It is not necessary to obtain your license in the same county the ceremony will be performed in. A license obtained in any Washington county is valid anywhere in the state.
Step #1 - Submit your marriage data online. There are workstations available in our lobby if you haven't performed this step prior to arrival. Don't worry if you should happen to forget the confirmation number - we can still retrieve your data. Applicants applying via mail will need to email Recording@co.chelan.wa.us once their data has been submitted.
Your 3 day waiting period doesn't begin until fees are paid and license is created in Step #2.
Step #2 - Both applicants visit our office and take their place in line. Upon your arrival we will retrieve your data, collect the fee, and proceed to create your marriage license paperwork. For those submitting an absentee application, this step occurs once we receive your completed application and fee.
- Fee: $53.00 is payable at the time of application by cash or check, and is non refundable. If prepaying for a certified copy of the marriage certificate, add $3.00 for a total of $56.00;
- Age Requirements : Both applicants must be at least 18 years of age or older;
If 17 years of age the applicant must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who will sign a consent form. This parent must present photo ID;
If 16 or younger permission must be obtained from the Juvenile Court prior to licensing.
- Waiting Period: There is a mandatory 3-day (calendar day) waiting period before the license becomes valid. No exceptions can be made.
- Period Valid: Your ceremony must be performed in any Washington county within 60 days of application.
- Hours: Licenses are issued by the Recording Department Monday - Friday from 9-5 pm on the street level of the Chelan County Courthouse. The application process takes about 20 minutes.
- Identification: Government-issued photo ID containing birth date must be presented at the time of application. A driver's license or corresponding ID card works fine.
Marriage Laws: Title 26.04 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) defines marriage statutes. Your local library provides the means to research these laws as well. The Administrative Office of the Courts has compiled some useful legal information into a Family Law Handbook.
Those Qualified to Perform a Ceremony: Marriage statutes specify that a qualifying officiant be any regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization. Additionally, judges as defined in RCW 26.04.050. There is no requirement to register with the county or state.
Chelan County Special Commemorative Marriage Certificate
Special commemorative Chelan County Centennial marriage certificates are included with each marriage application. They can be purchased separately for $5.00 each and make great anniversary gifts.
All marriage applications and certificates are a matter of public record. The Wenatchee World researches public records and publishes information from each marriage license issued. Once a marriage has been recorded it cannot be unrecorded.