All persons wishing to be married in the State of New Hampshire must complete a Marriage License Application with any City or Town Clerk regardless of their place of residence. This includes out-of-state residents. Once the marriage license is issued, the couple is free to marry within any city or town in the State of New Hampshire within 90 days.
A marriage certificate is a copy of the record certified by the city or town clerk or by the Registrar of the Vital Records and Health Statistics and serves as evidence of the fact of marriage.
Both individuals must appear at the same time in the Office of the City Clerk. However, if either party (or both) is a member of the armed forces, he or she shall forward an affidavit of marriage intentions, prepared by the armed forces legal representative, to the City Clerk, if he or she cannot appear in person.
When completing your marriage license worksheet please be sure to fill in every box. We need full middle names and last names at birth - even if the names are the same. There are two pages to this worksheet. The second page is to be signed in front of a staff member in the City Clerk's Office. "Person A" on the worksheet is to be completed by the groom and "Person B" is to be completed by the bride. In the case of a same-sex couple, "Person A" information is to be completed alphabetically by last name (example: John Doe completes "Person A" information; John Smith completes "Person B" information).
Individuals may apply for a marriage license between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. In order to accommodate your busy schedule, we're open extended hours on Tuesday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. We kindly ask that you arrive at least 45 minutes prior to closing in order to complete all required documentation.
Identification Requirements: (no photo or electronic copies)
- Proof of age (example - driver's license, passport, certified birth certificate)
- Photo identification (example - driver's license or passport)
- Certified copy of a death certificate of a former spouse, if either applicant is widowed
- Certified copy of a final divorce decree, if either applicant is divorced
- Certified copy of a civil annulment decree, if the applicant's previous marriage was annulled (This is a court document).
Documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a translation that has been signed by the translator. A notary must witness the translator's signature.
An individual who has reached the age of 18 can marry without special permission. Anyone between the age of 16 and 17 may apply in writing to the judicial branch family division having jurisdiction in the location in which one of them resides, for permission to contract such a marriage. Persons below the age of 16 are not allowed to marry under any condition.
NH RSA 457:4
Marriage is not permitted in New Hampshire between people who are related by blood as first cousins or in any more direct lineage.
Marriage may be performed by:
- A Justice of the Peace commissioned in New Hampshire
- A minister of the gospel in New Hampshire who has been ordained to the usage of his denomination, resides in New Hampshire and is in regular standing with the denomination
- A minister within his parish, residing outside New Hampshire, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in New Hampshire
- Jewish Rabbis who are citizens of the United States and reside in this state
- A deacon in the Roman Catholic Church ordained according to the usage of his denomination
- Judges of the United States, a US magistrate judge residing in this state pursuant to federal law, a clergyman who are not ordained, and non-resident Justices of the Peace, ministers and Jewish Rabbis, after being licensed by the Secretary of State.
We are happy to offer wedding ceremonies here at City Hall for couples who would simply like to exchange vows. A Justice of the Peace is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We can provide customers with a marriage license, a Justice of the Peace, and a certified copy of your marriage certificate before leaving City Hall. The cost is $50 for the license, $135 for the Justice of the Peace (effective April 1, 2018), and $15 for one copy of your marriage certificate. It is recommended that you call ahead (603) 624-6455 to schedule an available time. Our ceremonies typically last about 10 minutes and couples are welcome to bring and read their own vows for a personal touch to the ceremony. Witnesses are not required; however you are welcome to bring guests with you.
If a disability-related accommodation, sign language interpreter, or materials in other formats should be required, please contact the office at 624-6455.
There is no waiting period in the State of New Hampshire.
Validity of License
The license is valid for use for 90 days from the date of the application.
The fee to apply for a marriage license is $50.00. Payment can be made with cash, check, or a money order. Please make payable to the City of Manchester.
Any person shall be guilty of a Class B Felony if he/she willfully and knowingly makes any false statements on an application for a certified copy of a vital record (NH RSA 126.24).
Certified Marriage Certificate
After you are married, please wait seven (7) to ten (10) days before applying for a copy of your marriage certificate. You may either come into our office or print the Request for Marriage Certificate and send $15.00 (money order or check) to:
Office of the City Clerk
One City Hall Plaza
Manchester, NH 03101
How do I change my name after marriage?
Effective January 1, 2015, upon entering into marriage, each party must indicate on the marriage license worksheet the party's name after marriage. Either party may retain or change his or her surname to the surname of the other party. Changed surnames may be a hyphenated combination of both surnames. If a party requests a surname change on the marriage license worksheet that party may also change his or her middle name to his or her surname prior to the marriage.