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A Simple Guide to Getting Your Oregon Marriage License

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Ok friends! Way back in 2022 (feels like forever ago) I published a Simple Guide to Getting Your Washington State Marriage License, so I figured it was past time to publish one for Oregon too. I know that the legal stuff is probs the least fun part of planning your elopement or wedding, but it’s important (obviously) and trust me, it doesn’t have to be that hard! It can get sooo confusing looking at legal websites and trying to understand all the jargon, so I’ve compiled all the important Oregon marriage laws + broken it down into a simple, step-by-step guide to getting an Oregon marriage license. Promise it’s not too complicated, you got this 🙂 (and if you still feel overwhelmed by the end then I can help ya out once we start working together!) 

Oregon Marriage Laws

Let’s kick this thing off with a little Q&A to help you understand all the basic + most important Oregon marriage laws (broken down into layman’s terms, of course).

Can you get married in Oregon if you don’t live there?

Yes you can! No need to be an Oregon resident in order to get married in Oregon, which is a big win for anyone who wants to do a destination wedding/elopement and come in from out of state. 

How many witnesses do you need to get married in Oregon?

You need to have two witnesses over the age of 18 at your ceremony.

How old do you have to be to get married in Oregon?

You can get married in Oregon at the age of 17 as long as you have written consent from a parent or guardian, otherwise you need to be 18 years old.

How much does it cost to get married in Oregon?

The fee for an Oregon marriage license varies by county, but typically it ranges from $50-75 for your initial license, and then there’s a smaller cost for any additional copies you want made. Here are the marriage license fees for a few of the counties in Oregon where popular elopement spots are located:

  • Clatsop County (Cannon Beach): $60
  • Deschutes County (Smith Rock): $55
  • Multnomah County (Portland): $60
  • Klamath County (Crater Lake National Park): $57.75

Does Oregon have a waiting period to get married?

Yep, Oregon has a mandatory 3-day waiting period before you can use your license—meaning that if you get your license on a Monday, for example, you can’t have your ceremony until Thursday. 

How long is an Oregon marriage license valid? 

Your Oregon marriage license will be valid for 60 days from the day it’s issued!

What county do I get my Oregon marriage license from?

Once you get an Oregon marriage license, you can use it in any Oregon county, so it doesn’t really matter what county you get it through. You could get it in your home county (if you’re from Oregon), or if you’re coming from out of state you could get it in the county you’ll be staying in/eloping in. E.g. You could get your license in Clatsop County and still use it for your Smith Rock ceremony in Deschutes County. As long as your ceremony takes place in the state of Oregon you’re good to go!

How long does it take to get a marriage license in Oregon?

It depends if you apply for your license online, in person, or by mail. Filling out an online application is pretty easy, and then you’ll need to visit the Recording office of the county to pay your fee + finalize your license. So that can be done fairly quickly, or you can do the whole thing in person at one time! Alternatively, you can apply by mail, but it’ll likely take a few weeks for the office to process your mailed application and get your finalized license returned back to you.

Do I need my birth certificate to get married in Oregon?

Nope, all you’ll need is a valid photo ID for the both of you (like your driver’s license, passport, etc.).

What do you need to officiate a wedding in Oregon?

You can have any sort of state judicial officer, county clerk, priest, or anybody who is ordained officiate your ceremony. It’s easy to get ordained online so you could totally have a friend or family member do it, if that would be special for you! I’m also ordained, so I can be your officiant if you want your ceremony to be more private/don’t want to have an additional person there to officiate!

Does Oregon have common law marriage?

Oregon doesn’t recognize common law marriage, even if you’ve been together for a while, so you’ll need to go through all the legal stuff to make it an official marriage in the eyes of the state.

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Oregon Marriage License

Now you know all the laws you need to follow to get married in Oregon, so how do you actually do the dang thing and get married?! Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to get your Oregon marriage license and make things official!

1. Look up the county you’ll be applying in

The exact process for getting your marriage license can vary by county, so first you’ll want to do some research into the specific county you’ll be applying in. The fees will be different, the links to fill out an online application form will be different, the approved payment methods will be different. Some counties may require you to make an appointment to visit the office, whereas some may take walk-ins. Get familiar with the specific rules + regulations in the county you’ll be applying through so that you know exactly what to expect, and how much time it’ll take!

