Universal Life Church

Hawaii Wedding Laws

Hawaii is a state unlike any other, and that applies to the state’s marriage laws as well. We’ve reviewed all the necessary legal provisions and compiled the ultimate, step-by-step guide to getting married in the Aloha State. From where to file the marriage license to what identification documents you’ll need, our guide ensures that your marriage will be legally binding according to Hawaii law.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Hawaii

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
State Dept. of Health Registration Certificate
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
State Dept. of Health Website
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Before the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
Yes

To be eligible to perform a legally binding wedding ceremony in Hawaii, a minister must be at least 18 years old — the same minimum age to be ordained by ULC — and must be registered with the Hawaii State Department of Health. There are no restrictions on beliefs, gender, or state or country of residence.

Ministers should begin the state registration process by visiting the Department of Health’s website. There is a two-part, online registration process, and the state charges a small application fee. To register, ULC-ordained ministers will need to know the address for ULC Headquarters, which is:

Universal Life Church Ministries
2720 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

At some point during registration, the minister will be assigned a state ID number. He or she should print this number and keep it in a safe place. He or she will be asked for the number again during the registration process and when completing the marriage license.

After completing the online registration, the minister will need to contact the appropriate county clerk’s office to find out whether that office requires physical ministerial documentation. Some marriage license offices require more documentation than others, and some don’t require any documents beyond the online registration. Please note, the minister should contact the exact same office where the marriage license will be issued.

If the clerk requires additional documentation, the minister will usually submit it after the ceremony, along with the completed marriage license. If the minister has any doubts, he or she should have a copy of his or her ULC ordination certificate and his or her state registration number on hand for the ceremony. This is most certainly a “better safe than sorry” scenario!

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    §572-12 By whom solemnized. A license to solemnize marriages may be issued to, and the marriage rite may be performed and solemnized by any minister, priest, or officer of any religious denomination or society who has been ordained or is authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of such denomination or society, or any religious society not having clergy but providing solemnization in accordance with the rules and customs of that society, or any justice or judge or magistrate, active or retired, of a state or federal court in the State, upon presentation to such person or society of a license to marry, as prescribed by this chapter. Such person or society may receive the price stipulated by the parties or the gratification tendered. [CC 1859, §1285; RL 1925, §2950; am L 1929, c 104, §6; RL 1935, §4640; RL 1945, §12361; RL 1955, §323-12; HRS §572-12; am L 1969, c 19, §2; am L 1974, c 15, §1]

Getting Married in Hawaii

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
N/A
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Hawaii is a state of rich and varied cultural traditions. Consequently, there are virtually no restrictions on the actual content or wording of the wedding ceremony itself. The only requirements are as follows:

  • Each partner must give some form of consent, such as “I do”
  • The minister must make some sort of declaration that the couple is now wed; for example, “I now pronounce you…”
  • Both parties and the officiating minister must be present for the ceremony. Hawaii law prohibits marriage by proxy. No other witnesses are required.
  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    §572-1.5 Definition of marriage. Whenever used in the statutes or other laws of Hawaii, "marriage" means the union licensed under section 572-1. [L 1994, c 217, §2]

How to Get a Hawaii Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
County of Issuance
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
Varies by County
Accepted I.D. Types:
Standard Government Issued ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Yes
Blood Test Required:
No

The application for a Hawaii marriage license may be completed online, but to finalize the application, both partners must appear in person at the county clerk’s office in the county where the marriage ceremony will be held. Make sure your officiant is aware of this exact office address so that he or she can submit additional ministerial documentation to this office if necessary.

Each partner must provide proof of age: For anyone 19 years old or older, this can be any government-issued identification showing date of birth; anyone younger than 19 years old must provide a certified copy of his or her birth certificate. Any partner who has previously been married must submit a divorce decree or death certificate.

The application fee for a marriage license is $60, plus a filing fee. No blood testing is required.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    §572-5 Marriage license; agent to grant; fee. (a) The department of health shall appoint, and at its pleasure remove, one or more suitable persons as agents authorized to grant marriage licenses under this chapter in each judicial circuit. The agents may issue licenses from any state facility when deemed necessary by the director. Any agent appointed under this subsection and receiving an application for a marriage license shall collect from the applicant for the license $60, of which the agent, except those provided for in subsection (b), shall retain $9 for the agent's benefit and compensation and shall remit $51 to the director of health. Upon the receipt of remittances under this subsection, the director of health shall deposit:

    (1) $32 for each license issued to the credit of the general fund of the State;

    (2) $4.50 for each license issued to the credit of the spouse and child abuse special fund established under section 346-7.5;

    (3) $4.50 for each license issued to the credit of the spouse and child abuse special account established under section 601-3.6; and

    (4) $10 for each license issued to the credit of the birth defects special fund established under section 321‑426.

