Making it Official 2021

Kip TabbMaking It Official2 Comments

outer banks marriage licenses

Marriage License Requirements for Outer Banks Weddings

Your wedding day is without a doubt the happiest, most romantic day of your life. However, it is also a legal proceeding. We realize this isn’t the “fun” part of wedding planning, but there are certain things you need to do to ensure yours goes off without a hitch.

There are 100 counties in North Carolina and a marriage license can be obtained in any one of them. That license can be used to get married anywhere in the state. In other words, you can pick up your marriage license in Cherokee County, which is as far west as you can get in the state, and use that license to get married anywhere on the Outer Banks. Just be aware that each county office may differ in regards to required documents for the application. Provided below are the various county websites to determine the specific requirements needed for your wedding location.

dare county marriage license
Sarah D'Ambra

All Three Counties

The three counties on the Outer Banks are Currituck, Dare, and Hyde.  These counties share the following marriage license requirements:

• Both parties must personally appear at the Register of Deeds Office to apply for a wedding license.
• The marriage license is valid as soon as it is issued and is good for 60 days only. The application will be invalid if you apply after your ceremony has taken place.
• You won’t need an appointment to get your license.
• A blood test or medical test is not required for a license.
• There must be two witnesses to the ceremony, whether it is civil or religious.
• You will be required to give your social security number. If for some reason a social security number has not been issued—for example, one of the partners is not a US citizen—a notarized statement that the applicant is not eligible for a social security number will be needed. The Register of Deeds will likely also ask for confirming identification.
• Neither partner can be currently married. In some cases, a copy of the divorce decree may be required.
• The fee is $60, to be paid most often in cash. There are some exceptions. Read on to learn what is required in each county.

Where to get a Marriage License on the Outer Banks

To save time, marriage applications can be filled out and submitted online to the Currituck or Dare County Register of Deeds. Hyde County provides an online marriage application worksheet, but does not provide an online link for applicants.

All Outer Banks Register of Deeds require a photo ID with date of birth. Marriage licenses must be picked up in person.

If you’re planning an on-the-beach ceremony, be sure to check out the different regulations at the bottom of this page while you’re on the various county websites. Make sure you know what you need to know regarding tents, arbors, and chairs.

outer banks marriage licenses
Pullen Weddings

Currituck County Weddings

co.currituck.nc.us/marriage-information

Currituck Judicial Center
2801 Caratoke Highway, Suite 300 Currituck, NCView on map
252.232.3297

The Currituck County office is located on the mainland and is approximately 13 miles south of the Virginia state line. Although Currituck County has a satellite office in Corolla, it does not provide marriage license services.

  • Licenses are issued Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
  • Accepts cash, checks, or money orders, made payable to the Currituck County
    Register of Deeds.
Documents to bring with you:
  • A valid government picture ID that includes your date of birth.
  • Social security numbers and the dates of previous marriages or divorces, but official documentation are not required of either.
obx marriage licenses
Outer Banks Productions

Dare County Weddings

darenc.com/departments/register-of-deeds/marriages

Dare County Courthouse
954 Marshall C. Collins Drive Manteo, NC View on map
252.475.5000

Dare County’s website allows couples to complete and submit their marriage application before they visit the county office. Expect to spend about 30 minutes on the online process. Completing the application online will help speed things up when you arrive in person.

  • Licenses are issued Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M.
    but the office asks applicants to please come no later than 4:30 P.M. to allow for processing.
  • Accepts credit and debit cards, cash, checks, or money orders, made payable to the Dare County Register of Deeds. There is a 2% surcharge on credit cards.
Documents to bring with you:
  • A valid government picture ID that includes your dates of birth.
  • Social security card or any other official paperwork with your social security number listed, such as a W2 form or pay stub.
  • Divorce decree with the judge’s signature if your divorce was less than a year ago. If your divorce was more than a year ago, you just need to be able to list the date of the divorce on your application.
  • If either of you are under 21; a certified birth certificate is required. Those under age 18 will need more affidavits and should consult the website or Register of Deeds office directly, prior to going.
outer banks marriage licenses
Outer Banks Productions

Hyde County Weddings

hyderod.net (click on the Marriage Licenses link at the top of the page)

Hyde County Office
30 Oyster Creek Road
Swan Quarter, NC • View on map
252.926.4182

The Hyde County office is located on the mainland and is approximately 68 miles west of the Outer Banks Welcome Center in Manteo. Hyde County also provides downloadable forms and worksheets on their website. Complete the paperwork ahead of time and arrive prepared.

