Getting Married in New Mexico: Marriage License Requirements


In order to get married in New Mexico, you must first submit a New Mexico marriage license application at any county clerk's office.

No appointments necessary: just walk in. The application process takes about 30 minutes, so be mindful of closing hours. New Mexico counties can be found at page's end.

Licensing officials

You'll be assisted by the county clerk—an elected official—or one of their designated deputy clerks.

Absent applicant

If there's a good reason why you cannot apply together, a district court judge can authorize one applicant to apply absentee by way of a judicial authorization.


A New Mexico marriage license costs $25 regardless of which county clerk's office you apply in.

Marriage license fee allocation
Percent Amount Description
40% $10 Retained by county
60% $15 Credited to the New Mexico children's trust fund


There are no residency requirements; you may apply in any New Mexico county and marry anywhere within the State.


You must present photo identification proving your age and identity that's to the clerk's satisfaction, such as a driver's license, passport, or state, military, or student ID card.

Insufficient ID

If you don't have any government-issued photo ID, bring an original or certified copy of your birth certificate instead.

Birth certificate

If you're 16 or 17 years old, you must also bring an original or certified copy of your birth certificate.

Age requirements

In New Mexico, the age of legal adulthood is 18 years. If you're below this age you'll need parental consent or judicial permission to marry before applying.

Age 16 and 17

If you're 16 or 17 years old, you may marry with your parents' or guardians' written consent or permission from a district court upon the request of a parent or legal guardian.

Emancipated minors do not require permission to marry.

Age 15 and younger

If you're 15 years old or younger, you may marry if you're pregnant or the children's or family court authorizes marriage upon the request of a parent or legal guardian.

Consent can either be granted in office or via notarized statement. Either way, blank consent forms can be picked up in the clerk's office.

Caretakers' credentials

Your consenting parents' names must match what's on your birth certificate. Legal guardians must furnish guardianship papers.

Deceased parent

If one of your parents is deceased, you must bring a certified copy of their death certificate. If you have no living parent or guardian, obtain permission to marry from the district court.

If your parents or guardians are unable or unwilling to grant consent for you to marry, your only recourse is to appeal to a district court judge.


Although the marriage license application form isn't universal across all counties, they're substantially comparable. Expect to be asked the following:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Residential address
  • Social security number
  • Phone number
  • Signature

Social security number

Your social security number is collected on behalf of the Human Services Department for child support enforcement purposes as required by federal law.

Blood test and exam

You are no longer required to get a blood test and medical evaluation before marrying in New Mexico.

Waiting period

Your marriage license will be issued immediately after submitting your application; you can marry anytime afterward.


Your New Mexico marriage license will not expire after it's been issued.

Reissue lost license

If your marriage license is lost or destroyed before use, some county clerks may be willing to replace it for a fee while others require a new license be applied for.

Authorized officiants

The person who solemnizes your marriage is called the officiant. Some county clerk offices provide a list of local officiants available to solemnize your marriage.

Following are the persons who may lawfully solemnize marriages in New Mexico:


Your marriage may be solemnized by an ordained clergyperson belonging to any religious denomination.

Civil magistrates

Your marriage may be solemnized by a civil magistrate, who is an active or retired federal judge, justice, or magistrate. Civil magistrates may not charge a fee to solemnize.

Moreover, any justice of the peace, who is typically a magistrate judge, may also perform solemnizations.

Religious societies and Indians

Religious societies and federally recognized Indian nations, tribes, and pueblos may solemnize marriages as long as their authorized designee certifies the license.


At least two witnesses are required to attend your marriage ceremony and subsequently sign the certificate portion of the license afterward.

Although there is no minimum age requirement for witnesses, they should be competent enough to understand what's transpiring and able to sign their names.


Before your marriage can be solemnized or performed, you must present your marriage license to the authorized officiant for examination.

