Marriage Licenses

Who Issues a License

Any person wishing to get married in the Commonwealth of Virginia must obtain a marriage license. Every license for a marriage shall be issued by the Clerk or deputy clerk of a circuit court of any county or city. If neither the Clerk nor his/her deputy is able to issue the license, it may be issued by the judge of the circuit court of such county or city. By statute, a marriage license is an essential prerequisite to the lawful solemnization of the marriage. Virginia Code § 20-13.

Legalizing the Marriage

After obtaining the license, the couple, to be legally married, must go before someone officially authorized to perform religious or civil marriage ceremonies. After the ceremony is performed, the person performing the marriage has certain legal duties in completing the marriage license and returning it to the issuing Clerk, who, in turn has the legal responsibilities as to recording the license and providing a copy to the Registrar of Vital Statistics.

Note: Any non-Virginia resident under the age of sixteen may not obtain a marriage license regardless of the circumstances.


View a list of marriage licenses requirements - details, fees and certified copies:
  • A marriage license can be obtained at any Circuit Court regardless of one’s county or city of residence.
  • To obtain a license in Portsmouth, both parties must appear in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office, 1345 Court Street, Suite 101, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number for the Portsmouth Clerk's Office is 757-393-8671.
  • Both parties must have a valid government issued picture ID is required (i.e.: Driver’s License, Military ID, Passport, or State-issued picture ID)
  • The fee for the license is $30 (cash only).
  • Waiting period, blood test, witnesses, divorce papers or death certificate is not necessary.
  • The license must be used within 60 days of issue date in the state of Virginia.
  • Certified copies of marriage license are $2.50 and may be obtained from the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.