Colorado Marriage Laws

Colorado has crafted a unique set of laws to govern the performance of marriages and the issuance of marriage licenses. The following guide to Colorado marriage laws will cover all of the most frequently asked questions of ministers and couples alike. Read through this comprehensive breakdown of the state rules and requirements if you are planning to have a wedding or officiate in Colorado.

Requirements for the Couple

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Age requirements in Colorado say that the couple must be adults of at least age 18 to apply for a marriage license. Colorado also has an exception for minors between age 16 and 18 as long as they have the consent of their legal guardian.

There is no requirement of residency in Colorado, so the couple who is applying can be from anywhere inside or outside of the US. The closest distance of kin that are allowed to marry are first cousins.

Marriage equality is recognized, so same sex couples are able to legally marry.

Marriage License Requirements

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Colorado
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$30.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID or Birth Certificate
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

Only one member of the couple is required to appear in person to apply for the marriage license. They will be required to provide a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate or other comparable evidence to the Clerk and Recorder’s office with the application filing.

The fee for a marriage license in Colorado is $30. It is good for a marriage performed anywhere in the state regardless of the county of issuance.

Colorado does not require proof of a previous divorce or a blood test.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
35 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 65 Days of Ceremony

The couple should be sure to obtain a marriage license for a religious ceremony as opposed to a civil one. The option can sometimes lead to confusion, but a ceremony solemnized by a Universal Life Church minister is a “religious” one regardless of the weddings religious content or lack thereof. It is the Church’s bestowing of the minister title that grants the authority to perform the marriage, and that is what makes it “religious” in this context.

There is zero waiting period between the application and the issuance of the marriage license. This is a convenient note, especially for couples holding a destination wedding in Colorado, because they do not need days of extra time to get the license.

On the other end of the spectrum, couples wanting to plan in advance may obtain the license up to 35 days in advance.

Once the ceremony is performed the completed license needs to be returned to the Clerk and Recorder's office within 65 days.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
None
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Office of Clerk and Recorder
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

The minimum age of a minister officiating a wedding in Colorado is 18 years. Online ordination is recognized without any issues in Colorado. Residency is not a requirement for a minister performing a wedding, so someone from another state or country would be welcome.

If the office of the Clerk and Recorder wants to see any paperwork from the minister, they would most likely reach out after the wedding.

Feedback from ULC ministers officiating weddings in Colorado indicates that the Classic Wedding Package is a good fit for this purpose.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Yes
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Not Applicable
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Colorado is one of the few states that have a law allowing marriages by proxy. These laws only allow proxy marriages if one of the members of the couple is military actively serving in another state. If the couple qualifies and is interested, they should reach out to the Clerk or a legal expert for additional information. There are no witnesses required in Colorado.

Wedding ceremony language can be customized to suit the preferences of the couple. The two legally required portions are the declarations of consent and the pronouncement. These are commonly recognized as the “I do” exchange and the “I now pronounce you married” portions of the ceremony.

Final Steps

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

Once the ceremony is complete, all relevant parties will sign the marriage license correctly and completely. Making any errors may result in fees and the reissuance of a license.

The document needs to be returned within 65 days of the ceremony to the Clerk and Recorder's office to be filed. Only then will it be legally recognized.

We recommend to all of our ministers performing weddings that they have an official copy of their credentials of ministry and keep a record of any ceremonies that they perform. This is especially true if there is any compensation given for these services.