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 needs is a marriage license. Even a witness is not required, making Hawaii a perfect place for an elopement!
With over 40 years of experience as Hawaii's top wedding planners, we'll make sure everything is in place for the perfect ceremony, and by following these easy steps, you can be on your way to holy matrimony by easily obtaining a marriage license.
1. Hawaii Marriage License Eligibility
In order to legally obtain a marriage license in the State of Hawaii, both parties need to be eighteen years of age or older. For applicants aged eighteen and under, a birth certificate is required; for those over the age of nineteen, valid photo identification will suffice.
Hawaii is unique in that it does not have any state residential or United States citizenship requirements. Previously married applicants will need to supply original divorce decrees or death certificates only if the divorce or death was finalized within 30 days of submitting the marriage license application. You can review 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 number, which is essentially a confirmation number and should be saved.
3. Pick up your marriage license
When you arrive in Hawaii, make plans to go to the Department of Health to pick up the license you applied for. They are generally open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm, except for state and federal holidays. No appointment is needed, and it usually takes about 15 minutes. Both of you need to be present with the required documents, which is usually just photo ID’s.
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. This license is only valid in the State of Hawaii and expires thirty days after the date of issuance.
4. Bring Your Marriage License to the Ceremony
Bring the marriage license with you to the ceremony and provide that to your officiant. Following your ceremony, your officiant will file the paperwork to finalize the process.
A temporary marriage certificate is generally available online three business days after the license is filed. You will need the Locator ID from your confirmation of application submission and either of your last names. The official marriage certificate will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after your ceremony date.
This marriage certificate is valid in all fifty states and around the world*.
Wedding performers must be licensed in the State of Hawaii, so if you have your own officiant, make sure they are registered and licensed in Hawaii to legally marry you.
5. Enjoy the Aloha State!
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 couples who reside outside of the United States, please look into your country’s marriage requirements. Although your Hawaii marriage certificate is a valid legal document, each country has specific details on what may be needed. It can be as simple as providing an official copy of your marriage certificate to a government agency. In other cases, 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!
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!