Minnesotans given continued flexibility in applying for marriage licenses

The Senate passed this week a bill that would give more time for Minnesotans to virtually apply for marriage licenses.

Usually at least one person in a couple applying for a marriage license must apply in person. An exception was made to this rule to allow counties to waive that requirement during peacetime emergencies in the COVID-19 response bill passed last April. That exception expired on January 15. As Minnesotans continue to work to avoid spreading COVID-19, the Legislature extended that expiration to May 31 of this year.

Applications can be accepted by mail, fax, or electronic filing, if the application is signed by both individuals and they’ve been examined under oath. Examination under oath may happen over video or audio, and both individuals have to attest to the legality of the marriage. Counties aren’t required to offer this, so individuals should check with their counties to see if it is an option.

The extension was made retroactively so license applications won’t be caught in the short window of time where this virtual application wasn’t available.

While the bill fixes one COVID-19-related bill set to expire, there are a number of other bills and provisions passed last spring that will also expire or have already expired that also need to be addressed. Senate DFLers continue to find ways to keep Minnesotans safe and help them carry on with their lives as we are all still feeling the effects of a global pandemic. (SF 26)