New law makes marriage easier

Friday, August 24, 2007 | 6:46 p.m. CDT; updated 3:01 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — As of Tuesday, couples getting married in Missouri will no longer need to make two trips to Boone County to obtain a marriage license, said Bettie Johnson, Boone County’s recorder of deeds.

Under current state law, brides and grooms must apply for a marriage license at the county’s Recorder of Deeds office, wait three days and then make a second trip to the office to pick up the license before their wedding ceremony. The three-day waiting period will be repealed Tuesday. The new law will effectively eliminate having to make the second trip, Johnson said. The bill for the current state marriage license law was passed in 1943.

Couples may take the marriage license with them if their wedding ceremony will be performed within 30 days of the application.

Johnson said the new law will eliminate the added time and expense in making a return trip to the office to pick up the license, adding that the move will result in an annual savings to more than 40,000 taxpayers. Workers in the Recorder of Deeds office and the circuit court judge and support staff who process marriage license applications will also save time.

Applications can be turned in from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Boone County Recorder of Deeds office in the Boone County Government Center, 801 E. Walnut St. The $51 fee must be paid when applications are turned in. Applicants must provide government-issued identification, a Social Security card, the date of the ceremony and the name of the person performing the ceremony. Call the recorder’s office at 886-4345 for more information.

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