Marriage Licenses


Office of Judy Ridgeway
Cole County Recorder of Deeds
311 E. High Street
(Room 101 of the Cole County Courthouse Annex)
Jefferson City, MO 65101

How to apply

Both parties shall appear TOGETHER at the Recorder of Deeds office to apply as long as all arrangements are already made. (Date ceremony will be held on, officiants full legal name and name of the location in Missouri where the ceremony is being performed. [e.g. The Home of Mr. & Mrs. Smith or Carnahan Memorial Garden])


The couple can start the application process online using our Online Marriage Application (Please note it is very IMPORTANT that the Groom is the 1st party and Bride the 2nd party when filling out the online marriage application).  Once the online portion of the application has been finished the couple will need to appear at the Recorder of Deeds office TOGETHER sometime before the date of ceremony to complete the marriage application.

ALSO, when both parties appear TOGETHER at the Recorder of Deeds office they will need the following:

  • Valid government issued photo ID.
  • Confirm or give date and location of the marriage ceremony.    
  • Confirm or give full name of officiant solemnizing the marriage.    
  • A fee of $51 is due at this time. Cash, debit/credit card and some checks are accepted. ($2 additional Bank fee for debit/credit card)

*If Either Party is unable to appear in the Recorder’s Office to apply, due to Military Service, ADA Qualifying Disability or Incarceration, an Affidavit of Absent Application maybe be provided.


  • Civil ceremonies are performed by Cole County Circuit Judge Div. III, Honorable Cotton Walker.
  • Civil ceremonies take place on certain Fridays of the month by appointment only.
  • To schedule your Cole County Courthouse Civil ceremony, please call: 573-634-9115
  • As of right now the courthouse is allowing 2 guests, with exceptions for young children and/or parents of the couple.  Photos can be taken outside the Courthouse or elsewhere after the brief ceremony.

when to apply

  • Applicants should come to the Recorder of Deeds Office to finish their Online Marriage Application or start the marriage application process.
  • Office hours are 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday except legal holidays and the application process takes about 20-30 minutes if done only in the office.  (We would ask that applicants try to make it before 4 PM, if possible, but we will always have someone here till 4:30 PM.)
  • NOTE: Application can be made 6 months prior to date of ceremony.

When to pick-up

  • License and certificate are available for pick-up the week ceremony takes place.
  • Either party may pick up the license and certificate.
  • The marriage license is valid for 30 days from the date of issue and may be used anywhere within the state of Missouri.

what to do with the license

You are responsible for delivering the license to the person who solemnizes your marriage.  The person performing the ceremony is required by law to return the completed license to the Cole County Recorder of Deeds office within 15 days of the ceremony.


  • Blood relatives, down to and including first cousins, MAY NOT marry under the laws of the State of Missouri.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age to marry without parental consent.
  • A male or female age 21 or older MAY NOT marry a male or female under 18 years of age.
  • Previously married applicants must give the date their last marriage ended.  Divorced individuals may not apply until their divorce has been final for a minimum of 30 days.


Identification and proof of age is required of all persons. The following documents will be accepted:


  • Valid Driver’s License OR official State Identification OR Passport.
  • MUST provide Social Security Number.


  • Birth Certificate (Legal, Certified)
  • MUST have custodial parent to give consent*


  • Persons between the ages of 16 and 17 may obtain a license with the consent of their custodial parent.  Parents must give consent in person at the time of application and must have proper identification.
  • Proper identification for consenting parents is a valid driver’s license or passport, and if divorced, court papers to prove custody.


Proof of your marriage (after the return of your license) is available upon request through the Recorder of Deeds Office.    

  • Request can be made in person, mail or phone (credit card required if requesting by phone).
  • We do offer a FORM for filling out if mailing in a request.
  • When calling or showing up in person, please have name of parties ready and date of ceremony.
  • Cost is $9 per certified copy.  Cash, check or credit card accepted ($2 additional bank fee for credit/debit card).
  • There is no charge for a certified copy if for military purposes.