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. 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, 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
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
- Blood tests
- 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 applying for the marriage license.
- As long as the divorce or death was finalized more than 30 days from the marriage license application 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 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.
- You must pick up the license before the wedding.
- The Department of Health is generally open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm, except for state and federal holidays.
- No appointment is needed, and it usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Both of you need to be present with the required documents. (Usually photo IDs but check requirements in step 1.)
- This 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.
5. OBTAINING YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
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*.
*COUPLES WHO RESIDE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES
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!