Get Your SC Marriage License During Court Shutdown
Its a terrible time right now isn’t it? Social distancing, virus scares, layoffs, even toilet paper shortages. But even so, some couples still want (or need) to get married! Nothing stands in the way of true love I guess. Problem was you had to apply in person at the probate court, but the courts are closed and if they are closed that means no marriage license. Lucky for everyone though that Lexington County Probate Court has found a way to solve this problem, at least for the short term during the coronavirus (COVID-19) scare. Now, you can apply by mail and the court will mail you a license. And no, you DO NOT have to be a resident of Lexington County or even Sout Carolina. You can get your license from them and use it anywhere in South Carolina (but only in SC, not out of state).
7 Steps to Protect Your Wedding from the COVID-19 Virus
A hot topic in the news today is the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In regards to your wedding ceremony, yes, you should be concerned. That doesn’t mean you should cancel your wedding, only that you should take adequate precautions against infection How to go about that? Eric Hunt a wedding officiant in Myrtle Beach, SC has a great post on his blog about this very subject.
“The Coronavirus (COVID-19), has certainly caused a lot of disruption all over the world in recent weeks and for couples whose wedding day is near it can definitely add a new level to pre-wedding stress. While we should all be taking precautions and use good ole’ common sense (WASH YOUR HANDS) when it comes to these types of threats, the Coronavirus does not have to be the end to your perfect wedding day. Below, I have compiled a few thoughts and ideas as this virus relates to the wedding day. ”
Eric follows up with 7 steps you can take to protect you and your guests from contracting COVID-19. You should definitely check out the complete article.
Many couples are looking to save money on their wedding. One way to do that is to not spend a fortune right away on your wedding bands. Fancy, expensive diamonds might need to wait a couple of years, or, you just might not be into expensive.
A good source for inexpensive wedding bands is Etsy. You can order them online and have them shipped right to you. If you don’t know your size, visit a jewelry store and have them size you as you peruse their selections. Then go home and visit the Etsy site. Not only will you know your exact ring size, but after seeing the prices in the jewelry store you will be super happy at having saved so much money!
Last year I had the pleasure to perform the wedding ceremony for Georgia and Nathan. Today I came across a blog post about their wedding on the blog Budget Savvy Bride. A great read if you are thinking about organizing a simple wedding. Visit here to read the blog post and take a look at all the pictures.
An added note. I have officiated several weddings where Northern Red was the photographer and I can tell you she does a great job!
So, your wedding ceremony is over, you have signed your marriage license. What happens next?
South Carolina is different from every other state in the US. In every other state, the license is signed and returned to the court. The court then issues a certificate of marriage. In South Carolina, your marriage license becomesyour Certificate of Marriage. There are 3 copies of the license, all of which you signed, and one of them is yours to keep and take with you. It already has the court seal imprinted on it, the judges signature, and the officiants signature and information.
You will not receive anything else from the court.
Your marriage officiant is responsible for returning the other two completed copies to the probate court. He or she has 15 days to do so, but in my case I send them in immediately.
If you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate (like the one pictured above) for whatever reason, you can get one from the court that issued the license for a small fee.
Common law marriage was legal in SC, up until last Wednesday, July 24, 2019 anyway. On that day the SC Supreme Court invalidated any future common law marriages in the state. So from now on, if you want to be married in SC, you need to get a marriage license and have it completed.
Many people ask me about how to go abut changing their name after they are married. It is actually a simple process in theory, but can be complicated if one is unprepared.
After your marriage ceremony you will receive an original of your license that is in fact your new Certificate of Marriage. If you wish to change your name to that of your new spouse or partner, the first step is to change your name with the Social Security administration.
You can apply for a name change at the SS office in person or via mail.
Note: I strongly suggest you do not mail in your original certificate of marriage if applying by mail for a new SS card. Get a certified copy from the court where you obtained your marriage license. It is only $5.00.
In SC you must do this at least 48 hours before going to the DMV to get your license or ID card with your new name.
Afterwards changing your name with SS and waiting 48 hours (wait until you get your new card if you applied by mail) you can then apply at the DMV. Bring your original marriage certificate or a certified copy with you. For more information visit the SCDMV site here.
What is a certified copy of your marriage license and do you need one?
A certified copy of your marriage license is a copy of the Court’s license on record. It may be necessary to show a certified copy to the appropriate entities for a legal name change, for other legitimate purposes, or for genealogical research. A certified copy does not expire. Certified copies of your marriage license cannot be obtained until your license has been filed and accepted by the County Probate Court where you obtained your license. If you would like to request a certified copy of your marriage license from the County Probate Court, you have to complete a form and pay a fee, usually $5.
In South Carolina, when you get married you are given 3 originals of your marriage license. All have the court seal imprinted on them so they are originals. You are given one copy to keep and this original is usually sufficient for all your needs. However, if you have to send your marriage license off somewhere out of your possession, you should get a certified copy. You do not want your original to get lost.
You will usually need to wait one to two weeks to get a certified copy after your wedding, but it might take longer. Your wedding officiant has 15 days to send the other two completed copies of your marriage license back to the court for filing. It then takes the court a few days to actually file the license.
Remember, you are not married until you exchange vows (oaths) and the marriage licensed is signed by all parties and returned to the court.