How To Apply For A Marriage License In Iowa During COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus has really thrown a wrench in everything. I feel terrible for every couple who has had their wedding canceled or postponed. My fiance and I are still planning for our wedding on June 27th of this year. Planning a wedding is stressful enough but with the coronavirus, it's even more stressful. One of the things that have become a little more complicated to do when preparing for a wedding is applying for a marriage license.
Since my fiance and I are getting married in Iowa, we had to apply for a marriage license in Iowa. Applying for a marriage license has actually become easier over the years. You can fill out the applications online, print it off, and take it with you, your fiance and a "disinterested person" to the courthouse or administration building to be notarized and signed.
During this of the coronavirus pandemic, you no longer can simply walk in to the courthouse or administration building, pay the fee, sign the application and have it notarized. According to instructions told to me by the Scott County Recorder's Office, you will need to find someone who is a Notary to make the document official.
Before telling you where you can go to get an application notarized, let's walk through the steps on how to fill out the application so your application doesn't get rejected and you have to start all over.
FILL OUT APPLICATION
First, you'll need to fill out the application. Like I mentioned before, you can now fill out a marriage license application online so it's cleaner and legible.
This is what a correct application filled out looks like.
I created a few marks on here because these are common mistakes that people make, according to the Scott County Recorder's Office.
FOR PAGE 1
- Do not fill out the top left corner. That is for the Recorder's office.
- If the bride hasn't been married before, have her repeat her current last name twice.
- If the bride plans to change her last name after the marriage, she will need to indicate what her new last name will be after marriage.
- In the Notary Public section, DO NOT SIGN AND DATE UNTIL WITH A NOTARY, DISINTERESTED PERSON, AND BOTH PARTIES
FOR PAGE 2
- This disinterested person can be related but cannot be the Notary, bride or groom
- The disinterested person must NOT SIGN AND DATE UNTIL WITH A NOTARY
- Social security numbers for both parties are required but not public information
- There is a $35 application fee that you can pay for with a check or money order
Click here for the Iowa Marriage License Application.
GETTING THE APPLICATION NOTARIZED
Since most courthouses or administration buildings are closed to the public because of the coronavirus, you will need to have your application notarized.
- Mobile Notary Service
- Mobile notary services come to you, and make it easy to get documents signed and sealed. This could mean having a mobile notary travel to your home or workplace for convenience at a low cost.
- Bank Notaries
- Contact your bank to inquire about notary services, when they are available and how much they cost. Some banks will notarize documents free of charge if you have a bank account at that specific institution. Because of the coronavirus, the bank will have you use the drive-thru to have it notarized.
- Shipping Stores, Tax Offices, Courier Services Notaries
- Shipping stores like the UPS store or other package stores where they sell packing supplies and mail packages can also notarize a document. Printing stores that offer paper printing services, or even office supply stores. Tax preparation offices and services usually provide a notary service as well. The United States Postal Service CANNOT notarize a document because they are a federal agency.
- Real Estate/Law Offices Notaries
- Many legal and real estate offices have their own notary in-house. Some insurance offices can notarize a document too.
Before heading to your Notary Public make sure you have the following:
- A valid driver license or government issued I.D.
- Both parties wanting to marry
- A person over the age of 18 with a valid driver's license or government issued I.D. who is your selected "disinterested person"
- Money in case there is a fee with the Notary Public
DELIVERING YOUR APPLICATION
After your document is filled out, signed and notarized, you can finally send in your application and application fee.
When filling out the check, call your counties recorder's office to see who the check need to be made out to. For Scott County, the check needs to be made out to the "Scott County Recorder." The Scott County Recorder also asks that you include a note with your return address and a phone number to contact you in case of any issues.
Place your filled out and notarized application, the check or money order to cover the application fee, and the note with your return address in an envelope and seal it. You can either mail your application in, or at the Scott County Administration building, they have a "drop off box" right outside the front door.
If you plan to drop off the envelope, I recommend filling out the front of the envelope like you were mailing it. That would include your name and return address in the top left, and the office and address the envelope is intended for. That will make sure the envelope gets to the correct location for your application to be processed.
As elaborate as this seems, the only extra step is finding your own Notary to notarize the application. Once you have your application turned it, it doesn't take to long to process and approve (if filled out properly).
To everyone still attempting to get married during the coronavirus, good luck and congratulations to you and your significant other!