While visiting our friends in the US on vacations we would like to get married there, but neither of us are citizens of the US.

Which states allowing same sex marriage in the US for two foreigners on vacation? I found lots of states which allows same-sex marriage for the US citizens, including: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington D.C., New York, Washington, Maine, Maryland, California, Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Illinois. But it is unclear is it possible to do get married in case we are both non-citizens (citizens for some other country, not the US)?

How long should it take (in each state) to do that (if there any waiting period between applying for marriage license)?

How much it'll cost (in each state) and which countries will recognize it abroad?

How to contact a government of a state to find out all the details and to receive "official statement" on the subject?

The same question regarding the UK is here.

  • Are these friends of yours in the US the same ones that are in the UK? Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 8:44
  • Does it netter?
    – Damien Boo
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 18:29
  • No, it doesn't. I just found it amusing that you posted two questions which are identical except for the country, and with the same seemingly extraneous information about friends. :) There's nothing wrong with just asking "Can we get married as tourists in the US/UK/Australia/Europe...?" Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 0:31
  • 2
    I feel that asking for a breakdown of costs, official contact info and more for every single state (50!) in the US, is far too broad. Nothing wrong with the question itself, I just feel it's not going to get answered if it's that big. If you perhaps start with which states as a question, and then when you get an answer, add a new question on say, costs or contact info. Then asking also which countries recgonise which states? That's seriously a book on its own :/
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 14:07
  • @PaulRichter I think it will be easier to maintain two (or more) questions for each Country, because it is totally different situation in each case. And yes we do have friends in both countries, and yes we considering both (actually more).
    – Damien Boo
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


In California, the two of you can show up in person at a county clerk office, apply for and receive a marriage license, and in many counties, be married by the clerk right there and then. You can also be married by an officiant such as a minister if you prefer.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego are three popular cities in which to get married, especially for same-sex couples. All three are in counties of the same name as the city.

A legal same-sex marriage performed in any U.S. state will be recognized by any U.S. state or foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriages.

See California Marriage License Information.

The "General Information" section states:

Both parties must appear in person and bring valid picture identification to the County Clerk’s Office to apply for a marriage license in California. Valid picture identification is one that contains a photograph, date of birth, and an issue and expiration date, such as a state issued identification card, drivers license, passport, military identification, etc. Some counties may also require a copy of your birth certificate.

If you have been married before, you will need to know the specific date your last marriage ended, and how it ended (Death, Dissolution, Divorce or Nullity). Some counties may require a copy of the final judgment if your previous marriage ended by dissolution or nullity.

Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. If you do not get married within 90 days, the license will no longer be valid. You must purchase a new license.

Many County Clerks in California perform civil marriage ceremonies in their offices. For further information regarding civil marriage ceremonies, please contact the County Clerk’s Office directly to see if they provide this service.

For more detailed information on California, see the information for the specific county. For example, in San Diego county, the fee is $70 and the county clerk will perform the marriage if you like.

Hawaii is also a popular state for marriages and also has no waiting period. For information, see the Hawaii marriage information page.

Delaware is an easy state to visit, being on the east coast roughly halfway between New York and Washington, D.C., and a popular state to visit because it has no sales tax, meaning purchases are effectively 5-10% less expensive. Depending on the currency exchange rate in effect, the savings by buying expensive goods (computers, watches, fashion) in Delaware might pay for a significant part of the trip. In Delaware, two non-residents can obtain a marriage license for $110, and be married by a county clerk 24 hours later for an additional $100. See the New Castle Country marriage license and ceremonies pages.

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