Marriage Licenses

office location

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

  • The couple can apply TOGETHER anytime during regular office hours at the Recorder of Deeds Office; as long as they have valid government issued identification, and the following ceremony arrangements in order: 
    • Couple needs to have the date the ceremony will take place on.
    • Couple will need officiant's legal name and title.
    • Couple will need the name of the county and name of the location or venue in Missouri where the ceremony is to take place.  

(E.g. Mr. First & Ms. Second to be married on March 15th of current year by Officiant Jon Doe at the Carnahan Memorial Garden in Cole County)  


  • The couple can begin the application process (as long as all ceremony arrangements have been, as mentioned above) online by clicking the following link: Cole County Online Marriage Application 

(Please note it is very IMPORTANT that the 1st Party is the Groom and that the 2nd Party is the Bride when filling out the online marriage application)  

  • After the online part of the application has been finished the couple must appear TOGETHER at the Recorder of Deeds Office sometime during regular office hours before the date of ceremony to finalize their marriage application. 

when and where

  • Applicants must appear TOGETHER at the Recorder of Deeds Office to start the marriage application process OR finalize their online marriage application.
  • Regular office hours are from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday (except legal holidays).  The application process takes about 20 minutes from beginning to finish if only done in the office. (We would ask if possible that applicants try to make it before 4 PM but the office will always have someone here till 4:30 PM when alarms are set.)
  • NOTE: Application can be made 6 months prior to date of ceremony.


The couple must appear TOGETHER at the Recorder of Deeds Office with the following:

  • Valid government issued photo ID/Passport. (Needs to be in English, CANNOT be expired or be a Temporary Visitor Drivers License [TVDL])
  • Confirm or give date along with name of location in Missouri where marriage ceremony is being held. (E.g. March 15 of current year at the Carnahan Memorial Garden)    
  • Confirm or give full legal name along with title of officiant solemnizing the marriage. (E.g. Officiant John Doe, Reverend John Doe, etc...)
  • A fee of $51 will be due when completing the marriage application.  Cash, debit/credit card and some checks are accepted. ($2 additional Bank fee for debit/credit card)

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


  • License and certificate are available for pick-up the week of the ceremony.
  • 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.


  • Civil ceremonies are normally performed by the Honorable Cotton Walker, Cole County Circuit Judge Div. III.
  • Civil ceremonies are very brief and 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.

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.


Valid identification showing proof of age is required of all persons.  The following documents will be accepted:


  • Valid government issued photo ID OR passport. (Needs to be in English and CANNOT be expired.)
  • Will be asked to provide Social Security Number.


  • Birth Certificate (Certified Legal and in English)
  • 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 government photo ID (needs to be in English and CANNOT be expired), and if divorced there must be court papers showing proof of 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.