Marriage License & How to Apply

During this time with COVID-19, people have been using electronic devices to communicate with others. We want you to know that it is not allowed to virtually get married, now or ever. Iowa code, Chapter 98.6(2) states, "all participants in the marriage ceremony shall be present at the same time and location within the geographic boundaries of the state of Iowa, including the parties to be married, two witnesses and the officiant. Marriage ceremonies shall not occur by proxy, telephone, or other electronic means."

How to Obtain a Marriage Application

You must use the most current form of Application for Marriage prescribed by the Iowa Department of Public Health. In order to receive the application by mail or email, please call the Recorder's Office at 641-792-5442 and request the Marriage Application. Otherwise, you must apply in person at the Recorder's Office located at;

101 1st Street N
Room 205
Newton, IA 50208

How to Apply for a Marriage License

The couple intending to marry and one witness (someone that’s acquainted with the couple and is 18 or older) must come into the office and fill out the application. The applicants and witness must have a photo I.D. The fee is $35.00. The five day waiting period begins the day the application is submitted to the Recorder's Office.


The following requirements MUST be met for a marriage ceremony to occur in Iowa and a Certificate of Marriage to be filed properly.

Five individuals involved in the ceremonies must be physically present at the same location on the day of the ceremony.

  • Officiant or Iowa judge performing the ceremony
  • Two people who will be married (Party A and Party B)
  • Two witnesses (Witness A and Witness B)

The marriage ceremony MUST occur in the geographical boundaries of Iowa.

The officiant cannot be a witness or one of the parties being married.

A License to Marry in Iowa has been issued and outlines the valid date of the license. The couple may get married on or after this date.

Officiant Pamphlet

Additional Requirements

Both parties intending to marry;

  1. Must be 18 years of age or older
  2. Cannot already or still legally be married to someone else or each other
  3. Cannot be closely related by blood or first cousins
  4. Must be legally competent to enter into a civil contract.


Applicants that are ages 16 and 17 may only marry with special permission from a judge and should request a "Consent to Marriage of a Minor" form when applying for their marriage license. At least one parent or guardian must sign the consent form. Complete the form and present it to a judge within the same judicial district as the county in which you wish your license issued. The Clerk of District Court office can provide additional information. Return the signed form in order to complete the marriage application process.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vital Records