Hawaii Marriage License and Legal Process - Weddings of Hawaii

Posted by Rachel H. on Mar 3, 2020 9:08:00 AM
Known for its lush mountains,  pristine beaches, and aloha spirit, the State of Hawaii has long been a destination of choice for couples around the world.
Amid all the stunning scenery, it's easy to overlook one of the little-known perks of romance in the Aloha State: Hawaii happens to be one of the easiest places on earth to get married.

A marriage in Hawaii is legally recognized all over the globe*, and the only thing a happy couple need is a marriage license. A witness is not required, so eloping in Hawaii couldn't be easier!

With over 40 years of experience as Hawaii's top wedding planners, we'll make sure everything is in place for the perfect ceremony. Just follow these easy steps to ensure you're all set on the legalities. 


Get your Hawaii marriage license in three steps. (https://emrs.ehawaii.gov/emrs/public/home.html)


1. Hawaii Marriage License Eligibility

To legally obtain a marriage license in the State of Hawaii, both parties: 

  • Need to be eighteen years of age or older**.
  • Cannot be closer than first cousins.

Hawaii is unique in that it does not require:

  • State residence or United States citizenship 
  • Witnesses
  • Blood tests

Required Documents: 

  • Valid government-issued photo identification 
    • Examples: driver’s license, passport, etc.

Possible Required Documents: 

  • Certified copy of a birth certificate ONLY if the applicant is 18 years of age or younger.
    • If the applicant is 19 years of age or older, this is not needed.
  • Original divorce or death decree ONLY if the divorce or death was finalized within 30 days of the marriage license issuance date (see Step 3).
    • As long as the divorce or death was finalized more than 30 days from the marriage license issuance date, this is not needed.

**Applicants 15-17 years of age may be eligible to obtain a marriage license. Additional requirements can be found on the state’s website for a full list of eligibility criteria.

2. How to Apply for a Hawaii marriage license

  • The easiest way to apply is to submit an online application no more than one year prior to your ceremony date.
  • There is a $65 fee that is paid directly to the State of Hawaii through the application.
  • After your application is submitted, you will get a Locator ID/Authorization Code (8-digit number), which is essentially a confirmation number and should be saved.

3. Pick up your marriage license

When you arrive in Hawaii, go to the Department of Health to pick up the license you applied for online. 

  • This must be done before the wedding.
  • The Department of Health is generally open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm, except for state and federal holidays.
  • Appointments are required due to Covid-19 as of 07-2020. Check with the Department of Health.
  • Both of you need to be present with the required documents. (Usually, just photo IDs but check requirements in step 1.)
  • The license is only valid in the State of Hawaii and expires thirty days after the date of issuance.

If you are not able to make it to the Department of Health prior to your wedding, you can set an appointment with a license agent instead. They are able to issue the license outside of the Department of Health. 

4. Bring Your Marriage License to the Ceremony

Bring the marriage license with you to the ceremony and provide that to your marriage performer/officiant. 

  • Following your ceremony, your officiant will file the paperwork to finalize the process.
  • Wedding performers must be registered in the State of Hawaii, so if you have your own officiant, make sure they are registered in Hawaii to legally marry you.


The Department of Health will mail the official marriage certificate to you.

  • This will be sent to the forwarding address you listed in the online application.
  • You can expect to receive your marriage certificate about 4-6 weeks after your ceremony date.
  • This marriage certificate is valid in all fifty states and around the world*.


Please look into your country’s marriage laws. Although your Hawaii marriage certificate is a valid legal document, each country has specific requirements. For example, an apostille may be required. 

Occasionally it can be more complex, in which case you may want to legally wed in your home country but plan your wedding in paradise!


Because Hawaii makes it so easy for couples to get married, the Aloha State has become a top destination for elopements and weddings.

Most of the application process can be taken care of online, and the absence of bureaucracy and red tape means that you and your new spouse can really make the most out of your time on the islands.

The only hard part will be returning home. ;)

For any questions on getting married in Hawaii, please give us a call or schedule a time for us to call you. We're always happy to help!



contact us

Topics: Getting Married in Hawaii


  Email Updates   —

Recent Posts