New Orleans Marriage License Information
Home New Orleans Minister Marriage License Page

French Quarter Weddings Blog

New Orleans Wedding Links Art Sales

Dr. J K Schwehm

(Photo by 1216 Studio)

Info Links:

New Orleans Wedding

  Minister Info

Minister Fees

Booking Form

Sample Vows


Pirates Alley

French Quarter

Jackson Square

City Park

Spanish Plaza

Audubon Park

Survivors Plaza

Moon Walk

St. Charles Ave


Art For Sale

Click Image

 Riverboat by New Orleans Artist JK Schwehm

 Starry Night Cathedral by New Orleans Artist JK Schwehm

City Park Bridge by New Orleans Artist JK Schwehm





   New Orleans Wedding License

  Getting married in New Orleans is easy and can be done as a weekend elopement or before a cruise leaving from New Orleans. It was possible in New Orleans to get a marriage license and be married on the same day if certain requirements are met and the license obtained during weekday office hours. Office days and hours are posted by the various Clerks that issue a license and they need to be contacted for those hours and days. The closest office to the French Quarter is the recently opened office at 1450 Poydras St, Benson Towers next to the Superdome. Downtown New Orleans, phone (504) 593-5100, (map) and the several Clerk of Courts offices in the area. Brides and Grooms are responsible for obtaining the marriage license from the State of Louisiana  before the wedding ceremony. They may obtain the license from the State Office of Vital Records or other Parish Clerks of Court Offices in the New Orleans area. The state provides information over the web at their page with details about what you need to bring to get a license all must be certified copies and readable copies of birth certificates and more. Waivers of 72 hour wait are done at the ceremony if not obtained before. After the ceremony you must order from the state a certified copy to have mailed to you for legal purposes like changing names, getting insurance, and other legal actions. The state mails you a copy and it takes time for them to process the paper work. Contact them if you do not receive your certified copy. Ministers mail them back quickly to the office you picked up your license from and do not get certified copies for you. Please bring all the forms in the packet you are given as the officiants needs all the forms in the packet. Order your certified copy from the office you pick up your license from. Officiants do not do certified copies. CAUTION: to get a license you must have with you certain certified documents be sure to bring the proper documents. The state has a list on their web page. Each office has a list of what to bring them like birth certificates being certified is a must. Some states allow you to bring their license to Louisiana, ask your local Clerk.


Waivers of delay are done at the ceremony and not needed to get a license. Minister can do waivers for weddings of visitors to New Orleans. Ministers have waiver forms that are completed and returned with the license office with the completed license. Ask the Clerk when you pick up your license where to get a waiver if you will be married before the 3 day delay. Judges and Justices of the Peace can be found to provide a waiver for residents of Louisiana. If the wedding takes place only in New Orleans a Minister can do a waiver for visitors, not residents of Louisiana.

