Marriage & Civil Union License Information

To apply for a marriage or civil union license, both you and your intended partner must appear in person at the license counter at the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, located on the first floor of the Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver.

HOURS TO APPLY FOR A LICENSE ARE 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M., MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. Our office is closed on municipal holidays and city budget furlough days.

How to Apply For a Marriage or Civil Union License

To apply for a marriage or civil union license, both you and your intended partner must appear in person at the marriage/civil union license counter at the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, located on the first floor of the Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver.

Save time when you come in for your license by filling in your license application online.

Hours to obtain a marriage license are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our office is closed on municipal holidays and city budget furlough days.

You must be able to provide the following to obtain a marriage license:

  • Provide the date that you are getting married
  • Tell whether you are getting married in the State of Colorado (license only valid in this state)
  • Tell whether you have been married before and if you are widowed or divorced and be able to provide the exact date and location of your divorce   or spouse's death. Both bride and groom must be able to provide this information
  • If you are related by blood, be sure to state how you are related
  • Provide the city and state where parents of both parties were born
  • Be able to answer if you are marrying in front of a judge, through a religious ceremony, or self-solemnizing (this means you marry yourselves by signing the certificate at the marriage counter)
  • You must have $30.00 cash, check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) for the marriage license fee.
     

You and your intended spouse each must present one of these valid forms of identification:

  • U.S. state-issued driver's license or permit
  • U.S. state-issued ID
  • U.S. military ID
  • Passport that is bilingual or multilingual and includes English or passport with a certified English language translation if non-English

Please note the name on the license will appear exactly as it is on the ID you provide.

Additionally, if you have a Social Security number you are required to provide it. If the bride or groom/partner does not have a Social Security number (they are from another country, or they are in the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship) they are not required to have one to get married.

Please Note: Birth certificates, baptismal certificates and Foreign Consular IDs are not acceptable forms of identification for marriage or civil union licenses. A birth certificate may be used only to confirm date of birth when presented along with one of the valid forms of identification listed above. 

Other Requirements

In addition to the above requirements, minors and those remarrying have additional requirements. See the accompanying section for information on remarriages. 

  • Blood tests are not required in Colorado, and there is no waiting period.
  • Applicants need not be Colorado residents.
  • The marriage license is valid for 35 days.
  • Be prepared to supply the place of birth (city and state) of each of your parents.
  • The completed marriage certificate (and attached license) must be returned to the Clerk and Recorder for recording within 63 days after solemnization. After that date, late fees will apply.

Prohibited Marriage

The following marriages are prohibited in the State of Colorado:
  • A marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of either of the parties, unless the earlier marriage is a currently valid marriage between the two applicant parties.
  • A marriage between an ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, uncle and niece, or aunt and nephew, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood.

Marriage between first cousins, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood, is permitted in Colorado.

Prohibited Civil Union

The following civil unions are prohibited in the State of Colorado:
  • A civil union where one or both partners are minors (under the age of 18).
  • A civil union entered into prior to the termination of a marriage or civil union of either of the parties, unless the earlier marriage or civil union is currently valid between the two applicant parties.
  • A civil union between an ancestor and descendant, brother and sister, uncle and niece, or aunt and nephew, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood.  

Civil union between first cousins, whether the relationship is by half or whole blood, is permitted in Colorado.

If either you or your intended partner cannot appear at the Clerk and Recorder's office in person to apply for your marriage or civil union license, the absent party must complete an absentee affidavit, and this must be notarized. The notarized absentee application must be used within 30 days from the date it was notarized.
 
The party appearing in person must present, on the behalf of the absent intended partner:

  • A completed and notarized absentee application, and
  • A clear and legible photocopy of a valid form of identification of the absent intended spouse (fax copies not acceptable).
  • The identification of the absent intended spouse must have the month, day and year of birth
  • If  the absent party does not have a social security number, an affidavit to accompany marriage license form must be completed & notarized


The absent party's name written on the forms must match exactly to the ID provided.

The absentee application & affidavit to accompany marriage license may be found on the forms page.

New Proxy Marriage Law in Effect on May 28

Gov. Hickenlooper signed HB15-1327 into law changing the requirements for proxy marriage. The law is effective on May 28, 2015.  These are the new requirements for proxy marriages.

 The law limits proxy marriages to an absent person who is:

  • A member of the armed forces of the United States who is stationed in another country or in another state in support of combat or military operation; or
  • A government contractor, or an employee of a government contractor, working or in support of US military operations in another country or in another state
The bill also states that the requirements for applying for a marriage license for a proxy marriage are the following:
  • One party is a resident of Colorado;
  • One party appears in person to apply for the marriage license and pays the required fees;
  • The signatures of both parties to the proxy marriage are required, and the party present shall sign the marriage license application and provide an absentee affidavit form containing the notarized signature of the absent party, along with proper identification documents required for a marriage license for the absent party; and
  • Both parties (and the proxy) are 18 years of age or older.

For a copy of HB15-1327, please click here

Self-solemnization is not allowed in a marriage by proxy 

You can find a Marriage Ceremony Proxy Power of Attorney form on the forms page. The spouse who can be present and the proxy must both present a valid ID when applying for the license.

Frequently asked questions about Marriage by Proxy:

Q. If my paperwork is already in process, can I still get married by proxy in Colorado?

A. You may be married by proxy in Colorado if you meet the requirements listed above.

Q. What documents can I use to prove Colorado residency?

A. Colorado driver’s license, lease agreement, utility bill, or a voter registration card are all acceptable forms of ID. Only one of these documents is necessary.

Q. What documents can I use to prove active duty military status and deployment?

A. Your Orders (a copy of the written document) will be proof. Still have questions? Please email:marriages@denvergov.org

After certification of the civil union or solemnization of the marriage you must return your civil union license and completed civil union certificate to the Office of the Clerk and Recorder within 63 days after the ceremony for recording.

