Elopement couple stands together on the Boise River in Eagle, Idaho.

How to Get an Idaho Marriage License

Marriage license

A marriage license is basically a legal confirmation that you are eligible to marry each other. All 50 states require some form of a marriage license and requirements vary by state. Idaho is one of the easier states to obtain a marriage license in. The info below will get you started on your way to getting your Idaho marriage license.

Idaho marriage license laws

You do not have to be an Idaho resident to apply for an Idaho marriage license but the license is only valid for ceremonies performed within Idaho state lines. You can apply for a marriage license in any county in Idaho and use it anywhere within the state. 

Close up photo of a hand singing and Idaho marriage license.

Your Idaho marriage license MUST be returned to the recorders office it was issued from. You or your officiant can return the license. Due to COVID you are encouraged to mail the license instead of dropping it off in person.

Idaho doesn’t require a waiting period. You can use your marriage license the same day you obtain it. Your Idaho marriage license is valid for a year. If you don’t use it or have it recorded within a year, it will expire. 

Idaho requires your marriage license to be signed by a legal officiant, minister, judge or governor. I am an elopement photographer and legal officiant for the state of Idaho and can sign your marriage license. Idaho doesn’t require witnesses. This is great if you are eloping alone with your photographer or officiant.

Elopement couple holds hands on the banks of the Boise River in Eagle, Idaho.

Applying for your marriage license

An Idaho marriage license is issued by the county Clerk/Recorder’s office. You NEED to call ahead and check if the recorders office you intend to use requires an appointment! Due to COVID most locations are requiring an appointment.

To obtain your marriage license both parties must appear together at the Recorder’s Office. You will both need to show proof of age and identity. A valid government issued photo ID with a birth date will do the trick. You will need to provide your social security number. Some counties want to see a physical copy of your SS card. Marriage license fees vary by county but are about $30. Also, bring cash because most Recorder’s Office’s only accept this form of payment!

The process of applying for a marriage license includes filling out a license application form, paying your fee, reading an AIDS information sheet and signing a Marriage License Affidavit.

Where to apply for your license

If you are eloping in Stanley:

  1. Boise – Ada County Recorder (If you fly into Boise you can get it in Boise before heading to Stanley).
  2. Horsebend Courthouse – Phone: 208-793-2262 (You can drive through Horsebend on your way to Stanley).
  3. Idaho City Recorder – Phone: 208-392-4431 (You can drive through Idaho City on your way to Stanley).
  4. Ketchum/Sun Valley – Blain County Recorder (If you are staying in Sun Valley, you can get it in Ketchum).

If you are eloping in McCall:

  1. Horsebend Courthouse – Phone: 208-793-2262 (You will drive through Horsebend on your way to McCall).
  2. Cascade – Valley County Recorder (You will drive through Cascade on your way to McCall).
  3. Council – Adams County Recorder (37 miles from McCall).
  4. Boise – Ada County Recorder (If you fly into Boise you can get it in Boise before heading to McCall).

If you are eloping in Riggins:

  1. Cascade – Valley County Recorder (From Boise can drive through Cascade on your way to Riggins).
  2. Council – Adams County Recorder (From Boise you can drive through Council on your way to Riggins).
  3. Boise – Ada County Recorder (If you fly into Boise you can get it in Boise before heading to Riggins).
  4. Grangeville – Idaho County Recorder (If you are coming from North Idaho or Montana you can get it in Grangeville before heading to Riggins).

If you are eloping in Boise:

  1. Boise – Ada County Recorder
  2. Caldwell – Canyon County Recorder

If you are eloping in Sun Valley:

  1. Ketchum/Sun Valley – Blain County Recorder (You will drive through Ketchum on your way to Sun Valley).
  2. Boise – Ada County Recorder (If you fly into Boise you can get it in Boise before heading to Sun Valley).

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