Washington Marriage and Domestic Partnership Laws

Washington marriage and domestic partnership requirements, plus common-law marriage information.

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What are the requirements for getting legally married in Washington?

Washington does not require a blood test before a marriage license will be issued. You can marry three days after your marriage license is issued, and your license is good for 60 days after it's issued. After that time, you'll have to get a new one before you can marry.

In Washington, 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 Washington have common-law marriage?

No. In Washington, 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 Washington have same-sex marriage?

No. Only persons of the opposite sex may get married in Washington. However, Washington does offer domestic partnership registration for partners of the same sex. Registered domestic partnership will have the same rights as married couples in certain areas, including hospital visitation, consent for health care, disposition of remains, and the right to inherit without a will and bring a wrongful death action. However, not all the rights and responsibilities of marriage come with domestic partnership in Washington.

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 09/10/08

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