Hawaii Marriage License Guide & FAQ

Obtaining a Hawaii Marriage license is an easy process!! Follow the four steps below to obtain a Hawaii marriage certificate for standard marriage or Hawaii civil unions.
Hawaii Marriage License photo by Simple Maui Wedding

1. Complete the Hawaii Marriage License Forms 

You can fill out the Hawaii marriage license application in two ways.
  • Use the Hawaii Electronic Marriage and Civil Union Registration System here: https://emrs.ehawaii.gov/emrs/public/home.html to complete the application and pay online. This is the easiest and fastest way to apply for your marriage license and it is the same application for Marriage or Civil Unions eliminating confusion. Also, this system accepts credit cards so you don't have to bring cash to your marriage license appointment. 
The marriage license expires 30 days from and including the date of issuance, after that it automatically becomes null and void. The license is valid for any of the Hawaiian islands.

2. Make an Appointment with a Hawaii Marriage License Agent

Call a marriage license agent before you arrive on island to make an appointment. A marriage license appointment lasts about 30 minutes.

Here is the state of Hawaii marriage license agent list compiled for all the islands (Maui, Oahu, Lani, Molokai, Kauai, Hawaii -Big Island). http://health.hawaii.gov/vitalrecords/license-agents/

Bring to your licensing appointment:
  • $70 cash (unless payed online already)
  • Completed paper application or printed receipt from your online application
  • Drivers License, Military ID or Passport (Birth Certificate required if you are under 19)
  • Both people that will be involved in the marriage or civil union must attend
Photo by Maui Photographer Karma Hill Photography

3. Attend Your Wedding - Don't Forget Your Marriage License 

Bring your Marriage License "WITH YOU" to your wedding! Your minister will complete it
and file the license with the state.

4. Receive Your License 

After your wedding, it takes about 3 weeks for the license to be processed plus the time it takes for the certified copy to be mailed to you. The state actually quotes a delivery of the marriage license of 60-120 days after the marriage has been performed. You can access it online sooner, but you will need the certified copy in order to make any legal name changes. If you wish to receive it sooner, ask the marriage license agent about paying for an expedited copy, which is currently a cost of $10.

Frequently Asked Hawaii Marriage License Questions 

Here are questions that often come up during the Hawaii marriage license process. If you still have questions after reading the below FAQ the last answer contains links to even more specific information for marriages and civil unions in the state of Hawaii.  
Hawaii Marriage License
Hawaii Marriage license photo by Simple Maui Wedding

How soon should I make my appointment to meet with the agent? 

As soon as you have a general idea of your travel dates, make your appointment. That way you can get a time slot that best fits into your trip. 

Online it says my license will be valid for only 30 days — does that mean I need to wait 30 days before completing the online or paper form? 

The 30-day timeframe is how early you can meet with the agent before your wedding. You can complete the online form up to a year before that. You’ll just need to have your wedding within 30 days of meeting with the agent on island.

Can I meet with an agent on another island? 

Yes, if you’re planning to be on another island before coming to Maui for your wedding, you can meet with an agent there. Any agent within Hawaii can authorize your form to wed on all islands. Here is the state’s list of certified agents: http://health.hawaii.gov/vitalrecords/license-agents/.

Is there a waiting period between meeting with the agent and having your ceremony? 

No, you can get married right after your license appointment. Some couples meet with the agent the same day as their wedding, but we suggest doing it at least the day before to have one less thing to worry about.

We will already be legally married — do we need to do anything in Hawaii for our marriage?

No, if you’ve already had a legal ceremony back home or elsewhere, or are planning to make the marriage legal later, you can have a ceremonious wedding that would be just like if you are actually making it legal here. You also don’t need to bring anything to prove that you’re already legally married.

We are from another country and want to get married in Hawaii - how can we make it legal?

If you live in a country outside the United States you will need what is called an apostille (click for full definition), which is a document authenticating your marriage license in the United States therefore making it legal in your home country.  

We live in a country that will require an Apostille to make the marriage license legal — what do we do?

When you make your appointment with the license agent, let them know that you will need an apostille and ask if you need to do anything ahead of time to make that happen. We can also notify your officiant. Then when you meet with the agent they can give you the forms and instructions to request an apostille. Here is a list of countries that accept an appostille for authentication off marriage licenses so they will be accepted as legal documents and therefore legal proof of marriage in their home country. https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/?cid=41

I still have Hawaii marriage license / civil union questions - who do I talk to or what is another reference? 

If you still have questions about the marriage license process in Hawaii you can go to the states Hawaii marriage license page online here: http://health.hawaii.gov/vitalrecords/marriage-licenses/. This page includes information such as application, agents and answers to any additional questions you may have with links and phone #'s. 

For additional information on Hawaii civil unions visit the State of Hawaii page about civil unions here: http://health.hawaii.gov/vitalrecords/about-civil-unions/. This page includes information such as applications and applicable laws associated with civil unions in Hawaii.  

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Article written by Emily Sumners

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