Completing the license

Once your ceremony is over, the officiant must immediately "certify" the certificate portion of the license by seeing to it that the following are entered:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Your signature
  • Your spouse's signature
  • Signature of two witnesses
  • Officiant's name or signature and official title

Returning the license

You or the officiant must return the completed license by hand or by mail to the issuing county clerk within 90 days following the ceremony so that it may be recorded.


Once your completed marriage license has been returned to the issuing county clerk's office, it will be recorded and indexed as a permanent county record.

From the State's perspective, your marriage doesn't officially exist until it's been recorded, time stamped, and filed by the clerk in the office's marriage record book.

Marriage certificate

You can order certified copies of your marriage certificate from the county clerk's office that issued your marriage license after your marriage has been recorded.

Where the "marriage license" allowed you to get married, the "marriage certificate" proves that you are married. Certified copies are legally equivalent to the original.

Certificate amendments

If you detect a clerical error on your certificate, you can request a correction from the clerk. Errors that are not the fault of the clerk will only be fixed if a district court orders it.

Name change after marriage

You can use a certified copy of your marriage certificate to change your last name after marriage with the Social Security Administration, Motor Vehicle Division, etc.

Even though the marriage application, license, and certificate doesn't provide the option to specify a new last name, using the certificate as-is will still allow you to change it.

Bigamous marriage

If you have a living husband or wife and get married to another person, you would be guilty of bigamy and the subsequent marriage would be subject to nullification.

Punishment for bigamy

Bigamy is a fourth degree felony punishable by up to fourteen months imprisonment and a potential maximum fine of $5,000.

Marrying family members

If you were to marry any of the following members of your family, the marriage would be declared incestuous and absolutely void if solemnized in New Mexico:

  • Great-grandparent
  • Grandparent
  • Parent
  • Sibling (full or half blood)
  • Child
  • Grandchild
  • Great-grandchild
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Niece
  • Nephew

Punishment for incest

Entering into an incestuous marriage is a third degree felony punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a possible fine of up to $5,000.

First cousin marriage

You are permitted to marry your first cousin, as New Mexico law neither explicitly permits nor prohibits it.

Out-of-state marriage

If you were to get married outside of New Mexico and the marriage was lawfully conducted, this State would recognize it as lawful as well.

Proxy marriage

Although New Mexico law allows you to apply by proxy, marriage by proxy is prohibited; both you and your intended spouse must physically attend the ceremony.

Common-law marriage

New Mexico does not recognize common-law marriage.

Closing thoughts and next steps

The New Mexico marriage license, application, and certificate haven't changed much since 1961: the last time State statutes were modified to dictate the required format.

Truth be told, New Mexico's marriage laws are some of the most straightforward across the U.S. and certainly qualify for having the most concise application.

Now that you're aware of what the marriage application process entails, consult the list of New Mexico counties to find your nearest county clerk's office.

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NM Office Locations

Below are the 33 counties in New Mexico where you can apply for a marriage license.


Bernalillo County

662,564 (population)


Catron County

3,725 (population)

Chaves County

65,645 (population)

Cibola County

27,213 (population)

Colfax County

13,750 (population)

Curry County

48,376 (population)


De Baca County

2,022 (population)

Doña Ana County

209,233 (population)


Eddy County

53,829 (population)

Has 2 offices


Grant County

29,514 (population)

Guadalupe County

4,687 (population)


Harding County

695 (population)

Hidalgo County

4,894 (population)


Lea County

64,727 (population)

Lincoln County

20,497 (population)

Los Alamos County

17,950 (population)

Luna County

25,095 (population)


McKinley County

71,492 (population)

Mora County

4,881 (population)


Otero County

63,797 (population)


Quay County

9,041 (population)


Rio Arriba County

40,246 (population)

Has 2 offices

Roosevelt County

19,846 (population)


San Juan County

130,044 (population)

San Miguel County

29,393 (population)

Sandoval County

131,561 (population)

Santa Fe County

144,170 (population)

Sierra County

11,988 (population)

Socorro County

17,866 (population)


Taos County

32,937 (population)

Torrance County

16,383 (population)


Union County

4,549 (population)


Valencia County

76,569 (population)

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