    (b) The department may appoint, as regular employees under the civil service and classification laws, the number of suitable persons as agents authorized to grant marriage licenses for whom provision has been made in the general appropriation act. In the case of these agents, the full amount collected from applicants shall be remitted to the director of health. Upon the receipt of remittances under this subsection, the director of health shall deposit:

    (1) $41 for each license issued to the credit of the general fund of the State;

    (2) $4.50 for each license issued to the credit of the spouse and child abuse special fund established under section 346-7.5;

    (3) $4.50 for each license issued to the credit of the spouse and child abuse special account established under section 601-3.6; and

    (4) $10 for each license issued to the credit of the birth defects special fund established under section 321‑426.

    (c) Every agent appointed under this section may administer the oaths required by this chapter to be taken.

    (d) The department or its authorized agents shall furnish to each applicant for a marriage license a brochure explaining rubella, the risks of infection with rubella during pregnancy, and how to seek testing and immunization. The department or its authorized agents shall also furnish to each applicant for a marriage license information, to be provided by the department, relating to population stabilization, family planning, birth control, fetal alcohol and drug syndromes, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), including the availability of anonymous testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection at alternate test sites; provided that such information is available.

    (e) In addition to the fee prescribed under subsection (a), the agent, except those provided for in subsection (b), shall collect from the applicant for the license a surcharge of $5, of which the agent shall retain the full amount for the agent's additional benefit and compensation. [PC 1869, c 55, §14; am L 1905, c 11, §1; am L 1917, c 189, §1; am L 1921, c 121, §1; RL 1925, §2946; am L 1929, c 104, §2; am L 1932 2d, c 34, §1; RL 1935, §4634; am L 1937, c 122, §7; RL 1945, §12355; am L 1947, c 21, §1; am L 1953, c 87, §1; am L 1955, c 149, §1; RL 1955, §323-5; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, §§14, 19; am L 1963, c 114, §1; HRS §572-5; am L 1969, c 33, §1; am L 1971, c 89, §1; am L 1976, c 138, §1; am L 1977, c 24, §1; gen ch 1985; am L 1987, c 98, §1; am L 1989, c 364, §1; am L 1994, c 232, §6; am L 1995, c 153, §2; am L 1998, c 311, §8; am L 2002, c 252, §3; am L 2005, c 223, §4; am L 2019, c 84, §5]

Applying For a Marriage License in Hawaii

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
30 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
By Expiration

Make sure that you apply for the correct type of marriage license; that is, one for a religious ceremony officiated by a minister, as opposed to a civil ceremony performed by a justice of the peace. Please note that there is no actual religious requirement of any kind — in Hawaii, weddings performed by ULC-ordained officiants are considered legally binding because of their ordination as ministers. Ministers, including ULC ministers, are considered religious actors under Hawaii law.

After a couple receives a finalized marriage license, they have 30 days before the license “expires.” Within that 30-day period, the couple must have a wedding ceremony and return the completed marriage license to the office where it was issued.

Unlike some states, Hawaii does not have a waiting period after the marriage license is issued. Couples may hold their wedding ceremony on the same day the marriage license is issued.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    §572-6 Application; license; limitations. (a) To secure a license to marry, the persons applying for the license shall appear personally before an agent authorized to grant marriage licenses and shall file with the agent an application in writing. The application shall be accompanied by a statement signed and sworn to by each of the persons, setting forth: the person's full name, date of birth, social security number, residence; their relationship, if any; the full names of parents; and that all prior marriages or civil unions, if any, other than an existing civil union between the persons applying for the marriage license, have been dissolved by death or dissolution. If all prior marriages or civil unions, other than an existing civil union between the persons applying for the marriage license, have been dissolved by death or dissolution, the statement shall also set forth the date of death of the last prior spouse or the date and jurisdiction in which the last decree of dissolution was entered. Any other information consistent with the standard marriage certificate, as recommended by the Public Health Service, National Center for Health Statistics, may be requested for statistical or other purposes, subject to approval of and modification by the department of health; provided that the information shall be provided at the option of the applicant and no applicant shall be denied a license for failure to provide the information. The agent shall endorse on the application, over the agent's signature, the date of the filing thereof and shall issue a license which shall bear on its face the date of issuance. Every license shall be of full force and effect for thirty days commencing from and including the date of issuance. After the thirty-day period, the license shall become void and no marriage ceremony shall be performed thereon.

    (b) It shall be the duty of every person, legally authorized to grant licenses to marry, to immediately report the issuance of every marriage license to the agent of the department of health in the district in which the license is issued, setting forth all facts required to be stated in such manner and on such form as the department may prescribe. [L 1929, c 104, §3; RL 1935, §4635; RL 1945, §12356; RL 1955, §323-6; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, §19; HRS §572-6; am L 1969, c 191, §1; am L 1974, c 31, §1; gen ch 1985; am L 1989, c 35, §1; am L 1997, c 293, §25; am L Sp 2013 2d, c 1, §5]

Hawaii Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 19 or Age 15 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Hawaii has recognized same-sex couples’ right to marriage since 2013. The state has no residency requirements: Couples can marry here even if one or both of them resides in another state or even another country, making Hawaii a popular destination wedding location for couples around the world.

