Requirements for the Couple
- Min. Age of Couple:
- Age 18 or Age 16 with Judicial Approval
- Not Required
- Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
- Second Cousins
- Marriage Equality:
In order to get married in Montana, one must be 18 years old or older. With judicial approval, however, one can get married after turning 16.
The state of Montana prohibits marriages between first cousins, but it does not require couples to live in the state prior to marriage, and it also recognizes marriage equality, so both same-sex couples and couples from out of state can legally wed there.
(1) The director of the department of public health and human services shall prescribe the form for an application for a marriage license, which must include the following information: (a) name, sex, address, [social security number,] and date and place of birth of each party to the proposed marriage; (b) if either party was previously married, the party's name and the date, place, and court in which the marriage was dissolved or declared invalid or the date and place of death of the former spouse; (c) name and address of the parents or guardian of each party; and (d) whether the parties are related to each other and, if so, their relationship. (2) The director of the department of public health and human services shall prescribe the forms for the marriage license, the marriage certificate, and the consent to marriage. [(3) The license, certificate, or consent may not contain the social security number, and the department shall keep the number from this source confidential, except that the department may use the number in administering Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.] (4) The information contained in the marriage license application is subject to the disclosure restrictions provided in 50-15-122(5).
Marriage License Requirements
In Montana, couples need to apply for their marriage license in person from the clerk of the district court, and it costs $53 to apply.
Marriage licenses must be picked up in person after presenting a government-issued photo ID. In order to complete this process, anyone who has been previously married must provide proof of divorce. Keep in mind that no blood test is required in the process of obtaining a marriage license in Montana.
40-1-202. License issuance. Except as provided in 40-1-301, when a marriage application has been completed and signed by both parties to a prospective marriage and at least one party has appeared before the clerk of the district court and paid the marriage license fee of $53, the clerk of the district court shall issue a license to marry and a marriage certificate form upon being furnished:
(1) satisfactory proof that each party to the marriage will have attained 18 years of age at the time the marriage license is effective or will have attained 16 years of age and has obtained judicial approval as provided in 40-1-213; and
(2) satisfactory proof that the marriage is not prohibited.
Marriage License Facts
- ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
- Mandatory Waiting Period:
- License Valid For:
- 180 Days
- License Must Be Submitted:
- Within 30 Days of Ceremony
Although marriage licenses issued in Montana can be solemnized in both civil and religious ceremonies, ministers ordained by the Universal Life Church are specifically empowered to perform religious ceremonies.
There are no mandatory waiting periods for couples looking to get married in Montana, and, once granted, a Montana marriage license is valid for 180 days and must be submitted within 30 days of the ceremony.
A license to marry is effective upon issuance and expires after 180 days.
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:
- Clerk of Court
- Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
- After the Ceremony
- Minister I.D. # Issued:
To officiate a wedding in Montana, a minister must be at least 18 years old (which also happens to be the minimum age required to be eligible for a ULC ordination). The personal beliefs and background of the minister do not matter to the state, nor does the minister’s state of residence.
Ministers who are interested in performing wedding ceremonies can start the registration process by reaching out to the clerk of the district court. The documents required for this process vary by county, but our ministers in Montana have reported that the Classic Wedding Package covers all the basics.
Please bear in mind that because the registration process varies by county, it is imperative that the minister contact the same clerk that will issue the marriage license to determine what (if any) documentation is required in order to guarantee the legality of the ceremony. Different offices might offer different instructions. The ULC generally recommends that ministers keep their ordination credential available for this purpose, although some clerks will not require ministers to provide any documentation whatsoever.
40-1-301. A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the clerk of the district court.
Wedding Ceremony Requirements
- Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
- Minister Required to be Present:
Although parties to the marriage do not have to be physically present for the ceremony, the minister must be present. Furthermore, although the couple has the liberty to customize their wedding to suit their needs, marriage ceremonies in Montana do still require the traditional “I do” moment for the couple and the “I now pronounce you...” declaration from the minister, and there must also be at least two adult witnesses to the ceremony.
(2) If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization, the party may authorize in writing a third person to act as proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied that the absent party is unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, the person may solemnize the marriage by proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy.
(3) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it if either party to the marriage believed that person to be qualified.
(4) One party to a proxy marriage must be a member of the armed forces of the United States on federal active duty or a resident of Montana at the time of application for a license and certificate pursuant to 40-1-202. One party or a legal representative shall appear before the clerk of court and pay the marriage license fee. For the purposes of this subsection, residency must be determined in accordance with 1-1-215.
- Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
- Church/Ordaining Body:
- Universal Life Church Ministries
- Address of Church:
- Minister's Home Address
A minister's responsibility doesn't simply end at the altar.
In fact, it's normally the job of the officiating minister to fill out their own section of the marriage license, to mark their title as “minister” and their ordaining body as “Universal Life Church Ministries,” and to then provide their home address (since ULC ministers are not considered employees of the church).
In Montana, the completed marriage license must be submitted back to the clerk of the district court who originally issued it within 30 days of the wedding.
(1) Upon receipt of the marriage certificate, the clerk of the district court shall register the marriage. (2) Every person solemnizing a marriage who shall neglect to make and deliver to the clerk of the district court a certificate thereof within 30 days after having solemnized such marriage shall forfeit for such neglect a sum not less than $10 or more than $50; and any clerk of the district court who shall neglect to record such certificate so delivered within 1 month after its delivery shall forfeit the like penalty.