Polk County Recorder's Office
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MARRIAGE FAQ

  1. Do we need a blood test to get married?
  2. Can a marriage license be applied for in Polk County if the marriage ceremony is to take place in a different county?
  3. We would like to apply for a marriage license but do not wish our names or ages to be published in the Des Moines newspaper, can this be avoided?
  4. Who is legally able to perform a marriage ceremony in the state of Iowa?
  5. My fiancé is not living in Iowa.  How can we complete the application process?
  6. Can we change our names?
  7. What is the legal waiting period for remarrying after a divorce?
  8. I want to find out if someone has applied for a marriage license, and if they got married.  How can I get this information?
  9. I cannot remember my date of marriage.  Can you give this to me?
  10. Does your office handle Common Law Marriages?

 


Do we need a blood test to get married ... ?

No.

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Can a marriage license be applied for in Polk County if the marriage ceremony is to take place in a different county ... ?

Yes, the license is valid in any county in the state of Iowa.

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We would like to apply for a marriage license but do not wish our names or ages to be published in the Des Moines newspaper, can this be avoided ... ?

Our records are a matter of public record, therefore we are legally obligated to furnish the names of applicants to any one requesting it. However, you may apply in another county and avoid your name being published in a local news publication. Your record must list your actual age and state of birth, but we can substitute the word “legal” for publication purposes.

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Who is legally able to perform a marriage ceremony in the state of Iowa ... ?

A leader of a religious institution or an Associate District or District Judge. For a list of Judges in Polk County, click here.  The fees and availability for each Judge may vary.  For more Officiant Information click here.

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My fiancé is not living in Iowa.  How can we complete the application process ... ?

The application can be mailed to your fiancé and notarized locally. The waiting period of 3 business days begins once the application is complete and received in our office with the appropriate fee. Please include a daytime phone number with the return of your application and fee.

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Can we change our names ... ?

Yes, in fact, a marriage provides the opportunity to legally change your name. Because of this, it is important to complete the application correctly and in full. Do not use initials or nick names unless you wish them to become your legal name.

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What is the legal waiting period for remarrying after a divorce ... ?

None. A marriage can take place at any time once a divorce is final. However, you may not apply for the marriage license until the divorce is final.

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I want to find out if someone has applied for a marriage license, and if they got married.  How can I get this information ... ?

We are unable to provide any information concerning our records via telephone. We can search our records if you come into our office. We will need the bride or groom's name and an approximate date they may have applied.

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I cannot remember my date of marriage.  Can you give this to me ... ?

If you applied for the license in Polk County, we may have your record. We can search our records if you come into the office. We will need an approximate date of marriage.

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Does your office handle Common Law Marriages ... ?

No.  For more information contact the Polk County Clerk of Court at 515-286-3845.

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