Marty and Charlene married aboard a yacht in Minnesota.

Photo: Kelsey Thompson


When does marriage equality go into effect in Minnesota?

Same-sex couples are currently able to have legally recognized marriage ceremonies.


Do I have to live in Minnesota to get married there?

No. Any couple can get married as long as other qualifications are met.


Where can I apply for a marriage license?

A Minnesota County Recorder’s office.


Is a blood test required?



Is there a waiting period to get the marriage license?

Yes, there is a 5 day waiting period.


How soon after applying for a license can I get legally married?


Are there witnesses required in order to get legally married?

Yes, you will need at least 2 witnesses.


How much is the marriage license application fee?

$40 for parties who complete at least 12 hours of premarital education and $115 for parties who have not met the premarital education requirements.


How long is the marriage license valid for?

6 months.


Can I apply online for a marriage license?

Not entirely. You can start the application process online, but you’ll need to print and bring the receipt to the County Recorder’s office.


Do we both have to be there to apply for our marriage license?



What paperwork is required when I apply for my marriage license?

You need to bring a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport or birth certificate.


Who can officiate the marriage ceremony?

Judges, clerks of court, court commissioners, and licensed ministers, priests or rabbis, as well as representatives of Bahai, Hindu, Quaker and American Indian religious groups are authorized to perform weddings in Minnesota.


If I don’t live in Minnesota, will my marriage be recognized by my home state?

The marriage will be respected in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State and Washington, D.C. In Nevada, the marriage will be seen as a domestic partnership.


Is my Minnesota gay marriage recognized by the U.S. federal government?

Yes, it is!


Is a divorce decree required?

Yes. You’ll need to provide the city, state, country of each previous marriage and the ending status, such as, by divorce or death. Home and work telephone numbers for both you and your ex(s) are also requested.


If I get legally married in Minnesota, will I still need special legal paperwork to protect my family?

If you plan to travel with your partner beyond the state of Minnesota, it will be necessary for you to hire an attorney to draw up paperwork to protect your family in case something happens in a state where your marriage is not recognized. Read our expert advice on how to legally protect your relationship and children.


How do I change my name?

If you choose to change your name through the marriage process, you may do so by indicating the names you and your partner will use after your marriage on the application for your marriage license.