On October 1st , 2016, Deed of Trust fees will change. The new fee will be $64 for Deeds of Trust up to 35 pages in length. Additional pages will be subject to a $4 per page fee.

Marriage License
What is the cost of a Marriage License?
The fee for a marriage license is $60.00, payable by cash or debit card.

What are the hours we can apply for the license?
7:30am - 5:15pm Monday through Friday. Appointments required for 7:30 - 8:00am or 5:00pm times ONLY!

Can couples apply for a marriage license in Catawba County and get married in another county within North Carolina?
Yes. The marriage ceremony can be performed in any North Carolina county.

Is a premartial Physical required?
No. A physical examination is no longer required.

How long is the license valid?
It is valid as soon as it is issued and remains valid for sixty (60) days from date of issue.

Can you apply for a marriage license after the marriage ceremony has taken place?
No. A valid marriage license CANNOT be issued once the ceremony has been performed.

Can I complete my work sheet for a marriage license online?
The Register of Deeds is pleased to announce the ability for citizens to complete their Work Sheet For Preparation Of Marriage License online. The Work Sheet is Adobe Acrobat and will require you to have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software version 7.0 or greater installed on your computer in order to fill it out.

Just (click here) to begin this process. After reading the instructions click on the “Proceed to the application” button at the bottom of the page. Once completed submit the form using the “Click Here to E-Mail This Form to the Register of Deeds’ Office” button at the bottom of the form. If information is received you will get a notification by email. When both Bride and Groom come in to finalize their license, they will need to bring with them the required documentation and the printed version of the application that was submitted online. There is also a printable version of the Work Sheet for Preparation of Marriage License Form which you can print out and fill in by hand, and then bring to the Register of Deeds Office for processing.

What are the requirements to obtain a marriage license?
All Ages
  • Couples must personally appear at the Register of Deeds Office.
  • This should be done together, but if for hospitalization, prison, or military reasons either party is unable to appear, you will need to contact our office for further instructions.
  • Both must present in hand a physical issued valid picture ID card (driver's license, State ID or valid passport - it must include your date of birth and not be a copy). A Matricular Consular or an Instituto Federal Electoral can NO LONGER be accepted (NCGS: 15A-306/HB318).
  • Both must present a valid Social Security Number on an in hand physical issued Social Security Card or an official permanent record showing your SS# (see below list) or a notarized affidavit that indicates you are not eligible to receive a SS#.  If, and only if you are not eligible for SS #, you will need to provide an additional ID through an in hand physical Certified Birth Certificate, mentioned Affidavit and present in hand a physical issued valid picture ID that meets the same requirements as above.

  • These in hand physical documents will be considered as options to prove your SS#:
    • W-2 or Filed Tax Return (neither which can be more than 5 years old or an electronic copy);
    • Insurance card or a High School transcript with signature and title by authorized school official;
    • A letter or printout that states your SS# on letterhead from your bank with signature and title of bank official; or
    • The in hand physical printout of your electronic W-2 accompanied on letterhead from payroll stating this is your official W-2 with signature and title by authorized company official.

  • If either party is a NON-US Citizen, both parties are required to bring Birth Certificates.

    • In the State of North Carolina requires at least an uncertified copy.

  • If applicable, both will need to provide a stamped filed copy (does not have to be certified) of their last divorce judgment papers which are signed by the Clerk or Judge if filed by the Clerk or Judge in United States or a copy of death certificate of their previous spouse. Please NOTE if divorce took place prior to 1988 in NC, allow time for Clerk's Office to retrieve a copy from Raleigh and if recorded outside of the United States divorce papers and death record are required to be certified copies..
    • OUT OF STATE DEATH, then a CERTIFIED COPY is required. This only applies to your last marriage and is required regardless of how long ago this happened. You will find this change across the state because it's important and necessary to know that the divorce has been properly finalized. These documents can be found in the county and state or country that the death or divorce took place. Sorry for the inconvenience this will cause, but the following website will be able to assist you in locating your information.
    • IN the STATE of NORTH CAROLINA death certificates are recorded in Register of Deeds' Offices in which information can be found at http://www.ncard.us At the Welcome statement click on "please click here"
    • IN the STATE of NORTH CAROLINA divorces are recorded in the Clerk of Court's Office in which information can be found at http://www.nccourts.org/county click on the county you need and then to the left click on Court Telephone Directory.
    • OUT of STATE offices for either can be located at http://www.vitalrec.com
  • Hospital records or photocopies of required documents will not be accepted in place of original documents.

