Maryland Marriage Requirements: Blood Tests and Licenses
Marriage requirements in Maryland, plus information on common-law marriages and same-sex unions.
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What are the requirements for getting legally married in Maryland?
Maryland does not require a blood test before a marriage license will be issued. You can marry two days after your marriage license is issued, and your license is good for six months after it's issued. After that time, you'll have to get a new one before you can marry.
In Maryland, as in most states, you must be of the age of consent, not be too closely related to your intended spouse, not be married to anyone else, and have sufficient "mental capacity," meaning you understand what you are doing when you marry.
Does Maryland have common-law marriage?
No. In Maryland, you must obtain a marriage license and enter into a legal marriage in order to be considered married. Living together and taking the same name don't create a common-law marriage.
Does Maryland have same-sex marriage?
No. Maryland doesn't allow partners of the same sex to marry, nor does it recognize domestic partnerships, civil unions, or reciprocal beneficiaries. However, as of March, 2010, Maryland does recognize same-sex marriages entered into in places where same-sex marriage is legal. For trends in same-sex marriage laws, see the article Same-Sex Marriage: Developments in the Law.
Learn about the proper legal steps to define and protect your relationship in the eyes of the law with Living Together: A Legal Guide, by Attorney Ralph Warner, Toni Ihara, J.D. and Attorney Frederick Hertz (Nolo), or Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples, by attorneys Denis Clifford, Frederick Hertz and Emily Doskow (Nolo).
Last updated 05/07/08