Please do not separate the certificate from the license. You may use the return envelope given to you at the time of application or return the certificate in person.
 

Recording enters your civil union license and certificate into the official county records for future reference. After recording, the original form will be returned to you by mail at the return address you supplied at the time of application.

There is no fee for recording your license and certificate. However, if you return your civil union certificate for recording later than 63 days after certification, late fees will applyPlease see our Fees page.

Committed Partnership Registry

The City and County of Denver allows certain couples who are not married to recognize their commitment through the Committed Partnership Registry. 
 
The registry is open to any two partners who:

  • are unmarried, eighteen years of age or older, and competent to enter into a contract;
  • are not prohibited from marrying each other under the laws of the State of Colorado by reason of a blood relationship or by reason of adoption;
  • are sharing a common household; and
  • do not already have different partners under the provisions of the Denver Committed Partnership Ordinance, the Colorado Civil Unions Act, or any other comparable domestic partnership provision.   

View the Committed Partnership requirements here.
View D.R.M.C. § 28-200, Committed Partnerships Ordinance.

How to Register

Both partners must appear together at the Office of the Clerk and Recorder and fill out a Certificate of Committed Partnership in duplicate. A sample of this form may be found on the Forms page

The certificate is filled out and attested in the presence of the Clerk, who will then sign the certificate. One completed original certificate is issued to the partnership immediately and one is retained in the official records of the Clerk and Recorder. The fee for domestic partnership certification and registry is $25.00.

Note: All certificates of committed partnerships and the Domestic Partnership Registry itself are public records. 

What Registration Does

Registration of your committed partnership creates a public record of your relationship. It provides evidence that your relationship has met the requirements for committed partnership defined by ordinance, which an employer or other party may or may not choose to recognize in offering domestic partnership benefits.

What Registration Does Not Do

Registering as committed partners does not constitute marriage under the laws of the State of Colorado nor change your legal rights with your partner. Registration does not affect your property, contract, inheritance, custody, or benefit rights nor any other legal entitlements. It does not provide for name changes. To provide for such rights domestic partners may need to execute medical and/or general powers of attorney, wills, and/or other legal instruments, just as though there were no partnership. Consult your attorney.

A Designated Beneficiary Agreement is a contract between two people ensuring certain rights and financial protections based upon the completed document. To be legally enforceable it must be properly recorded by your county Clerk and Recorder.

Designated Beneficiary Agreements become effective once the completed, signed and notarized form is received by the Clerk and Recorder’s office in a county where at least one of the parties resides.

Bring your completed and notarized Designated Beneficiary Agreement to the Recording desk in the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver. The recording fee is listed on the Fees page.

Large Print Form Available

The Designated Beneficiary Agreement form is also available in large print on the Foms page for those who wish to use it. Users of this large print form should understand that it is a 3-page form rather than a 2-page form. The fees for recording and issuing certified copies of this 3-page form will be higher because of the extra page. Whereas the fees to record and issue certified copies of the 2-page form are $19.00, the fees to record and issue certified copies of the 3-page form are $24.50.

Revocation

Designated Beneficiary Agreements may also be revoked. The revocation form may be found on the Forms page. Entering into a marriage or civil union will automatically revoke a pre-existing designated beneficiary agreement of either party.

A committed partnership is terminated by:

  • the marriage or death of either partner;
  • both partners filing with the Denver Clerk and Recorder a Certificate of Termination of Committed Partnership; or
  • either partner filing the termination certificate with the Clerk and Recorder and sending a copy thereof to the other partner by registered mail, return receipt requested.

If you are widowed or divorced (from marriage or civil union) and wish to apply for a new marriage license, you must provide the exact date (month, day and year) and location of your spouse's/partner's death or of your divorce.

If you are divorced you also must provide:

  • the location (city and state) of your divorce;
  • the type (district, superior, circuit, etc.) of court in which your divorce proceeding occurred; and
  • a certified copy of your divorce decree if your divorce was final within 30 days preceding the date you apply for a marriage license.
  • A copy of your divorce decree can be obtained at the Office of Vital Record

PLEASE NOTE:

If you obtained a Civil Union License and wish to convert to marriage under the new law, effective Oct. 7, 2014, please apply online, bring your application and IDs into the office, and pay $30 for your license.


You must be 18 years of age or older to marry in Colorado, with the following exceptions:
  • You may marry at the age of 16 or 17 with the consent of both parents or of your legal guardian.
  • You may marry at the age of 15 or under with the consent of both parents or of your legal guardian, and with judicial approval. 
You must present the necessary consent form (see our Forms page) and court order, as applicable, at the time that you apply for a marriage license. If you are under the age of 18 and one of your parents or your guardian has sole legal custody, you also must present proof of that sole custody.
 
Please also be prepared to supply the place of birth (city and state) of each of your parents.
 
Blood tests are not required and there is no waiting period. Applicants need not be Colorado residents. The marriage license is valid for 35 days.

Your marriage license may be used immediately upon issuance. It is valid for only 35 days after issuance. It may be used anywhere within the State of Colorado.

If the license is not used, it must be returned to the Clerk and Recorder for cancellation.

Colorado recognizes common law marriage as legal and binding. However, cohabitation alone does not constitute common law marriage. For more information on common law marriage, please see:

 A common law marriage cannot be terminated except by court dissolution (divorce) or death.

Online Marriage & Civil Union Applications

Our new Online Service allows you to apply for a Marriage or Civil Union License. Visit the link below to begin the process today.

Marriage & Civil Union Stats Available

We are now posting our monthly marriage license stats and civil union license stats online. Marriages in Denver are up this year!
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