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New Mexico Wedding Laws

Written and updated for precision by the New Mexico marriage law research team at GetOrdained™ on

New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment for many reasons. With tall Rocky Mountain Peaks, quaint old pueblos, and bustling metropolitan areas, New Mexico has something for everyone. If you are a couple who wants to marry in the state or an officiant who wants to conduct a marriage ceremony, you must be certain you understand and comply with New Mexico's unique marriage requirements. Fortunately, you do not have to worry about undergoing extensive research. The following guide should give you everything you need to know about either marrying the love of your life or officiating a wedding anywhere in New Mexico. Continue reading for information on how to turn the special day into a legally binding marriage.

New Mexico Marriage Requirements

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

New Mexico has some straightforward laws about marriage. Nevertheless, for a binding marriage in the Land of Enchantment, each member of the couple must be 18 or older. Those who are 16 and 17 may be able to marry in New Mexico if they obtain the written consent of all living parents or guardians. Individuals who are younger than 16 may also marry, providing they can obtain permission from a court. This provision may apply if a minor is pregnant. Nevertheless, any judge or clerk who helps a minor marry in violation of New Mexico law may be subject to sanctions. New Mexico allows out-of-state couples and same-sex couples to marry, but state law does not permit the marriage of close kin.

How to Get a New Mexico Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in New Mexico
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$25.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

Before walking down the aisle in New Mexico, a marrying couple must first obtain a marriage license from a county clerk. To do so, the couple must appear in person and identify themselves with government-issued identifications and social security numbers. If for some reason, both members of the couple cannot appear in person and comply with identification requirements, the couple may ask a district court judge for an exemption. The judge is only likely to approve the exemption if the couple can show good cause. If the couple goes this route, an order from the judge tells the clerk to issue the marriage license. The cost for applying for a marriage license in New Mexico is $25, but the process is simple. New Mexico does not require proof of previous divorce decrees or blood tests prior to issuance of marriage licenses.

Applying For a Marriage License in New Mexico

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
No Expiration
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 90 Days of Ceremony

Unlike many other states, New Mexico does not place expiration dates on the marriage licenses that clerks issues. In theory, as long as a couple has a valid marriage license, the ceremony can take place at any time. This gives the couple and the officiant sufficient time to plan a meaningful and memorable ceremony. If the couple is in a hurry, though, the marriage may take place immediately after the clerk issues the marriage license. After the ceremony is over, the officiant has the responsibility of returning the completing marriage license within 90 days. Failure to do so may cause a delay in the issuance of the marriage certificate.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in New Mexico

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

In the Land of Enchantment, a marriage officiant must either be a member of the clergy or an authorized representative of a federally recognized Indian tribe or nation. State law also allows judges and magistrates to perform marriage ceremonies, even if they have retired. Either way, to perform a marriage ceremony in New Mexico, the officiant must be at least 18. Officiants who receive their ordination through Universal Life Church Ministries are religious actors under New Mexico Law. Consequently, ULC officiants should have their credentials and ordination documents ready to present to the county clerk upon request. The Classic Wedding Package includes the officiant's credentials and ordinations documents.

Getting Married in New Mexico

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
2
Min. Age of Witnesses:
18 Years
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

In the Land of Enchantment, couples and officiants may structure marriage ceremonies however they choose with a couple of key exceptions. First, the couple must express consent to marry in front of the officiant and witnesses. Second, the officiant must pronounce the couple married. Beyond these, the couple and officiant may tailor the marriage ceremony to fit religious or personal requirements. After the officiant pronounces the marriage, completes the marriage certificate, and delivers it to the county clerk who issued it, the marriage is solemnized under New Mexico law.

Finalizing the Marriage

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

While completing the marriage ceremony is a big part of the officiant's job, the minister must be certain to complete the marriage license after the ceremony. This includes obtaining the signatures of both members of the couple. When completing the minister's section, the officiant should name the Universal Life Church as the ordaining body. The officiant should also affix his or her home address as the address for the church. Finally, the minister must return the properly completed marriage certificate to the issuing county clerk within 90 days. Then, the county clerk ensures the completed document becomes part of the official New Mexico family record.

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