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January 14, 2019

How to Get a Marriage License in Philadelphia, PA

So you’ve decided to get married. Woohoo! Marriage is awesome! But hold your horses…. pardners. In order to make this thing official, you’re going to need the official go ahead from the City of Philadelphia. That means heading down Broad Street to City Hall and getting your marriage license.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Whipped Bakeshop has your back! Here’s everything you need to know to get your marriage license in Philadelphia.


*** 2021 COVID-19 UPDATE: You now need to make an appointment to get your marriage license. Here’s a link to the PDF checklist of what you need before making your appointment. Also, there is a brand new selfie mural at the Marriage License Bureau, so check that out!


Where to grab your Philadelphia marriage license

You AND your future spouse (both must attend) must make your way to room 413 City Hall to apply for the license. You’ll enter through the Northeast entrance, take the elevator to the 4th floor and proceed to room 413. Bonus Tip: Parking around City Hall is tough to find and/or very expensive. We recommend grabbing a Lyft instead of driving yourself.

Fun fact: According to Philadelphia Magazine, some 11,000 marriage licenses are produced in room 413 every year! The busiest time of the year is May to September, when an average Wednesday evening means 70 to 90 licenses.


The Marriage License Bureau is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am. until 4:00 pm Wednesday hours are from 8:30 am until 7:30 pm.

NOTE: The Marriage License Bureau recommends arriving no later than one-half hour before closing time to give the office time to process your license.


Marriage License Bureau
Room 415 City Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone Number:

(215) 686-2233

When we do we get our PA marriage license?

You want to cross this important item off your wedding planning list… but not TOO soon. Your shiny new marriage license will issue on the third day following application and is valid for only 60 days from the issue date that appears on the license. If the license is not used within the 60 day period, the marriage license must be returned and the application process must be repeated in its entirety and the fee re-paid (nooooooooooooo).

How much does the marriage license cost?

The fee for a marriage license is a cool $90.00, payable by Visa, MasterCard, certified check and money order. Cash and personal checks are NOT accepted, so don’t even try!

Can I use my PA marriage license in NJ or another state?

Nope. The marriage license can be used in any county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However, a PA license cannot be used out-of-state.

What IDs do we need to bring?

Both you and your partner must bring:

1: A CURRENT, VALID PHOTO ID in the form of either a driver’s license; non-driver’s license; international driver’s license; passport; military ID; resident alien card or consulate card.


2. A Social Security card or any other form of ID issued by an official entity which reflects the applicant’s Social Security number (i.e. Social Security printout; pay stub; W-2 form; income tax return; prescription card; access card etc.).

If you don’t have a Social Security number, you must bring a secondary ID in the form of a birth certificate (officially translated, if appropriate); or any other form of ID issued by an official entity, in addition to the above-noted current, valid photo ID.

Pretty much… don’t bother showing up until you have these documents ready. They won’t process your license without them.

What if one or both of us was previously married?

If either of you was previously married, proof of dissolution of the latest marriage must be submitted at the time of application. If you are widowed, you must submit a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse. A divorced applicant must provide a certified copy of the most recent divorce decree. If the document is not written in English it must be translated to English and the translation must be certified to be correct.

What if I’ve had a legal name change?

If either of you has had a legal name change, the certified decree of the court ordering this change must be presented.

Anything else to know?

There’s a lost license fee of $10 and a fee of $100 for Quaker/Self-Uniting licenses. If you or your partner cannot speak or understand English, you must be accompanied by a translator who possesses current, valid photo ID.

That’s about it! Now go forth and grab your Philadelphia marriage license… after you sign up for your ULTRA MAGICAL Whipped Bakeshop cake tasting!