Marriage licenses are issued by the Smyth County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office during regular office hours. Please try to arrive by
4:30 pm. There is no requirement that either spouse live in Smyth County, or even in Virginia, nor is there any waiting period required.
After you receive a marriage license, you may marry anywhere in Virginia within sixty (60) days, provided that the wedding officiant is
authorized under Virginia law to perform weddings. Your wedding officiant is charged with the responsibility of returning the marriage
certificate to the issuing Clerk’s Office within five (5) days of the ceremony.
How to Apply
Both persons who are to be married appear in person at the Clerk’s Office. Please arrive by 4:30 pm.
What to Bring With You
Driver's license or other valid photo identification
Payment in the amount of $33.00, either in cash, check, money order, or by credit/debit card. If you use a credit/debit card, a small convenience fee will be added.
What if I am unable to apply in person?
If a party cannot appear in person due to military service, incarceration, or other reason, please contact the clerk's office. We try to accommodate special requests.
In Virginia, the minimum age at which persons may marry is 18 years old, unless a minor has been emancipated by court order. If an emancipated minor applies for a marriage license, he or she must provide the Clerk’s Office with a certified copy of the order of emancipation. For additional information, see Section 20-48 of the Code of Virginia.
What information is needed to complete the application?
In addition to the full names and identifying information for each applicant, you will need to provide the full names (first, middle, and last) of each applicant’s parents. Click here to see a sample form.
Who may officiate at my wedding?
In Virginia, you may be married by an authorized minister or civil marriage celebrant who has been credentialed by the court to perform weddings. Judges are authorized to perform weddings, as well. Be sure to ask your wedding officiant if they have been authorized to celebrate marriages by a Circuit Court in Virginia. The clerk's office maintains a list of local civil marriage celebrants.
What if I want someone else to perform the wedding?
In some cases, the Court can authorize a person who lives in our judicial circuit (Smyth County, Washington County, or the City of Bristol) to perform a wedding. For more information, visit “Officiating at a wedding in Virginia”.
What if I obtain a marriage license but don’t get married within sixty (60) days?
The marriage license expires, and you must return the unused license to the Clerk’s Office.
Who can I marry?
Virginia is for lovers, but if you have been married before, you must first obtain a valid divorce in the previous marriage to marry again. Marriage licenses in Virginia are issued without regard to the gender of applicants. Nonetheless, you cannot legally marry a relative closer to you than a cousin, even if the relationship is by half-blood. You cannot marry your brother, sister, child, or parent, even if you are related only by the half-blood or by adoption.
If you are hoping to marry, you and your partner should disclose, prior to your wedding, all relevant information to each other that may be grounds for voiding your marriage later, such as impotency, felony conviction, religious orders, whether one of you is already the parent of someone else's child, or other relevant information as provided under Virginia law. There is no longer any requirement for applicants for a marriage license to submit to a blood test.
After the wedding ceremony, what happens to the marriage certificate?
Your wedding officiant completes the information at the bottom of both copies of the marriage documents, signs and dates them, and is charged with the responsibility of returning both copies of the marriage certificate to the Clerk’s Office within five (5) days of the ceremony. Upon receipt of the marriage certificate in the Clerk’s Office, the newly married couple will be mailed two (2) certified copies. If needed, either party may request additional certified copies of their marriage license at any time. Certified copies are $2.50 each.
What will I need to change my name?
After your wedding, you may choose to change your name. To change your name with the Social Security Administration, you will need to submit a certified copy of your marriage license along with SSA Form SS-5, a copy of which is provided to you in your packet of information. For assistance, contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 or seek necessary information at the following website: www.ssa.gov
In order to obtain a new drivers license with your new name, you will need to go in person to an office of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and have with you a certified copy of your marriage license. For more information, go to the DMV site: www.dmv.virginia.gov