2. Apply for your license, online or in person

Most counties in Oregon will allow you to apply for your license either online, fully in person, or by mail. If you choose to go the online route, you’ll typically complete an online application and will then need to go to the office in-person to complete the process (e.g. pay your fees, present valid photo ID, etc.), or you can apply fully in person if you’d rather. If you live out of state, you can also choose to apply by mail, but be aware that it’ll take longer since you have to wait for the office to receive your application, and then you’ll have to wait to receive your license back from them.

3. Pay your marriage license fee, then wait to receive your license

Once you’ve applied for your license, you’ll need to pay the application fee (typically between $50-$75). Most counties will take checks, money orders, credit, and debit cards, and some will take cash—make sure you know this in advance so you can choose the payment method that works best for you! Then all you’ve gotta do is wait to receive your finalized license (which, if you go in person, will typically be done while you’re there), and you’re all set to tie the knot!

4. Have your officiant return the completed license after your ceremony

After your elopement is over, your officiant will need to complete the original marriage application form and license within 10 days of your ceremony, and then return it back to the county clerk’s office where it was issued.

Getting Your Oregon Wedding Permits

I know you probably thought that was the end, but there’s ONE more thing you need to do if you’re eloping or getting married outdoors in Oregon: get the proper Special Use Permit!! Most federal or state protected land will require you to obtain a specific permit to have your ceremony, such as national parks, state parks, national forest land, etc. If you don’t do this, you can get a pretty hefty fine, so we wanna make sure you do it properly! 

Here’s all the info you need to know about getting Special Use Permits at Oregon national parks, state parks, and national forest land.

Oregon National Park Wedding Per4mits

Oregon only has one national park, so this’ll be quick!

Crater Lake National Park

In order to get married in Crater Lake National Park you’ll need to get (surprise!) a Special Use Permit. They’ve got a map of possible ceremony locations near the lake to help you decide where you want to have yours, but ultimately the choice is up to you and as long as you’re following the park’s guidelines + being respectful of other visitors, you can pretty much get married anywhere in the park. The permit has a $50 non-refundable application fee, and you can apply via this application form, then send the completed form along with your payment to the below address:

Crater Lake National Park

Attn: Special Park Uses

PO Box 7

Crater Lake, OR 97604

Make sure you include on your application your first and second choices for dates and locations within the park!

Oregon State Park Wedding Permits

If you want to have your ceremony in an Oregon State Park, you may need a Special Use Permit, but it depends on the specific park and the details of your elopement or wedding. Typically you won’t need one if your group has fewer than 50 people, but it’s best to double check with the park office to be sure. You can contact the general Oregon State Parks office online here!

Oregon National Forest Wedding Permits

If you want to get married on national forest land, you most likely won’t need a Special Use Permit unless you have a group of over 75 people. Just to be safe, though, you can find your chosen national forest on this page, then navigate to their permits + passes page to double check.

Other Oregon Wedding Permits

One other area where you may need a special permit to hold your ceremony is along the Oregon Coast; specifically at Cannon Beach—buuut only if you have more than 50 people present. Assuming you’re eloping with a small group of people, you won’t need to worry about this!

Oregon Elopement Guides & Resources

And with that, you’ve reached the end!! Congrats: you’re now an expert on Oregon marriage laws + licenses (or at least you’re closer to being one than you were at the beginning of this guide). If you’re ready to move onto some of the more fun stuff (aka finding your dream location, choosing your dream dress, etc.), then let’s do it—I’ve linked a few more elopement guides and resources below that I know you’ll love!!

13 Best Places to Elope in Oregon

Best Trails in Oregon to Elope On

Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Dream Hiking Elopement Dress

Best Hiking Boots for Adventure Elopements in 2023

Oregon Elopement Photographer

Wanna start planning your dream day but don’t want to do it all on your own? I’m here for ya! You do you, and I’ll take care of the rest as your Oregon elopement photographer. I wanna plan an epic adventure for the two of you and capture you in your element, exploring this amazing state and all it has to offer 🙂 Fill out my contact form here and let’s get to dreamin’, I want all the deetz!

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