This page provides basic information and instructions pertaining to obtaining a license and getting married under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any two single, divorced or widowed individuals, 18 years of age or older may apply for a license to marry. You do not need to live in Newport News to obtain a license here. Licenses are obtained in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office located on the first floor in the Courthouse Building at 2500 Washington Avenue in downtown Newport News across from City Hall. Both parties must be present and each must present a government issued, pictured i.d. such as a driver’s license. There is no blood test required and you do not need to bring a copy of any divorce decree - however, you will be required to swear under penalty of perjury that the information you are providing, including your marital status, is truthful and correct. You will be required to furnish your social security number but this number will not show on your license. The license may be used only in the Commonwealth of Virginia. You cannot legally marry in another state using a Virginia marriage license. The license to marry must be used within 60 days, after which it expires. If you do not marry within 60 days Virginia law requires that you return the unused license to this office. If you still wish to marry you must apply for a new license. Your ceremony must be conducted by an official authorized to perform marriages by a Virginia court. Most members of the clergy affiliated with a local congregation have this authorization. If your ceremony is to be performed by an out of state clergy member coming here specifically for your wedding he or she must first contact this office for further instructions. If you wish to marry in a civil ceremony you should contact one of our marriage commissioners. Their names and phone numbers are on business cards available when you apply for your license. The cost of the license is $30.00 payable in cash or check drawn on a Virginia bank. You may also pay by credit card, however a 2% convenience fee is charged for this service. Certified copies may be ordered and paid for at the time of application for an additional fee of $2.00 per copy. Marriage licenses are issued weekdays from 8 AM to 4 PM. We are not open on weekends or on state or federal holidays. Although there is no waiting period to use your license you should not wait until the last day before your planned wedding to obtain your license as the courthouse is subject to close for emergencies at any time without advance notice. All persons, bags and packages entering the courthouse are subject to search by court security and you will be required to pass through an x-ray scanner upon entry. Do not bring with you anything that could be considered a weapon, any controlled drug substances or other contraband and do not bring your cell phone. Also, the courthouse is not an environment suitable for children. Should you have children you should make every effort to have them cared for elsewhere while you and your fiancée conduct your business with the court. Congratulations and best wishes on your upcoming wedding.
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Pursuant to Virginia Code §20-23, when a minister of any religious denomination produces before the circuit court of any county or city in the Commonwealth proof of his ordination and of his being in regular communion with the religious society of which he is a reputed member, or proof that he is commissioned to pastoral ministry or holds a local minister's license and is serving as a regularly appointed pastor in his denomination the clerk of such court at any time, may make an order authorizing such minister to celebrate the rites of matrimony in the Commonwealth.
Pursuant to Virginia Code §20-25, persons other than ministers may perform rites of marriage upon petition filed with the clerk and payment of applicable clerk's fees ($56.00). Any circuit court judge may issue an order authorizing one or more persons resident in the circuit in which the judge sits to celebrate the rites of marriage in the Commonwealth. Any person so authorized shall, before acting, enter into bond in the penalty of $500, with or without surety, as the court may direct.
The clerk's office does not have forms for this procedure. You must prepare your own petition to file.
If you still have questions please call 757-926-8356 for further information.
You should get from the Clerk's Office a minimum of 3 certified copies of the Order changing your name and then immediately make associates, businesses and others with whom you have dealings aware of your change of name. You should make sure you contact your nearest Social Security office to secure the necessary forms to submit for a new Social Security card (your Social Security number should not change). Social Security should notify the IRS of the change; however, you should verify this with Social Security. More information concerning your name change and Social Security may be found at their website. You should also notify your local governmental offices, including the Voter Registrar's Office, the Commissioner of the Revenue, and the Treasurer's Office. Do not forget to take your old license, your new Social Security card and a certified copy of the name-changing Order to the DMV to secure a new operator's license.