If someone gets a marriage license and uses it but doesn’t get it certified by the clerk, is it a legal document?

Asked on March 25, 2011 under Family Law, Colorado


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Someone must return the valid marriage license after solemnization to the clerk within 60 days after solemnization.  Any person according to Colorado statutes who fails to return it to the clerk within that time period must pay a late fee of somewhere between twenty and fifty dollars. Once the clerk gets the license, then it can be registered. So it is still a document but the legal impact for the state registration is only effective when it is registered with the clerk. You are still considered married. Think about it this way...you were married on day 1 whether or not the solemnized license was returned on day 1 or day 60. But for registration purposes, you simply have to pay a late fee. The trouble only arises when you don't get married within 30 days of obtaining the marriage license.

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