Orphans' Court Division
The Clerk of the Orphans' Court takes marriage license applications and issues licenses, as well as certified copies thereof. On file are marriage license applications beginning in October 1885. An informational recording describing the application procedure and the procedure to obtain certified copies of licenses is available by dialing (610) 782-3173.
Location & Hours Of Operation
Hours for marriage license applications are Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm; Applicants must appear together before 4:00pm to apply.
The Marriage License Department is located at:
- 455 West Hamilton Street
- Room 123.5
- Allentown, PA 18101-1614
- Phone: (610) 782-3173
Documentation & Requirements
- Applicants for a marriage license must appear together in person.
- The cost of the application is $50.00. Certified copies of the marriage license record can be pre-ordered at the time of application at a cost of $10.00 each. Acceptable forms of payment include, cash, credit or debit - MasterCard, Visa or Discover cards (A 2.9% convenience fee is assessed for payments by credit/debit card.) Checks are NOT accepted.
- Each applicant must satisfactorily establish their identity by presenting an acceptable form of identification; either a birth certificate or driver's license, and a social security card or W-2 Form. (the latter is a statutory requirement effective January 1, 1998). Any applicant unwilling to produce his or her Social Security card or W-2 Form at the time of application will be denied a marriage license. Additional proof of identity may be required if circumstances so warrant.
- Any previously married applicant must produce evidence of the prior marriage's dissolution in the form of a certified copy of a divorce decree (the date of which must be at least thirty days prior to the application date) or a death certificate (or obituary from a newspaper of general circulation).
- Non-US citizens must produce their green card, passport, or birth certificate, together with one other form of acceptable ID. Any non-US Citizen who possesses a Social Security card must present the card at time of application.
- If either applicant does not speak or understand English, an interpreter is required. Applicants may bring an interpreter of their choosing who is at least 18 years old, however, one applicant cannot act as interpreter for the other applicant. Otherwise interpreter's services of the question and answer portion of the application process will be supplied at no cost.
- Any supporting document required to be presented at the time of application that is not in English (e.g. birth/death certificate; divorce decree) must include an English translation certified by the translator to be correct.
Issuance & Validity
- There is a three-day waiting period from the date of application until the date of issuance of a license.
- Once issued, a marriage license is valid for 60 days anywhere in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- Applicants need not be residents of the county in which they apply for a marriage license unless one of them is a minor.
- If either applicant is 16 or 17 years old, one or both of his or her parents must sign a consent form. Such applicants must provide a long form birth certificate reflecting the birth parents names. If the minor applicant's parents are not married to each other, the parent with legal custody must consent.
- If either minor applicant is 15 years old or younger, in addition to the parental consent requirement, a hearing will be scheduled to obtain the judge's consent to the issuance of a marriage license.
- In the event that a marriage license is either denied or expires without being used, the application fee is non-refundable
Certification of Marriage Records
Certification of marriage license records regarding all persons who applied for a marriage license in Lehigh County can be obtained as follows:
- Send a written request containing the groom's name, the bride's name (including maiden name) and the approximate date of the marriage.
- Include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
- Include payment ($10.00 for each record or copy requested) in the form of a money order payable to the Lehigh County Marriage License Bureau. No credit/debit card payments will be accepted over the telephone or through the mail, you must appear in person to make a credit/debit card payment.