NOTICE Vital Records Central Office will offer walk-in services at Benson Tower, 1450 Poydras St, Suite 400, New Orleans, LA beginning on Monday, February 28, 2011. Vital Records services at the Jefferson Parish Health Unit - Metairie will not be available after Friday, February 25, 2011. The Orleans Parish Marriage Office will move from to Benson Tower, 1450 Poydras St, Suite 407, New Orleans, LA beginning on Monday, February 28, 2011. Effective Monday, February 28, 2011 the Vital Records Customer Serivce Call Center can be reached at 504-593-5100 .
You may contact the Marriage License Department at (504) 364-2922 or (504) 364-2923 (West Bank); (504) 736-6390 (East Bank); or by e-mail at Office hours are 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. HOWEVER, if obtaining a passport or marriage license, please be at the office no later than 4:15 P.M. in order for us to complete the process by closing time. In applying for a marriage license, at least one party must appear in person; and he/she must have all the necessary information and documents, outlined below. Birth certificates for those born in the State of Louisiana may be obtained from the La. Bureau of Vital Statistics’ Orleans Parish office (Benson Tower, 1450 Poydras St. Ste. 400, New Orleans), which has walk-in hours of 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. That office may be contacted at (504) 593-5100.
Documents Required to Obtain a Marriage License
1. Certified true copy of birth certificate for each party OR, if the person was born outside of Louisiana, a letter signed by the proper registration authority, under his raised seal or stamp, that states that a thorough search was made and that no birth record was located for the applicant. (La. R.S. 9:227(A)) If either applicant was born in a country other than the United States, and the birth certificate provided was prepared in a language other than English, the clerk of court may may demand other proof of birth facts (La. R.S. 9:227(B)), such as a passport or driver’s license or other document(s) that contains the applicants’ full name and date of birth, and may require a translation of the submitted documents. Photocopies of applicants’ identification will not be accepted. Providing a translation is no guarantee that the birth certificate will be accepted and a license issued. The deputy clerk must be able to discern the document’s facts. 2. State law prohibits the marriage of persons who are related by blood or adoption within the fourth degree collateral (example: first cousins and certain aunts or uncles).
3. Applicants must state the number of previous marriages (if any) and whether he/she is divorced or a widow, and provide the month and year the previous marriage ended. Applicants do not have to supply copies of divorce decrees or judgments, but must be prepared to state the month and year the divorce was granted.
4. Applicants are also required to supply their Social Security numbers. If an applicant does not have a U.S. Social Security number, he/she must appear in person at the time of application to sign and date a statement before the issuing clerk stating they do not have a social security number (La. R.S.9:224(A)(6)). 5. A medical certificate is not required.
6. A Louisiana marriage license is valid in any parish in Louisiana for a period of 30 days from issuance. There is a 72-hour waiting period between the time of issuance of the license and the ceremony. If there is a need for the ceremony to occur prior to the expiration of the 72-hour waiting period, you may apply for a waiver which must be signed by a district judge or justice of the peace authorized to perform the marriage.
7. Your completed marriage license application, which may be downloaded here. Either the bride or the groom must each complete this application, and this form must be presented by either applicant in person at either our East Bank or West Bank offices.
8. Only one applicant is required to come into the office to complete the application, but that person must have all documents and social security numbers for both applicants. Age Requirement Applicants must be 18 years of age to obtain a marriage license without parental consent. If an applicant is under 18 years of age, both parents must appear in person with applicant. If either applicant is under 16 years of age, applicant and parents must appear before a juvenile judge for permission to marry and must present state ID or drivers license before a marriage license can be issued. If one parent has sole custody certified documents must be presented showing sole custody. No temporary orders are acceptable.
The fee for obtaining a marriage license is $31.25. A copy of a marriage license is $5.00. If a waiver is required, there will be an additional fee of $2.50 per waiver. Cash, money order, personal checks, or certified or cashiers checks are accepted. We are planning to provide for payment by credit card or check card in the very near future. By Louisiana law, the clerk of court transfers over forty percent of the above fees to the program for the Program of Victims of Family Violence.
General Information
The Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court does not provide birth certificate service. The Orleans Parish location of the Louisiana Bureau of Vital Statistics (Benson Tower, 1450 Poydras St. Ste. 400, New Orleans) has walk-in hours of 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and will provide birth and death certificates for Jefferson and Orleans parishes. That office may be contacted at (504) 593-5100. Newlyweds should order a certified copy of their marriage license two weeks after the marriage to insure that the license has been returned and recorded.

Bride's Name Change
Brides do not automatically get husbands name. A process must be done with certified copies of the marriage certificate. Brides do not cancel insurance under maiden names, do not think your name changes automatically. Do not begin to use any name but yours until after the wedding, after you have certified copies, and after you begin the process to change your name. Using a new name without going through the paperwork causes problems. Be patient and do things after you get the certified copy and begin the change of name process. Never cancel any insurance with out a frank discussion with your insurance adviser. The state issues certified copies to you not the Minister. Contact the office you obtained your license to get a certified copy. They take time to process the license and mail one to you. Besides the state a private company also gets certified copies of licenses and birth records for you. See my blog for more info:

  A State Marriage License is good in any city.  Identification is required along with authentic copies of birth certificates and any divorce judgments. In some cities there is a three-day waiting period from the time the license is issued, it can be waived by a judge. In New Orleans a Minister can also waive the waiting period for non-residents if good reasons exist. No medical tests are necessary. The license is good for 30 days. You must present the license to the person doing the ceremony in advance as it requires the minister to complete some portions in black ink and he must mail it back to the issuing office. You will get a complimentary certificate and instructions on how to order a certified one after the original is recorded. You must order a certified copy from the Office you obtained the License. They provide a form to order a certified copy.  Sample forms are found here: A ceremony must be conducted before 2 adult witnesses  who also sign the certificates. The cost of the license is  just under $30.00 paid to the State. For further information on marriage licenses contact any of the Clerk's offices below.

Certified Copy Of Marriage Certificate after the Marriage

  After your wedding the state copy of the license is mailed by the officiant to the office that issued the license. That office processes the license and provides a certified copy. You should order a certified copy at the time you get the license. The State indicates it takes 30 to 60 days for them to process after the ceremony. If you do not get a certified copy after ordering it you should contact the office that issued you the license. There is additional information on ordering a copy at the State page with instructions and documents you need to bring located here:  Forms to Order Certified Copies

After Wedding
You may use a major credit card to place internet, fax or telephone orders through VitalChek Network, an authorized service provider. There are additional fees when using this service provider or requesting expedited services. To order using the VitalChek Network, click here or call 1-877-605-8562. To check the status of a VitalChek Network order, click here. To inquire about an order placed with VitalChek, please call 1-877-605-8562. Louisiana Office of Public Health does not directly accept credit cards or online orders; however, for your convenience, you can process online requests through the independent company that we have partnered with above in order to provide you with this service, VitalChek Network, Inc. An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®.

