Although I have resources for Hawaii marriage license questions right on the FAQ tab of my site, I still get a lot questions about the process. This blog is meant to answer those questions, as well as provide a step-by-step guide to the marriage license process to make your big day here in Hawaii as easy as possible.
How do I get my license?
Despite being in the middle of the ocean, Hawaii is pretty modern, and does much of the wedding license process online. While it is not required to fill out the license online, it will make your visit with the marriage license agent about twice as fast, so I highly recommend it. Plus, there may be information that is required that you may not know off the top of your head, so it's nice to do it from the comfort of your own home, where you have time to gather the information you may need. Note that you will need a credit card to pay for the license fee, whether you do it online or with the marriage license agent.
Here is the link to apply for your Hawaii marriage license online:
As I say on my FAQ tab, it is recommended that you leave the DATE of your marriage and the LOCATION blank on the application. This will make your license good for one year of application, and will allow for any last-minute changes to location or actual wedding date due to weather or whatnot. Also, if you make any mistakes on your license, know that those can be corrected when you meet with the marriage license agent.
Do I have to meet with someone in person to get my license? How do I arrange this?
Yes, both members of the couple have to appear together, in person (NOW VIRTUAL; subject to change) after you arrive here in Hawaii, to meet with a marriage license agent in order to get your license. There is NO waiting time here in Hawaii, so know that you could literally drive from the marriage license agent's office to your ceremony, but giving yourself a little leeway is always advisable, if possible.
Here on the Big Island, Kona side, I have a marriage license agent that I send all of my people to, and you simply make an appointment to meet with her at some point prior to your wedding.
If you doing your wedding through a hotel, they often have a marriage license agent on site for their couples, or they will set you up with a marriage license agent off-site.
If you are visiting another Hawaiian island before getting married here on the Big Island, you may certainly visit a marriage license agent or go to a State office on any other island as well, since it is all the same state. Here is the link to the list of all marriage license agents in the State of Hawaii:
The marriage license agent I send all of my couples to is Andrea Bojorquez, and her office is near to the Kona airport. About a month before your wedding, you'll call or email her to set an appointment. Here is her contact information:
Phone: (808) 990-1929
You will then bring this license with you to your ceremony, and we'll sign it after you are married to make it official! Your job is then done. I will do the filing for you with the State of Hawaii, and you'll just wait for it in the mail from the State. (See below for how long it will take).
Will my Hawaii marriage certificate be valid at home?
If you are a U.S. citizen, getting married in Hawaii is the same as getting married in any other state. So rest assured, your Hawaii marriage certificate will be treated just the same as if you were to get married in your home town.
If you reside outside the U.S., your Hawaii marriage certificate will be treated however your country treats any marriage taking place in the United States. Some countries have a simple process and others have various forms that must be filled out. The marriage license agent that you will meet with to get the actual license is very versed in these things, and should be able to help you know what you do when you return home. However, I strongly recommend that you make calls to local offices or do a web search on your country's policies before deciding to get married "officially" here in Hawaii. Some couples simply find it easier to get it legally handled in their home country before coming for their ceremony here in Hawaii.
How long will it take to get my marriage certificate?
Honestly, this all depends on how busy the state is with weddings at the time, and whether there are any major holidays that will get in the way of a regular work week. As a wedding officiant, it is required that I submit your marriage license information online and electronically sign it within 48 hours of your wedding (I usually do it right when I get home). You should be able to reference the signed certificate using your marriage license number on the copy your marriage license agent gave you within 2 business days after your wedding. However, in terms of the State processing and mailing you your certificate, that usually takes between 2-6 weeks, sometimes less and sometimes more (especially if you are overseas).
Once you have your marriage certificate, you can go about the business of changing your name (if applicable), combining accounts, getting on insurance, etc.
And there we are! That covers the most common questions I receive, and will hopefully help you as you move forward on your journey to wed here in Hawaii!
If you have a question that is not covered here, or I receive one that I think would benefit the whole, please comment in the comment section below.
Sending Love and Aloha,
At Simple Kona Beach Weddings, we do something a bit different. We offer both small package and custom weddings and vow renewals right on the beach, from planning to officiating all in one swoop, while still allowing you to customize your day, while also offering full wedding planning and coordination for larger parties up to 35 (with occasional exceptions for larger groups).
Our goal is to provide warm, excellent communication from start to finish, and to help you make your day as special as you imagine it to be. I invite you to learn more about us and what we offer by checking out the rest of the website - from the About page, to the Pricing and Packages page, to Photos and Reviews...
And, of course, if you are interested in booking with us, and/or would like more information, please go to our Contact page to get in touch!
Becky Ringler is the owner and chief officiant, planner and coordinator for Simple Kona Beach Weddings.