  • Licenses are issued Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. but applicants are asked to please come no later than 4:00 P.M. to allow for processing.
  • Accepts cash only.
Documents to bring with you:
  • A valid government picture ID that includes your dates of birth.
  • Social security card or any other official paperwork with your social security number listed, such as a W2 form or old pay stub.
  • If previously married, you must provide the month and year of your last divorce(s). There is no waiting period.
  • If under age 18, consult the website or Register of Deeds office directly, prior to going.

If you’re planning an on-the-beach ceremony, be sure to check out the different regulations at the bottom of this page while you’re on the various county websites. Make sure you know what you need to know regarding tents, arbors, and chairs.

The national seashores, public beaches, and lighthouses each have different regulations regarding their outdoor ceremonies. Scroll through their websites to also see what they have to say about tents, etc.

We also suggest you refer to the rules and regulations to at the end of this article and contact the town in which your ceremony will be held regarding any additional permits or restrictions. Here are those numbers:

Corolla 252.453.8555
Duck 252.255.1234
Southern Shores – 252.261.2394
Kitty Hawk – 252.261.3552
Kill Devil Hills 252.449.5300
Nags Head – 252.441.5508
Manteo – 252.473.2133

One final note about what is required: It is the responsibility of your officiant to sign your marriage license and return it to the issuing county office within 10 days following the marriage ceremony. Keep in mind you won’t automatically receive a copy of your marriage license. You must request an official copy after the wedding ceremony. To obtain a certified copy, download the request form from the appropriate county’s website and follow the mailing instructions. The charge for each copy is $10.

For couples who are interested in the legal ramifications of marriage, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice has some great information. Their website is ncaj.com/?pg=Marriage_in_North_Carolina

Town Rules & Regulations

When planning your wedding, be sure to do your research when it comes to regulations and required permits within the municipality you plan to tie the knot. Here’s a listing to help you get started on other town-specific regulations. You are advised to contact the town in which your ceremony will be held regarding any additional permits or restrictions: 

Town of Ducktownofduck.com • 252-255-1234
There are no public parking lots or public accesses for the beaches in Duck. The Town of Duck requires that any gathering of 50 or more people register with the town’s Department of Community Development at least 30 days before the event. Rehearsal dinners, brunches, and post-wedding parties also fall under this requirement. Registration forms are available on the town’s website. 

Town of Southern Shores southernshores-nc.gov252-261-2394
It is recommended that the bride and groom shuttle in guests from other locations as there is no public parking available in Southern Shores. Couples can apply for an encroachment parking agreement if they think they may have parking overflow at a rental home. An event permit is required to erect tents or canopies, but there is no fee. Also fires are not allowed on the beach. 

Town of Kitty Hawk kittyhawknc.gov •  252-261-3552
A $50 outdoor gathering permit is required for groups of 50 or more. If you are planning to set up a tent that is more than 200 square feet, there is an additional fee of $25 for fire inspection.

Town of Kill Devil Hillskdhnc.com • 252-449-5300
You may set up chairs and decorations, but no tents or canopies are allowed on the beach. To erect a tent or canopy at your rental home, you must obtain a building permit, but there is no fee. 

Town of Nags Headnagsheadnc.gov252-441-5508
The number of chairs allowed on the beach is 40. Tents and canopies are allowed only on private property, and if they exceed 400 square feet, they require an inspection. 

Town of Manteo townofmanteo.com • 252-473-2133
A downloadable wedding reservation form is on the town of Manteo’s website and is required to confirm the availability of a time slot for your waterfront wedding.  

Currituck County (Corolla) co.currituck.nc.us •  252-453-8555
Tents on private property that are more than 400 square feet require a permit and tents or canopies over 200 square feet may require an inspection by the fire marshal. Weddings with more than 100 guests may need a mass gathering permit. 

Cape Hatteras National Seashore /Ocracoke Islandnps.gov/caha/planyourvisit • 252-473-2111 (includes Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, and Ocracoke lighthouses)
If you are planning to get married on in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore area, you must obtain a permit and pay a $100 fee. While couples are bound to discover solitude and beauty on these beaches, they will need to plan a wedding at a beach access that has enough parking for guests. Also, wedding décor such as flowers, garlands, gazebos, rice, and birdseed are prohibited in the national park. While no formal seating is allowed for a gathering, exceptions are allowed to accommodate elderly or handicapped visitors.
 

That's it for the OBX marriage license info! Now get back to the fun part of wedding planning! ♥

2 Comments on “Making it Official 2021”

  1. My future wife and I are looking to get married while we are on vacation sometime between June 14th and the 19th. We are wondering if it is possible to get married at one of the lighthouses after we purchase the license. It will be just us and our 3 children we do not want a ceremony just us and whoever does the marrage.

    1. Hello, yes! I would get in contact with an Officiant and start there! Do this as soon as possible though. Congratulations and Best to you both!

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