessary.

Q. What documents can I use to prove active duty military status and deployment?

A. Your Orders (a copy of the written document) will be proof. Still have questions? Please email: marriages@denvergov.org

Online Marriage & Civil Union Applications

Our new Online Service allows you to apply for a Marriage or Civil Union License. Visit the link below to begin the process today.