Marriage License 101

How to get a marriage license in Orleans and Jefferson parishes

Sometimes things just fall into place. The perfect dress, the perfect partner and, in the “Let Them Eat Cake” world, the perfect blog post.

While diving into the nitty gritty of another “LTEC” post, we realized there is some information we have not made readily available for you, dear readers. One of those items to cross of the list is a complete breakdown of how to obtain a marriage license in both Orleans Parish and in Jefferson Parish.

To some, this may seem a daunting task, but as long as you have a few of the key items that prove you are a living person according to the government, you should be OK.

First up:

Orleans Parish

To obtain a marriage license in Orleans Parish, both parties must present the following when requesting a license:

  • A current driver’s license, state-issued ID or up-to-date passport.
  • Certified birth certificates or birth cards for both parties
  • Social security cards for each
  • Copy of final divorce decree if one or both of the parties have previously been divorced.
  • Certified copy of death certificate is one or both involved are a widow/widower.

There is a fee to obtain a marriage license in Orleans Parish, which is $27.50, as well as a $5 fee for each additional copy of the marriage certificate that is desired.

Once approved for a marriage license in Orleans Parish, there is a 24-hour waiting period required by law between the issuing of the license and the official ceremony.

This waiting period can, however, be waived by the judges of the First or Second City Courts, who officiate the weddings, as well as a registered Orleans officiant if both parties reside outside of Louisiana and the services will occur in Orleans Parish by said registered Orleans officiant.

The Orleans Parish Marriage License office is located at Benson Tower at 1450 Poydras St. and is open from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.  For more information, click here.


Jefferson Parish.

The slightly larger younger sibling to Orleans Parish requires almost the same number of documents as New Orleans.

To obtain a marriage license in Jefferson Parish, a couple will need to present the following:

  • Social security cards/numbers
    • It’s noted that any applicants who do not have a social security number must provide a driver’s license, government-issued ID card, passport, visa from the U.S. State Department or a certificate of naturalization issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Birth Certificates for both parties
    • For applicants born outside of the U.S., they must provide a certified true copy of the birth certificate, certificate of birth abroad or certification of naturalization.
  • Status of Previous Marriage
    • Like Orleans Parish, if either applicant has been divorced or widowed there must be presented the exact date of death or divorce.
  • Fee (Cash, debit/credit card, money order, personal check, certified or cashiers check)
    • There is a $27.50 fee for obtaining a marriage license in Jefferson Parish, plus a $10 fee for any additional copy required.

Like any parish in Louisiana, there is a 24-hour waiting period between the obtaining of the license and the official ceremony, but it can be waived by a district judge or justice of the peace authorized to perform the marriage.  

The Marriage License Department can be contacted at (504) 364-2922 or (504) 364-2923 (West Bank) OR (504) 736-6390 (East Bank) or by emailing for more information.

There is additional information on Jefferson Parish Justices of the Peace, as well as police escorts for second lines or transportation to and from a ceremony and reception and any “genealogists” looking for marriage licenses pre 1951 here.

For each parish, you must be 18 years of age or older to obtain a marriage license without special judicial consent.

No matter your ceremony or reception details, each couple in the immediate Greater New Orleans area must go through a few legal hoops to official call your partner a spouse. So, get that on your to-do list and know that it’s as simple as these steps we’ve provided.

Jan 5 Bridal Show

The New Orleans Bride magazine Winter Bridal Show is set for Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, at The Higgins Hotel on Magazine Street.

The show is 6-8 p.m. Brides get free admission and tickets for guests are $25 in advance.

More information on the show and the hotel can be found at

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