Counties accept same sex marriage applications

Licenses not valid until Aug. 1

By Fritz Busch

Journal Staff Writer

ST. PETER – Minnesota County Recorder’s Offices began accepting applications for same sex marriages on Thursday, June 6.

“We met with the Blue Earth County Recorder’s Office (after the legislative bill became law), and created an application very much like they have,” said Nicollet County Recorder Kathy Conlon. As of Thursday noon, nobody had applied for a same sex marriage license in Nicollet County, according to Conlon.

Minnesota’s same sex marriage law, signed May 14, 2013 by Gov. Mark Dayton, is not effective until Aug. 1, 2013. However, metropolitan area counties Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington, plus Nicollet, Blue Earth, Brown, Renville and Sibley Counties began accepting the applications Thursday.

By law, all marriage licenses have a five-day waiting period. In addition, both parties must appear and have valid identification photos to apply. Marriage licenses obtained in one county are valid for marriages anywhere in Minnesota, but they cannot be used in other states.

Each applicant must provide full name, address, date and place of birth, telephone and social security numbers, if they have them; plus after-marriage names and addresses. If previously married and now divorced, applicants must present divorce decrees to apply for new licenses. New licenses must be used within six months or they expire.

Marriage license fees are $115, unless parties have completed at least 12 hours of premarital education, which reduces fees to $40. Premarital education must be provided by a licensed or ordained minister or the minister’s designee, a person authorized to solemnize marriages under Minnesota Statutes, section 517.18, or a person authorized to practice marriage and family therapy under Minnesota Statutes 148B.33.

The education must include the use of premarital inventory and the teaching of communication and conflict management skills. Marriage application parties must submit a signed and dated statement on their business letterhead stationary, signed and notarized or under church seal, or following the format found in Minnesota Statutes, Section 518.08 Subbed. 1b.; from the person who provided them premarital education, confirming it was received.

No blood tests or physicals are required. For more information, visit

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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