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Marriage law changes taking effect Aug. 1

The 2009 Legislature passed HF695/SF548 making modifications to the state statute governing marriages in Minnesota (MS 517). These changes will take effect Aug. 1.

Some of the additional provisions or clarifications are:

• The "legal custodial" parent(s) must give consent and appeal to the courts for authorization for their child who has reached the age of 16 but is under the age of 18 years of age to marry.

• A person must be 21 years or older in order to perform marriages in Minnesota.

• Persons authorized to perform a marriage ceremony in Minnesota are required to assure that the couple has obtained a Minnesota marriage license and that individuals appearing before them are the persons named on the marriage license.

• A Minnesota marriage license can only be used within the geographical boundaries of Minnesota.

• Both the bride and groom must apply for the marriage license.

• The Social Security numbers of the applicants will be collected and if they do not have a Social Security number they must certify as such.

• A person who has been convicted of a felony is restricted from changing their name unless they follow the procedure outline in MS 259.13.

• The Educator's Statement (required with a reduced fee marriage license) must be signed by the established educator, dated, notarized and appear on the educator's letterhead in order to be accepted.

• Allows local registrars to charge a fee of $100 if the officiant fails to file the marriage certificate within five days of the marriage.

• And other housekeeping issues pertaining to the marriage statute.

Please review the entire statute to become familiar with marriage requirements at If you have any questions, contact Soledad Henriksen, Wadena County local registrar, at (218) 631-7622. She administers marriage applications, licenses and certificates.