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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Marriage Licenses FAQs

Question: Does the Probate Judge for Lexington County perform marriage ceremonies?

Answer:

No, the Probate Judge for Lexington County does not perform marriage ceremonies.  That is not a statutory duty of the office.

Question: Are proxy marriages valid in South Carolina?

Answer:

According to longstanding opinions of the S.C. Attorney General, the bride and groom must be present for the ceremony, and their attendance by telephone or proxy is not authorized.

Question: We want a minister from out of state to perform our marriage ceremony.  Does the minister have to be licensed in South Carolina?

Answer:

No.  Ministers are not licensed by the State and there is no residency requirement for the minister who performs the marriage ceremony.

Question: After the marriage is administered, if the parties believe that grounds exist for an annulment can the Probate Judge order an annulment or declare the marriage invalid?

Answer:

No.  That is a Family Court matter.

Question: If the applicants are divorced, do they need to provide divorce papers?

Answer:

No.  When applying for your license you are required to sign an affidavit indicating that you are free and legal to marry.

Question: Under what circumstances can a person apply for a marriage license before they are divorced?

Answer:

Under no circumstances. By State law a divorce must be final and filed with the Clerk of Court before applying for a marriage license.

Question: Are marriage records open for the public to see?

Answer:

Yes. They are all public record.

Question: Can an incarcerated individual apply for a marriage license?

Answer:

No. Both parties must apply in person.  Probate Court does not issue transport orders for purposes of applying for a marriage license.

Question: What if the applicants do not want their names in the newspaper?

Answer:

Marriage licenses are public record by State law so they are accessible to the media.  Therefore, if you do not want it published, you may wish to make your request to the newspaper.