Changing Your Name After A New Orleans Wedding

  It is a tradition in western cultures that a bride takes the last name of the husband, it is not a requirement to do so. You need to order several certified copies of your marriage certificate from the office you received your license. Usually this is done when you apply for your marriage license by prepaying for certified copies to be mailed to you.

1. A new drivers license should be obtained by going to your local motor vehicle office with a certified copy of the marriage certificate. That office will help you get a new license with the marriage name. They may charge a fee so you should call before going to get particulars. You may also need to change your auto title and auto insurance.

2. A new Social Security Card should be obtained by getting the necessary forms off the web at: You can mail the form in or go in person to your local office but you need a certified copy of your marriage license to present to them. You can telephone them for details.

3. A new Passport can be obtained by going in person to a local office or following the directions on the State Department page at

4. You will also need to change your name with banks, credit card companies, landlords, and any other agency that has your name on record. Generally by getting the first 3 done the rest are easier as some agencies will accept the new drivers license as proof of you new name.

5. Be sure the IRS, Voter Registration, your insurance agent, and CPA also knows of the name change so that they make the necessary charges to their records too.

New Orleans Weddings  Locations

 Eloping to New Orleans is fun either for a weekend away or before a cruise out to sea. There are many beautiful locations in New Orleans to perform a simple  wedding ceremony, City Park, Audubon Park, Jackson Square, French Quarter, West End Park, or along the Lake Front. The City of New Orleans gives permission for the use of public  places and each park has rules. The particular park should be contacted for permission to do a wedding in that park. The City of New Orleans should be contacted for permission to do a wedding at Jackson Square. I have provided a list of links to see some locations on the left of this page my favorite simple wedding spots are City Park and Pirates Alley but there are many more.

New Orleans Wedding Minister

 A clergyman, judge, Justice of the Peace, or registered celebrant can perform a marriage ceremony. The ceremony must be before two adult witnesses. It can be religious, civil, simple or complex. You can choose your ceremony, officiant, and location in New Orleans.  Louisiana does not allow same sex marriages.

Dr. JK Schwehm, wedding minister and former Louisiana Justice of the Peace, has performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies for 14 years in the greater New Orleans area. See his web page linked below for details and to have him perform your marriage ceremony in Louisiana.


1450 Poydras St, Rm 407
New Orleans, LA

(504) 539-5116+
The Orleans Parish Marriage License Office is located at Benson Tower, 1450 Poydras Street, Suite 407, in downtown New Orleans. Licenses are issued between 8:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding state holidays). The licenses are valid in any parish in the State of Louisiana. Be sure to check on times and locations as they have changed since the Storm. New Orleans Second City Court, 225 Morgan St. Algiers, LA., phone 504/368-4099 also issues licenses they are across the River with limited office hours.




Gretna Courthouse
Second and Derbigny
Clerk of Court, Suite 2300
Gretna, LA
Phone: 504-364-2922
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Mon - Fri
License Fee: $31.25 cash only


Joseph S. Yenni Building
1221 Elmwood Park Blvd
Clerk of Court, Room 603A
Harahan, LA - 504-736-6393
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm Mon.-Fri.
License Fee: $31.25 Cash only


Parish Courthouse,  701 Columbia
Clerk of Court, Covington (985) 809-8745
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Mon. - Fri.
Fees: $25.00 cash only


Parish Courthouse
St. Bernard Hwy.
Clerk of Court, Chalmette, LA
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Mon. - Fri
License Fee: $25.00 Cash or Check

Other Louisiana Clerks Of Court Phone Numbers:

Lafayette Parish
800 Buchanan Street  Lafayette, LA
(337) 291-6400

Caddo Parish
501 Texas Street   Shreveport, LA

Calcasieu Parish
1000 Ryan St.
  Lake Charles, LA

Concordia Parish
4001 Carter Street  Vidalia, LA

 See more marriage License Offices at this link:

Minister E-Mail Address

Célébrants de mariages. Cérémonies de mariage.
Cérémonies personnalisées de mariage, Civiles, non confessionnelles, à L'emplacement de votre choix, execute par Dr.Schwehm.

Member of the American Association of Wedding Officiants

FastCounter by bCentral