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Marriage license applications available for same-sex couples starting Monday

MORRIS – Beginning Monday, July 15, same-sex couples can fill out applications for marriage licenses at the Stevens County Recorder's office.

But couples will need to wait to pick up their official license until Aug. 1 when same-sex marriage is officially legalized in Minnesota.

Ahead of the law change, staff in the recorder's office have worked to create a new marriage license application, County Recorder Virginia Mahoney said. There is no statewide standard for marriage license applications, Mahoney noted.

“Every county has their own method of doing things,” said Mahoney. “We like to have consistency, especially among close counties.”

The new marriage license application in Stevens County is modeled after the application developed for Hennepin County. It looks nearly the same, except it replaces the terms “bride” and groom” with “first applicant” and “second applicant.”

Couples applying for a marriage license need to apply together, in person at the courthouse, Mahoney said. Staff with the recorder's office help fill out each application on a computer. Marriage licenses cost $115, but that rate is reduced to $40 if couples complete a marriage instruction course.

There is a five day waiting period for all couples before a marriage certificate can be issued. However, same-sex couples will have to wait until Aug. 1 to pick up their marriage certificate no matter what day they apply.

Once a marriage certificate is issued, it is good for up to six months.

Mahoney said she has received a few calls from couples interested in applying for a marriage license.

The current application with “bride” and “groom” will be available until Aug. 1. After that date, all couples will use the new form, said Mahoney.