Written by our rad team member, Amanda Winther.
All graphics created by Sophie at Mod Bird Creative.
Hawaii Marriage License: What You Need to Know
When I first learned about how to get a Hawaii marriage license, I had a ton of questions. Like what the heck is a marriage agent? And how do I schedule my meeting with this person? Yep, Hawaii’s marriage license process is just a bit quirky. And if you’re anything like me, legal stuff can be a bit overwhelming. (Also, am I the only one who has problems spelling license?) But do not worry! In this post, I break it all down for you, fully covering all the steps you need to take to get your Hawaii marriage license. We’ll cover how to find a Hawaii marriage license agent, how to apply for your license online, how to schedule your marriage license meeting, what to bring and more. After you read this, getting your Hawaii marriage license will feel easier than figuring out where to take epic photos on your big day. (But no worries because, if you’re headed to Kauai, I got you covered there too. Check out my Kauai elopement guide).
How to get a Hawaii marriage license: a checklist
With this checklist, getting your Hawaii marriage license does not need to be complicated. Just follow these five steps and in no time you’ll be enjoying a coconut shave ice under a coconut tree as newlyweds (please tell me I’m not the only coconut fan!):
The first three steps on this checklist are the most complicated and a bit different from getting married in other states, so keep reading and I will be walking you through each of these steps.
Apply for your marriage license
Schedule an appointment with a marriage license agent
Meet with your agent and get your marriage license
Make it official (aka get married) within 30 days
Celebrate! You and your love got married in Hawaii!
How to apply for a Hawaii marriage license
Here are the exact steps you will want to take to apply for your Hawaii marriage license:
Fill out your marriage license application online
Pay $60 for your marriage license + a $5 application fee
Make an appointment with an official license agent
Print out your application receipt to bring to your marriage license appointment
The first thing you’ll want to do is fill out the Hawaii marriage license application online. Although you can also submit your application in person, The Hawaii Department of Health (aka the government agency that issues marriage licenses) highly recommends you apply online. You can apply for your marriage license up to a year in advance of your wedding date, so you can check this one off super early. The application is pretty straightforward, but if you want more in depth instructions, head over here. After you fill out your marriage application online, you will be taken to a page where you can pay for your marriage license by credit card. The current fee is $60, plus a $5 application fee.
Next, you will want to make an appointment to meet with a Hawaii license marriage agent who will issue you your marriage license. You can find a list of Hawaii license agents and contact information here. Most of my couples schedule their meeting for a day or two before their elopement so it’s one less thing to worry about on their best day ever!
FYI: these meetings are by appointment only, and there are less than 70 agents listed across all of Hawaii (and only 7 on Kauai), so you do not want to skip this important step!
What is the appointment to get my Hawaii marriage license like?
Okay, so you applied for your Hawaii marriage license online (check!), and scheduled your appointment with a license agent (check!). You’re almost there! Now when you arrive in Hawaii, you just need to show up to your meeting and get your marriage license. Here is what you need to know about this meeting:
The appointment will take about 30 minutes. Boom. So easy!
You and your partner will both need to attend. No proxies or subs allowed.
Bring a printed copy of your application receipt and a government-issued photo ID (your driver’s license or a passport will do!)
Once you walk out of your meeting, your marriage license will be valid immediately (and for up to 30 days!)
You can use your license anywhere in Hawaii, so you do not need to get married on the same island where the license was issued.
I’ve got my Hawaii marriage license! What’s next?
Hire an officiant
Hire your photographer
Plan the best day ever!
Next up, you will want to hire a marriage officiant or marriage performer registered in the State of Hawaii. Officiants all have their own styles and flavors. They can be religious or non-denominational. My top recommendation is to make sure your officiant is willing to take you and your partner’s needs into consideration. First, think through the type of experience and vibe you are wanting to create. Then, it is always a good idea to interview a few different officiants before deciding on one to make sure their style best fits what you are looking for. In Hawaii, your marriage officiant must also be registered with the state to file your marriage license and make your marriage official. Fun fact: officiants or solemnizers only need to be registered in 13 states in the US, and Hawaii is one of them!
Psst…I know of a pretty cool Hawaii elopement photographer who would love to document your day…just saying (lol). But, truly, this is a really important step in your planning process! Of course you want photos of your day to treasure for years to come, but a photographer can be so much more than that. Your photographer will be with you all day, so you want someone who not only understands what you and your partner want out of your best day ever, but also someone who makes you feel comfortable. From day-of timelines, weather patterns and uniquely scouted locations (and backup locations, always!), it’s so important to work with a photographer who is well-versed in adventure elopement photography. As a Hawaii elopement photographer, I am also very passionate about honoring the locals and land. If you’re ready to start dreaming up your Hawaii wedding adventure, I’d love to help! Reach out to me, and let’s plan the most amazing Hawaii experience yet!
Remember, making your marriage legal is only one part of your wedding or elopement day. And if we’re being honest, the legal stuff is definitely a whole lot less fun than dreaming up the perfect elopement day with your best friend! Do you want to start your day with a first look at your dreamy airbnb, followed by the best acai bowls you’ve ever had to fuel you up before your beachfront ceremony, and then escape to a waterfall before ending the day dancing with your love barefoot, toes in the sand? Or maybe you have something else entirely in mind. I’m here to say “Heck yes! Let’s make it happen!” to whatever you and your love can dream up!
Thinking of planning your Hawaii destination wedding on Kauai but not sure where to start?
Let’s have a wedding! But wait else is required for my Hawaii marriage to be legal?
If you’ve followed along above, you should know everything you need to know to get a marriage license in Hawaii, but here are a few important things to remember:
You’ll want to get married within 30 days of getting your license.
Your officiant or marriage performer must be registered with the state of Hawaii.
Don’t forget to bring your marriage license on your wedding day!
In order for your marriage license to be official with the State of Hawaii, you will need to get married within 30 days of getting your license. You will sign the license during your meeting with the marriage license agent, and then sign it once more on your big day! Your registered officiant or marriage performer will complete the final sections of your marriage license and can file it online. Congrats! You did the thing!! Now kiss your hunny!
Have more questions? Check out these Hawaii marriage license FAQs:
Do I have to be a US Citizen to get married in Hawaii?
» No! Anyone can get married in Hawaii, but if you are not a US Citizen, you will need to get an extra form or two filled out so that you can make your marriage official when you get back home. If your home country is on this list, you will only need one form called an “apostille.” Otherwise, you will need two separate forms. It’s a good idea to mention this to your license agent who should be able to help answer any questions you have during your appointment. Head to this website to learn more.
Is the marriage license valid on all islands of Hawaii?
» Yes! Your marriage license will be valid across all of Hawaii. You can absolutely schedule your appointment with a license agent on one island and get married on another.
How many witnesses do I need for my Hawaii wedding?
» No witnesses are needed to get married in Hawaii. But, I’m totally down to be your witness behind the camera and capture every dreamy moment of you and your love eloping in Hawaii!
How soon should I apply for my marriage license?
» You can apply and pay for your license up to a year before your wedding day. So if you will be getting married in Hawaii in the next year, you should probably go grab your partner and check that one off now. I’ve even got a fun spotify playlist that might make your living room feel just a little more like a beachfront luau.
Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!
Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.
There are so many incredible destinations to choose from when eloping, with some of the best places to elope in the US just at your fingertips, which is why I compiled this list of my all time favorite locations in the United States. Keep reading to find your dream location!