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Idaho Wedding Laws

Few other places in the U.S. make for a more majestic and beautiful wedding setting than Idaho. After all, the Gem State has soaring mountain peaks, lush valleys and quaint towns. The exciting city of Boise may also give a marrying couple access to fine-dining restaurants, craft microbreweries and one-of-a-kind wedding venues. Before choosing to marry in Idaho or officiate a wedding there, couples and ministers must understand Idaho's unique marriage laws. This detailed guide provides insight into the requirements for the minister, the couple and the marriage license. Continue reading to be sure you do not miss an important detail about your upcoming special day.

Idaho Marriage Requirements

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

Idaho was the home to the largest diamond ever found in the U.S. Even if the wedding band has a smaller stone, a person must be at least 18 to marry in Idaho. For 16- and 17-year-olds, marriage is possible with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Anyone under 16 must receive special permission from a court in Idaho to marry there. Before a court gives permission, a physician must certify the minor is sufficiently physically and mentally mature for marriage. A parent or guardian must also sign off on the marriage for minors under the age of 16.

Idaho does not allow close relatives to marry. Unions between parents and children, siblings, ancestors and descendants of every degree, grandparents and grandchildren and uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces are off-limits.

Like with all other states, Idaho welcomes same-sex couples to marry. Therefore, regardless of a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, obtaining a marriage license is typically possible.

How to Get an Idaho Marriage License

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

Before marrying in Idaho, a couple must obtain a marriage license from a county recorder. The cost for the application is usually about $30, although it may be higher if the couple applies for a marriage license on Sunday.

To apply for a marriage license, the couple must appear in person at a county recorder's office. Each county recorder has an application for couples to complete. Doing so requires providing each person's social security number and other details. If a member of the couple does not have a social security number, providing a sworn explanation is necessary.

When applying for a marriage license, the couple must present a passport, driver's license or another acceptable form of government-issued identification. The county recorder may require proof of previous divorces or ask for witness affidavits to explain missing information or other details.

Applying For a Marriage License in Idaho

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
Does Not Expire
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 30 Days of Ceremony

Regardless of which country recorder issues the marriage license, it is valid in all places in Idaho. Marriage licenses in the Gem State do not expire, giving couples broad flexibility to schedule their wedding dates at their convenience. There is a major exception to this rule, however.

If the wedding ceremony takes place more than one year after the issuance of the marriage license and attached certificate, the couple must notify the Idaho Bureau of Vital Health and Statistics before holding the marriage ceremony.

Once the ceremony is finished, the officiant must return the completed marriage certificate and original marriage license to the country recorder who issued it. The officiant only has 30 days to do so. Otherwise, the couple may have to pay a $50 fine and possibly face misdemeanor charges.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Idaho

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

To solemnize a marriage in Idaho, a person must be at least 18. Also, Idaho law only allows the following individuals to perform matrimonial ceremonies: current and retired justices of the state supreme court, judges of the court of appeals and judges of the district court; current and former governors; current lieutenant governors and mayors; current federal or tribal judges; approved tribal officials and all priests or ministers of the gospel of any denomination.

Ministers with ordination from the United Life Church fall into the last category, as they qualify as religious actors under state law. This is true regardless of the minister's personal or religious beliefs or gender. Still, a county recorder may ask for ordination credentials or letters of good standing when the minister returns the completed marriage certificate and license.

Getting Married in Idaho

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

Because Idaho does not expressly state how marriage ceremonies must unfold, couples are free to create the ceremony they want. Still, the officiant must ensure each member of the couple takes a solemn oath to enter into marriage, and pronounce them as wed. Witnesses are not necessary for solemnizing a marriage in the Gem State, so technically only the officiant and couple must be present at the ceremony.

Finalizing the Marriage

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

The person who conducts the wedding ceremony has the legal obligation to complete the marriage certificate that accompanies the original marriage license. When doing so, officiants must provide their names and personal addresses. They must also note the date and location of the marriage ceremony and provide the names of each member of the couple.

After ministers have completed and signed the relevant documents, Idaho law requires them to return the completed certificate and original license to the county recorder who issued them within 30 days of the ceremony. Missing this deadline may be a misdemeanor that results in a fine of up to $50.