To be eligible for marriage in Hawaii, both partners must be at least 18 years old; however, younger people can still get married here in certain circumstances. A person who is 16 or 17 years old must have the written consent of either both parents, a legal guardian, or the appropriate family court. A 15-year-old may get married in Hawaii, but only with the written consent of both parents (or legal guardian) and the written approval of a family court judge. Consent forms are provided by a marriage license agent.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    §572-6 Application; license; limitations. (a) To secure a license to marry, the persons applying for the license shall appear personally before an agent authorized to grant marriage licenses and shall file with the agent an application in writing. The application shall be accompanied by a statement signed and sworn to by each of the persons, setting forth: the person's full name, date of birth, social security number, residence; their relationship, if any; the full names of parents; and that all prior marriages or civil unions, if any, other than an existing civil union between the persons applying for the marriage license, have been dissolved by death or dissolution. If all prior marriages or civil unions, other than an existing civil union between the persons applying for the marriage license, have been dissolved by death or dissolution, the statement shall also set forth the date of death of the last prior spouse or the date and jurisdiction in which the last decree of dissolution was entered. Any other information consistent with the standard marriage certificate, as recommended by the Public Health Service, National Center for Health Statistics, may be requested for statistical or other purposes, subject to approval of and modification by the department of health; provided that the information shall be provided at the option of the applicant and no applicant shall be denied a license for failure to provide the information. The agent shall endorse on the application, over the agent's signature, the date of the filing thereof and shall issue a license which shall bear on its face the date of issuance. Every license shall be of full force and effect for thirty days commencing from and including the date of issuance. After the thirty-day period, the license shall become void and no marriage ceremony shall be performed thereon.

    (b) It shall be the duty of every person, legally authorized to grant licenses to marry, to immediately report the issuance of every marriage license to the agent of the department of health in the district in which the license is issued, setting forth all facts required to be stated in such manner and on such form as the department may prescribe. [L 1929, c 104, §3; RL 1935, §4635; RL 1945, §12356; RL 1955, §323-6; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, §19; HRS §572-6; am L 1969, c 191, §1; am L 1974, c 31, §1; gen ch 1985; am L 1989, c 35, §1; am L 1997, c 293, §25; am L Sp 2013 2d, c 1, §5]

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
2720 1st Ave S Seattle, WA 98134

After the wedding ceremony, the marriage license must be filled out completely by the couple and the minister and then returned to the office where the couple picked it up.

When completing the marriage license, if asked for a title, the minister should write “minister.” If the license asks for the name of the church or ordaining body, the minister should write “Universal Life Church Ministries,” and if an address is required, it should be as follows:

Universal Life Church Ministries
2720 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

The minister will also need his or her state registration number. All parties should be careful when completing the license since any mistakes or omissions could render it invalid.

After the license has been completed by all parties, it must be returned to the exact office where it was issued. Either the couple or the minister may return the completed marriage license, although please note that in Hawaii, a minister’s negligent or malicious failure to file a marriage license is a criminal offense. For the marriage to be considered legally valid, the marriage license must be returned within 30 days of the date it was issued.

It’s not usually necessary for the minister to keep a copy of the completed marriage license. However, since the Universal Life Church does not keep records of the ceremonies officiated by its ministers, ULC and the state of Hawaii recommend that ministers keep some sort of personal record of the ceremony, especially if there was a written contract or if the minister received payment for his or her services.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    §572-13 Record of solemnization; marriages, reported by whom; certified copies. (a) Recordkeeping. Every person authorized to solemnize marriage shall make and preserve a record of every marriage by the person solemnized, comprising the names of the parties married, their place of residence, and the date of their marriage.

    Every person authorized to solemnize marriage, who neglects to keep a record of any marriage by the person solemnized shall be fined $50.

    (b) Marriages, reported by whom. It shall be the duty of every person, legally authorized to perform the marriage ceremony, to report within three business days every marriage ceremony, performed by the person, to the agent of the department of health in the district in which the marriage takes place setting forth all facts required to be stated in a standard certificate of marriage, the form and contents of which shall be prescribed by the department of health; provided that if any person who has solemnized a marriage fails to report it to the agent of the department of health, the parties married may provide the department of health with a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact that they were married and stating the date and place of the solemnization of the marriage. Upon the receipt of that affidavit by the department of health, the marriage shall be deemed to be valid as of the date of the solemnization of the marriage stated in the affidavit; provided that the requirements of section 572-1 are met.

    (c) Certified copies of certificate of marriage. The department of health shall deliver one certified copy of the certificate of marriage or the contents or any part thereof as provided in section 338-13 to the persons married. The certificate shall be prima facie evidence of the fact of marriage in any proceeding in any court.

    The department of health shall upon request, furnish to any applicant additional certified copies of the certificate of marriage or any part thereof.

    Copies of the contents of any certificate on file in the department, certified by the department shall be considered for all purposes the same as the original.

    The department may prescribe reasonable fees, if any, to be paid for certified copies of certificates. [L 1864, p 21; am L 1903, c 8, §2; am L 1911, c 23, §1; RL 1925, §2951; RL 1935, §4641; RL 1945, §12362; RL 1955, §323-13; HRS §572-13; am L 1974, c 31, §2; am L 1978, c 49, §2; am L 1981, c 202, §2; gen ch 1985; am L Sp 2013 2d, c 1, §6]