If you are 16 or 17 years of age, in addition:
  • You must present a certified Birth Certificate.
  • The parent or legal guardian must also be present and present legal documentation to prove that they are the parent or legal guardian. You may be required to produce certified copy of court orders.
If you are 14 or 15 years of age, in addition:
  • You are required by law to have a court order authorizing us to issue a marriage license.

Who can or is recognized in the state of North Carolina to perform our ceremony?
§ 51 1. Requisites of marriage; solemnization.
A valid and sufficient marriage is created by the consent of a male and female person who may lawfully marry, presently to take each other as husband and wife, freely, seriously and plainly expressed by each in the presence of the other, either:
  1. a. In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate; and
  2. b. With the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the persons are husband and wife; or
  3. In accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, or federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe.
Or feel free to read the following article by Janet Mason, NC School of Government. http://ncinfo.iog.unc.edu/pubs/electronicversions/pg/pgwin06/article3.pdf

After obtaining a marriage license, who do I speak with about a civil ceremony?
The Justice of the Peace is the Magistrate in North Carolina. You may want to verify fee and schedule an appointment with either office, Newton (828)695-6119 or Hickory (828)327-9093.

Who may obtain a Certified Copy of a Marriage Certificate?
According to NCGS 130A-93(c) & 130A-99 the certificate must be for:
  • Self
  • Spouse
  • Parent/Step-parent
  • Brother/Sister, Step-brother/sister
  • Child/Step-child/Grandchild
  • Grandparent
  • Funeral Services Director/licensee
  • Any person seeking information for legal determination of personal/property right (proof required)
  • An authorized agent, attorney, or legal representative of the applicant (proof required)

What are acceptable forms of identification?
  • A Driver's License with photograph.
  • State issued Identification Card
  • Passport
  • Military Identification Card with photograph
  • Agents, attorneys or legal representatives must also furnish documentation of authority in order to receive a certified certificate for an individual.

What is the cost of a Marriage Certificate?
Certificates are $10.00 per certified copy. Uncertified copies are $0.50 if you come into the office or $1.00 by mail payable through money orders made payable to Catawba County Register of Deeds. Uncertified copies of all vital records are open to public inspection. Cash or debit cards are accepted when a request is made in person.

How can I obtain a Marriage Certificate?
Click here and follow the instructions to submit and pay by major credit/debit cards for a Marriage Record Request online.

  • For the protection of the record you are requesting YOU MUST download, email or fax a LEGIBLE copy of your ID or you will be DENIED if requesting a certified copy
  • You will be REQUIRED to do one of the above with your ID before your request will be processed so please make sure to follow instructions all the way through until this has been completed if requesting a certified copy.
  • You pay online, BUT your request will be mailed out via regular mail to the address of the REQUESTOR which meets North Carolina statute requirements.
  • Fees for Certified copies are $10.00 each and REQUIRES an ID
  • Fee for Uncertified copies are $1.00 each.
  • Additional fees will apply and are noted by Courthouse Computer Systems

Submit a written request to include:
  • The groom's | applicant#1 full name;
  • The bride's | applicant #2 full name;
  • The bride's | either applicants full maiden name;
  • Date of marriage; or
  • you may go online for an electronic format that can be printed and filled in
    or completed on line and printed, click here.
  • En espanol, haga clic aqui.

You have the option to complete the form online before printing a hard copy or print the blank form and complete by hand; be sure to complete the REQUIRED section. We must have the requestor’s signature and relationship to the person named on the certificate whether on our application or by a written request. Include a copy of your picture ID and send a self addressed stamped envelope. Only the persons named on the marriage certificate or immediate family members may request marriage certificates. See the above list.

  • You can use the above mentioned form or fill out one upon arrival and present a valid picture ID.

What's the procedure for changing to my married name?
You will need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage license and apply at the Social Security Office for a new card. After 24 hours you may present the same certificate to the DMV to apply for a new driver's license.

How do I file separation papers?
It is advisable to see an attorney to initiate the process. Both parties are required to sign and the document must be properly notarized.

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