Marriage License Process
Things to Know
To get married in Bridgeport and apply for your marriage license, you'll need to pay a $50 application fee and provide some basic information to the local registrar. This includes the date of your wedding, the location of the ceremony (which has to be in Bridgeport), and the name of the person who will be officiating the ceremony. Couples must apply for an application for a marriage license in the town where they intend to be married. For a complete list of town clerks in Connecticut, see the Secretary of the State's list of town clerks.
The Bridgeport Office of Vital Records is open Monday-Friday, marriage license applications are not accepted after 4 PM. The license will be issued immediately after all requirements have been met. It must be signed by the bride and groom and the Deputy Registrar who also stamps it with a raised seal. The license is valid for 65 days.
Effective October 1, 2003, Connecticut no longer requires premarital syphilis and rubella screening.
How to Apply for a Marriage License
There is no residency requirement in Connecticut; both parties may live elsewhere. However, the marriage license must be obtained in the town where the marriage will take place. Both of the prospective applicants must apply for the license in person, but not necessarily together. If the application is signed by the parties on different dates, then the later date is considered the official application date. Each person applying for a marriage license shall provide the local registrar of vital statistics with a valid, government issued photographic identification that includes the applicant’s date of birth, signature and an expiration date.
Should a photographic identification be unavailable, the originals or photocopies of the following documents shall be substituted. Unless otherwise indicated, the applicant shall provide the documents listed in two (2) of the following subdivisions. If the registrar has reason to doubt the authenticity of a document presented by the applicant, the registrar may request any additional document listed in subdivisions (1) to (15), inclusive:
1. social security card;
2. social security card supplemented with either an employment identification card, a paycheck stub or a W-2 form. Providing the documents in this subdivision fully satisfies the identification requirements of this section;
3. automobile registration;
4. copy of utility bill showing name and current address;
5. checking account deposit slip or bank statement stating name and current address;
6. voter registration card;
7. valid government issued trade or professional license;
8. valid government issued firearm permit;
9. probation documents issued by a court or other government agency, pursuant to a criminal conviction;
10. letter from a government agency verifying identity. The letter shall be dated with six months prior to the date of the request;
11. release documentation from a correctional institution containing a photograph of the former inmate and a release date within 12 months prior to the date of the request;
12. birth certificate of the applicant;
13. military discharge papers;
14. current school or college photographic identification;
15. government issued photographic identification that has expired within 12 months prior to the date of the request; or
16. other documents as approved by the State Registrar of Vital Records.
If either bride or groom is under 18, a parent must consent to the marriage by signing the back of the license. If under 16, a Probate Judge must also endorse the consent. All Connecticut Justices of the Peace may perform marriages anywhere in the state. Connecticut does not require any witnesses to the marriage. You can find a list of list by visiting Justices of the Peace.
Filing the Completed License
The Justices of the Peace (or whoever performs the marriage) is responsible for indicating (in black ink) the time and place of the marriage on the license and returning it to the Office of Vital Records where the marriage took place. This must be done by the first week of the month following the marriage. You can request a copy of the completed marriage license from the Vital Record's office. The cost is $20. Please visit the Marriage Certificate page for more information.
A Note About Name Changes
If you plan to use your married name at work, be sure to have your name changed in Social Security records. This way, you will get credit for all your earnings. It's easy and it's absolutely free. Contact any Social Security office. You will need documentary evidence showing both your old name and your new name. The Bridgeport Social Security office is located at 3885 Main St.