How To Get Your Marriage License in Gallatin County, Montana

When you’re knee-deep in wedding planning, it’s so easy to overlook the essential legal aspects of getting married. The most crucial step is actually obtaining your marriage license. If you’re planning to say “I do” in the Bozeman area or elsewhere in Gallatin County, this guide is for you.

Image shows bride and groom with friends holding the signed marriage license

Where to Apply

Both you and your soon-to-be spouse must apply for a marriage license in person at the Gallatin County Clerk of Court’s office. It’s located at 615 S 16th Ave, Bozeman, MT, so it’s easily accessible for local couples.

Required Documentation

Don’t forget to bring valid identification. This could be an unexpired driver’s license, a state ID, or a passport. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security numbers (just have it memorized, you don’t need the actual SS card itself). If either party was previously married, you’d need to bring a copy of the divorce decree or a death certificate to prove the previous marriage has been legally dissolved or the spouse has passed away.


Good news for destination weddings and elopements: You don’t need to be a Montana resident to get married in Gallatin County. However, if you’re applying from out of state, make sure to give yourself enough time to pick up the license from the County Clerk’s office and get it signed by your officiant and witnesses within the 180-day validity period.

Waiting Period and Expiration

Montana doesn’t have a waiting period between when you get your license and when you get married, so you can actually get married the same day you obtain your license. Just be aware that the marriage license is only valid for 180 days (about 4 months). So plan to apply for your marriage license within reason of your wedding date to avoid any last-minute stress.


You can expect to pay around $53 for your marriage license in Gallatin County. Payments can typically be made with cash, credit/debit cards, or checks, but it’s a good idea to call ahead and check the accepted payment methods.

Image shows a bride signing her marriage license

Witnesses and Officiants

Montana law requires two witnesses to be present during your ceremony. They must be over 18 and will need to sign your marriage license. As for the officiant, you can go traditional with a religious leader or choose a civil officiant. Friends or family members can also become a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a day through the state of Montana. Whoever officiates will also need to sign the marriage license.

After the Wedding

Once the vows are said and the party is over, you’ll need to return the signed marriage license to the Gallatin County Clerk of Court for your marriage to be legally recorded. Sometimes your officiant will do it for you, but definitely make sure it’s clear who is responsible for returning the license. After that, you can request copies of your marriage certificate for your records. I suggest getting at least 2 certified copies and they cost about $7 each. Note that you’ll need certified copies (not just a copy, which costs $5) if you choose to change your name.

Public Record

Marriage licenses in Montana are public records. So, if privacy is a concern for you, you might want to check into what steps can be taken to keep your details more confidential.

Refunds and Corrections

Pay attention when filling out your marriage license and make sure everyone is clear on where they are supposed write and sign. Mistakes can be costly and time-consuming to correct. Additionally, the marriage license fee is generally non-refundable.

image shows a bride and groom signing their marriage license with an audience

There you have it! That’s the rundown on securing a marriage license in Gallatin County. It may not be the most glamorous part of wedding planning, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most important. Make sure to check this important task off your to-do list, and you’ll be all set for your big day.

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