Missouri Marriage Laws

Written and edited for accuracy by the Missouri marriage law researchers at the Universal Life Church on

If your dream Midwestern wedding includes pretty water fountains, cool jazz and mouth watering Kansas City-style BBQ, Missouri is the state for you. Still, you'll want to take a look at Missouri’s marriage laws before packing. In keeping with the Show-Me State’s nickname, we at the Universal Life Church have gone ahead and done the legal legwork for you. We’ve sifted through the relevant laws and highlighted all the steps necessary for both couples and ministers in the following chronological guide, designed to pretty much guarantee you a legally binding marriage without issue.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Relevant Office of Registration:
Recorder of Deeds
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Before the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:

State of Missouri law authorizes judges, mayor, notaries and tribal judges, as well as all recognized members of all religious denominations, Native American nations or tribes, to solemnize marriages on its soil, provided they are at least 18 years old. This includes ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church, who are legally sanctioned to solemnize weddings. ULC ministers in Missouri have reported that the Classic Wedding Package was helpful in the registration process, as it provides all the official documentation a minister might need to show their status.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:

While the state of Missouri allows for a wide range of civil and religious ceremonies, in line with the values and traditions of the couple, it does require that each member of the couple declare their formal intent to take the other as husband or wife before the minister and at least two witnesses at some point in the ceremony. Once the minister pronounces both married, the state considers that marriage solemnized and binding.

Marriage License Requirements

The state of Missouri requires couples present themselves, in person, before a county clerk or recorder of deeds. Once social security numbers have been provided, and the applicants’ full names and addresses verified with a simple photo ID, a marriage license will be issued without further proof of divorce or any demands for blood tests.

A marriage license issued in Missouri is valid in any county in the state. The fee will vary from county to county, although no less than $45.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Mandatory Waiting Period:
License Valid For:
30 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 15 Days of Ceremony

A marriage license issued in the state of Missouri will be valid for a period of 30 days. No marriage contracted on its soil shall be deemed valid without it.

The state also requires that the ceremony be solemnized by a person authorized by law to do so, whether civilly or religiously, and that the individual certify the marriage by ensuring both they and the two witnesses sign the marriage certificate, and eventually returning the license to the same official who issued it within 15 days.

Requirements for the Couple

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

The state of Missouri set the legal age of consent to marry at 18 years old. Any union between minors ages 16 and 17 are only allowed with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian, and no minor will be allowed to marry an adult over 21.

The state also forbids marriages between parents and children, siblings of either the half or whole blood, grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews and first cousins. All persons lacking the capacity to enter into a marriage are also forbidden, and any state official who knowingly issues a marriage license to such couples shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Same sex marriages, it should be noted, are now legal in the state of Missouri, in accordance with federal law.

Final Steps

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

Once the ceremony has come to an end, it’s the minister’s job to make sure both witnesses endorse the original marriage certificate, and that copies are given to all parties. The minister will also have to fill in their own information, including their title, the name of their religious organization (the Universal Life Church, in this case) and the home address and state where they currently reside, before providing their signature.

Once completed, the original marriage license and certificate must be returned to the same official who issued the license within 15 days of the ceremony.

Interested in Performing a Missouri wedding?

Be a MO Wedding Officiant

Are you Considering Becoming a Minister in Missouri?

See the Steps to MO Ordination

Proceed to your Ordination Application

Become Ordained