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Thread: Pennsylvania Marriage License - 3 day waiting period

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Deejmonster's Avatar
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    Pennsylvania Marriage License - 3 day waiting period

    Hi all,

    Has anyone recently gotten married in the state of PA? My fiance and I are planning on getting our marriage license tomorrow (Bucks County) but on the court website it states that there is a 3 day waiting period in regards to obtaining the license. "Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes requires a 3-day waiting period upon applicants' appearance before a Clerk with required documents and fee."

    Does this mean that we have to come back in 3 days to pick up the license or does it mean that we can't be married within 3 days of filing the application?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Fudgie's Avatar
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    It means you don't get the license until 3 days after your file. Typically it's mailed to you but you could possibly pick it up but there is a definite waiting period.

    [Register to see the link]

  3. #3
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Are you sure it's the license? There's a marriage license and a marriage certificate. Typically, you'll get the marriage license as soon as you present the paperwork. It's the license to actually get legally married. You then take care of everything it entails, and after that and the required waiting period, come back in for them to file and grant you a marriage certificate. Whether they print it out for you then and there or it needs to get mailed I guess depends on the state and county. We had ours printed out upon handing in the completed marriage license. That's when you're legally married.

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    I would say that many places have a wait -- you cannot get married until 3 days after you have applied for the license have passed. Sort of to prevent spontaneous actions that are not well thought out, and most expire after 30 days - the ceremony must happen no sooner than 3 days and no later than 30 days. ALso, make sure that there are no rules where one of the parties has to be a resident of the state or county

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    There's no wait period in British Columbia apparently but we did do it in advance and had it mailed to us so it was no difference. I don't remember who did it. We got it a few months before we were married, then the marriage happened and the Archdiocese took care of the certificate application with Vital Statistics.

    I read about your Marriage Licenses page on the Buck Country website. It 's fairly clear that the three day wait period is intended for couples to wait out the three days before a license is issued and a marriage can take place. This means you cannot be married in those three days. It's a waiting period before the officiating happens.

    According to the Bucks County website (link below) there are no residency requirements for a marriage license but the couple has to be married in the Commonwealth.

    I also notice Buck Country requires both individuals (the couple) to be present in applying for a license. This wasn't the case for us (only one person needed to be there). Good thing you're going together.

    [Register to see the link]

  7. #6
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    There's no wait period in British Columbia apparently but we did do it in advance and had it mailed to us so it was no difference. I don't remember who did it. We got it a few months before we were married, then the marriage happened and the Archdiocese took care of the certificate application with Vital Statistics.

    I read about your Marriage Licenses page on the Buck Country website. It 's fairly clear that the three day wait period is intended for couples to wait out the three days before a license is issued and a marriage can take place. This means you cannot be married in those three days. It's a waiting period before the officiating happens.

    According to the Bucks County website (link below) there are no residency requirements for a marriage license but the couple has to be married in the Commonwealth.

    I also notice Buck Country requires both individuals (the couple) to be present in applying for a license. This wasn't the case for us (only one person needed to be there). Good thing you're going together.

    [Register to see the link]
    Read this.

    Yeah that's weird. Seems like an unnecessary second trip if you're not going to do the wedding right there at the courthouse. Fail to see why they wouldn't hand you the license for you to fill out and have whatever officiant you chose sign prior to handing the license in after the three days and getting the certificate then. But I guess that's just how they do. Best of luck and preemptive congratulations!

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Good grief. I reread my post. My apologies for the typos.


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