Indiana Marriage Laws

Indiana might still be dragging around a century-old nickname as Naptown, and yet there’s plenty in its unique marriage laws to leave prospective newlyweds tossing and turning at night. After carefully examining the state’s legal code and accounting for all stipulations and county exceptions, we at the Universal Life Church have prepared the definitive step-by-step guide for couples and ministers looking to secure a marriage license and plan a wedding that will be both legally binding and unforgettable.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
N/A
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Indiana demands no specific format for a wedding ceremony, leaving it to couples to incorporate their beliefs and traditions in a manner befitting their religious domination. That being said, the state will require that both the couple and officiant be physically present at the ceremony, and that each of the two persons looking to marry formally and solemnly consent to taking the other as their spouse. No witnesses are required.

Requirements for the Couple

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 17 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Couples must be at least 18 years old to legally marry in the state of Indiana. Parental or guardian consent to wed will be required for any person aged 17, while minors as young as 15 can petition the courts for a marriage license in those specific cases where they are expecting a child and want to be married in order to raise said child.

Indiana prohibits marriages between any two relatives closer in blood than second cousins, with the exception of first cousins if both are older than 65, as well as any union between any two persons who also have living spouses.

Although state law forbids same sex marriages, recent changes to federal marriage equality laws means same sex couples, whether Indiana residents or not, are legally allowed to tie the knot on its soil without issue.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

Indiana is both precise and deliberate in listing exactly who is legally authorized to solemnize a wedding on its soil. That list includes all judges, mayors, clerks, governors, lieutenant governors and members of the general assembly; any leader or clergy of a religious organization, be it ministers, priests, bishops, archbishops, rabbis and imams; and all adherents of the Friends Church, German Baptists, Bahai faith or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Although not named specifically, all ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church will be considered legal religious actors, regardless of their state or country of residence, gender or personal beliefs. Many ministers in Indiana choose to order the Classic Wedding Package to ensure they have all required documentation on hand.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
60 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
By Expiration

All marriage licenses issued in the state of Indiana are valid upon issuance, and for a period of 60 days from that moment. Attached to that license will be two marriage certificates. The officiant tasked with performing the wedding must fill out both, leave the original with the married couple following the ceremony, and return the duplicate to the same county clerk that issued it before its 60-day expiry date, and no later than 30 days after the ceremony.

Marriage License Requirements

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
County of Issuance
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
Varies by County
Accepted I.D. Types:
Standard Government Issued ID and Proof of Residence
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Varies by County
Blood Test Required:
No

All couples looking to get married in the state of Indiana must present themselves before a clerk in the county where at least one resides and fill out a written application for a marriage license. If neither is a resident of the state, the license must be sought in the county where the wedding ceremony will take place.

The documents required to verify all information provided on that application will vary from county to county. Both persons should be prepared to prove their ages and addresses with standard government issued ID. While all counties will demand social security numbers, some may require a social security card. While some will ask only for the dates of any prior divorces, others may request actual documentation.

And when it comes to the marriage license fees, it definitely pays to be a local. Indiana will charge $18 if at least one member of the couple is a resident, and $60 if neither is. Certain counties may also charge an extra $2 filing fee.

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 couple has been pronounced married and the ceremony is complete, the minister or magistrate must take special care to fill out both copies of the marriage certificate to include their name, the time and place of the ceremony, the names and addresses of the couple, and the date and county in which the license was issued.

Once completed, the original marriage certificate must be given to the couple, and the duplicate returned with the license to the same circuit court clerk who issued it within the 60-day expiry, no later than 30 days after the ceremony.