Kansas Marriage Laws

Kansas, land of prairie golden wheat fields as far as the eye can see, is understandably thought to be about as unpredictable as a pancake. And yet couples and ministers who don’t do their homework when planning a wedding in the Sunflower State could very easily be in for a rocky ride, with hefty fines as an unintended consequence. This is precisely why we at the Universal Life Church have sifted through the relevant legal codes and whittled the process down to a few simple steps, all to ensure your Kansas wedding is smooth, effortless and yes, legally binding.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Ordination Credential
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Probate Court
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Before the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

The state of Kansas recognizes both civil and religious officiants capable of solemnizing weddings. This includes any ordained clergyman or religious figurehead regardless of denomination, any denomination or sect without an authorized marriage officiant, and all justices or judges (either serving or retired) of any municipal, state or federal court.

Ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church are recognized as legal ‘religious actors’ in the state, regardless of gender or personal beliefs. Ministers must present their ordination credentials to the probate court before any ceremony can take place.

It’s illegal for any unauthorized person to officiate a marriage in Kansas. Anybody found guilty of doing so could face a $100 fine.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
Varies by County

In order for any marriage to be legally solemnized and contracted in Kansas, the state requires that both members of the couple provide formal and mutual declarations to be joined in marriage; those declarations made before an authorized officiant and in the physical presence of at least two competent witnesses over 18 years of age.

Marriage License Requirements

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Kansas
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$85.50
Accepted I.D. Types:
Government Issued ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

At least one member of the couple must present themselves, in person, before a county clerk or judge in order to apply for a marriage license. The applicant must prove their age with a government-issued ID and swear an oath on all information provided in the written application, including the date of any divorces if applicable, as well as the names of parents or legal guardians in the case of minors. Any person found to be swearing falsely on the application will be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined up to $500.

Please also remember that the $85.50 fee for the marriage license must be paid in cash.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
3 Days
License Valid For:
6 Months
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 10 Days of Ceremony

That marriage license must contain the name of the county and the precise date it was issued, the names of both persons to be married, and the name of the clerk or judge who issued it. No marriage license can be issued before the third calendar day after the application is filed without the approval of a district court judge.

Couples have six months in which to solemnize the wedding once the marriage license is in their hands. It will be valid in all of Kansas. The person tasked with performing the ceremony, meanwhile, has ten days in which to return it to the same issuing clerk.

Requirements for the Couple

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

Only adults 18 years or older are allowed to legally marry in the state of Kansas. Exceptions will be made for 16 and 17-year-olds who have the written consent of both parents or legal guardians. In certain cases, a judge can also grant a 15-year-old permission to marry if an investigation determines it is in that person's best interest.

The state of Kansas will deem all marriages between relatives closer in blood than second cousins to be incestuous and void. And the US Supreme Court continues to uphold federal rulings allowing same-sex and LGBTQ couples to marry in any state.

Final Steps

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

As per Kansas state law, it is up to the person performing the wedding ceremony to endorse both copies of the marriage certificate attached to the original license, to leave the duplicate with the couple and to return the remaining documents to the same judge or district court clerk who issued it within 10 days of the marriage.

The clerk will record this on the state’s marriage record and then forward all documents, along with the minister’s name and address, to the secretary of health and environment.