August 23, 2017

Marriage License

Requirements for Obtaining a Marriage License in Columbus County

BOTH parties must be present when applying for the marriage license.
The marriage may be performed anywhere within NC. 
Application Requirements: (Please read carefully)

Proof of Age and Identity ***Note – both proof of a Social Security number and an ID must be presented at time of application***

·        Applicants 21 years of age or above may use one (1) of the following forms of identification:
– Driver’s license (may not be expired), or
– State-issued I.D. Card (may not be expired), or
– Passport (may not be expired), or
– Military I.D. (may not be expired), or
– Certified copy of birth certificate

·         Applicants 16 or 17 years of age must have parental consent and certified copies of their birth certificate in order to acquire a license.

·         Applicants 15 years of age must present certified court order authorizing marriage from District Court Judge. 

Cost and Location to obtain marriage license

·         Currently, a fee of $60 CASH is required for a marriage license.  Only cash is accepted.  The license is good immediately upon issuance and is valid for 60 days.

·         Applicants who wish to obtain their marriage licenses in Columbus County may complete their application at the Columbus County Register of Deeds office, 125 Washington St. Suite B, Whiteville, NC 28472. 

·         Applicants must show their identification and sign the marriage license at the Columbus County Register of Deeds office.  Marriage licenses are issued between  8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding County-observed holidays.  Couples applying between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. should expect up to an hour’s wait.   The Register of Deeds is located at 125 Washington St. Suite B, Whiteville, NC 28472.  Call (910) 640-6625 if you need more information.

Divorced Applicants

·         Divorced applicants must provide the month and year of their last divorce.  If the divorce was finalized within 30 days of applying for the marriage license, the applicant must provide an original or certified copy of the divorce decree. There is no waiting period between the divorce and applying for the new license.  The Columbus County Register of Deeds does not handle divorces.

More Information About Getting Married in North Carolina

Persons do NOT need to be residents of North Carolina to marry in Columbus County or North Carolina.

  • A premarital physical is NOT required.
  • Marriages may be performed by an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, a magistrate. Two witnesses are required.
  • During regular business hours, marriages are performed in the Columbus County Courthouse Annex by a magistrate.

Obtaining Certified Copies

·         You can purchase a certified copy of your marriage license for $10.00.  You can acquire a certified copy by visiting our office or requesting by mail at: :  P. 0. Box 1086, Whiteville, NC  28472

·         The Columbus County Register of Deeds can only provide copies of marriage licenses that were issued by the Columbus County Register of Deeds office.  Contact NC Vital Records for other marriage records.

If You Want to Change Your Last Name

·         You should obtain a certified copy of your marriage license (following the ceremony) for a name change on your driver’s license and your Social Security card.  Wait at least TEN days after the ceremony before requesting copies to allow sufficient time to return your license to us.  You may acquire a certified copy by visiting our office or requesting it by mail at:  P. 0. Box 1086, Whiteville, NC  28472

·         In your request, please include the name of both applicants and the date of the marriage.  Certified copies of your marriage license are $10 each.  Check or cash will be accepted.

·         Present the certified copy to both the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration is located at 204 S. Lee St. Whiteville, NC 28472.  Click on this link for more information from the Social Security Administration or contact the office by phone at 877-779-7257.

If You Do Not Have A Social Security Number

·         Applicants who are not eligible for a Social Security number may obtain a marriage license by signing an affidavit attesting to this fact.  The affidavit is available in the Register of Deeds office.

·         Note:  A foreigner admitted to the United States for permanent residence or to engage in employment must be issued a Social Security number.  A foreigner not eligible for a Social Security card but who was legally admitted to the United States can use an individual identification number (ITIN) in lieu of a Social Security number.  To obtain an ITIN number, contact the IRS Tax Administration Office to fill out a W-7 form.

If You Have More Questions

·         Call (910) 640-6625 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.