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Maryland Marriage Laws

All marriage laws in Maryland – Solemnization of marriage, marriage license, same sex marriage, and more.

§ 2-406

Performance of ceremony
(a) Authorized officials.-

(1) In this subsection, “judge” means:

(i) a judge of the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, or the Court of Appeals;

(ii) a judge approved under Article IV, § 3A of the Maryland Constitution and § 1-302 of the Courts Article for recall and assignment to the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, or the Court of Appeals;

(iii) a judge of a United States District Court, a United States Court of Appeals, or the United States Tax Court; or

(iv) a judge of a state court if the judge is active or retired but eligible for recall.

(2) A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by:

(i) any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony;

(ii) any clerk;

(iii) any deputy clerk designated by the county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county; or

(iv) a judge.

(b) Period during which ceremony may be performed.- Within 6 months after a license becomes effective, any authorized official may perform the marriage ceremony of the individuals named in the license.

(c) Performance by unauthorized individual prohibited; penalty.-

(1) An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony unless the individual is authorized to perform a marriage ceremony under subsection (a) of this section.

(2) An individual who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500.

(d) Performance between individuals within prohibited degrees prohibited; penalty.-

(1) An individual may not knowingly perform a marriage ceremony between individuals who are prohibited from marrying under § 2-202 of this title.

(2) An individual who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500.

(e) Performance without license prohibited; penalty.-

(1) An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony without a license that is effective under this subtitle.

(2) An individual who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500.

(f) Ceremony performed by a clerk or deputy clerk.- The county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county shall designate:

(1) when and where the clerk or deputy clerk may perform a marriage ceremony; and

(2) the form of the marriage ceremony to be recited by the clerk or deputy clerk and the parties being married.

(g) Forms of religious ceremonies.- This section does not affect the right of any religious denomination to perform a marriage ceremony in accordance with the rules and customs of the denomination.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2. Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 27, §§ 392, 394; art. 62, §§ 3A, 4, 15; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 1999, ch. 336, § 2; 2002, ch. 207; 2004, ch. 199; 2009, ch. 324.]

§ 2-101

Definitions
(a) In general.- In this title the following words have the meanings indicated.

(b) Authorized official.- “Authorized official” means an individual authorized by the laws of this State to perform a marriage ceremony.

(c) Clerk.- “Clerk” means a clerk of the circuit court for a county.

(d) License.- “License” means a license to marry issued in this State.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 1: Definitions
[1984, ch. 296, § 2.]

§ 2-201

Valid marriages
(a) Construction. — This section may not be construed to invalidate any other provision of this title.

(b) In general. — Only a marriage between two individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from marrying is valid in this State.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 2: Valid Marriages; Void Marriages
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, § 1; 1984, ch. 296, § 2.]

§ 2-202

Marriages within certain degrees of relationship void; penalties
(a) In general.- Any marriage performed in this State that is prohibited by this section is void.

(b) Marriages within 3 degrees of direct lineal consanguinity or within first degree of collateral consanguinity prohibited; penalties.-

(1) A man may not marry his:

(i) grandmother;

(ii) mother;

(iii) daughter;

(iv) sister; or

(v) granddaughter.

(2) A woman may not marry her:

(i) grandfather;

(ii) father;

(iii) son;

(iv) brother; or

(v) grandson.

(3) An individual who violates any provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $1,500.

(c) Certain marriages within other degrees of affinity or consanguinity prohibited; penalties.-

(1) A man may not marry his:

(i) grandfather’s wife;

(ii) wife’s grandmother;

(iii) father’s sister;

(iv) mother’s sister;

(v) stepmother;

(vi) wife’s mother;

(vii) wife’s daughter;

(viii) son’s wife;

(ix) grandson’s wife;

(x) wife’s granddaughter;

(xi) brother’s daughter; or

(xii) sister’s daughter.

(2) A woman may not marry her:

(i) grandmother’s husband;

(ii) husband’s grandfather;

(iii) father’s brother;

(iv) mother’s brother;

(v) stepfather;

(vi) husband’s father;

(vii) husband’s son;

(viii) daughter’s husband;

(ix) husband’s grandson;

(x) brother’s son;

(xi) sister’s son; or

(xii) granddaughter’s husband.

(3) An individual who violates any provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 2: Valid Marriages; Void Marriages
[An. Code 1957, art. 27, §§ 390, 391; art. 62, §§ 1, 2; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 2002, ch. 424.]

§ 2-301

Marriage of individual 16 or 17 years old; marriage of individual under the age of 16 years
(a) Marriage of individual 16 or 17 years old.- An individual 16 or 17 years old may not marry unless:

(1) the individual has the consent of a parent or guardian and the parent or guardian swears that the individual is at least 16 years old; or

(2) if the individual does not have the consent of a parent or guardian, either party to be married gives the clerk a certificate from a licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner stating that the physician or nurse practitioner has examined the woman to be married and has found that she is pregnant or has given birth to a child.

(b) Marriage of individual 15 years old.- An individual 15 years old may not marry unless:

(1) the individual has the consent of a parent or guardian; and

(2) either party to be married gives the clerk a certificate from a licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner stating that the physician or nurse practitioner has examined the woman to be married and has found that she is pregnant or has given birth to a child.

(c) Marriage of individual under the age of 15 years.- An individual under the age of 15 may not marry.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 3: Marriage of Certain Minors
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, § 9; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 1999, ch. 231; 2008, chs. 232, 233.]

§ 2-302

Penalties
A person who violates any provision of this subtitle is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $250.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 3: Marriage of Certain Minors
[An Code 1957, art. 62, § 11; 1984, ch. 296, § 2.]

§ 2-401

License required; penalty
(a) License required.- An individual may not marry in this State without a license issued by the clerk for the county in which the marriage is performed.

(b) Penalty.- Any individual who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $100.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 27, § 395; art. 62, § 4; 1984, ch. 296, § 2.]

§ 2-402

Application for license
(a) When and where made.- An applicant for a license may apply to the clerk only at the office of the clerk during regular office hours.

(b) Information required.- Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, to apply for a license, 1 of the parties to be married shall:

(1) appear before the clerk and give, under oath, the following information, which shall be placed on an application form by the clerk:

(i) the full name of each party;

(ii) the place of residence of each party;

(iii) the age of each party;

(iv) whether the parties are related by blood or marriage and, if so, in which degree of relationship;

(v) the marital status of each party; and

(vi) whether either party was married previously, and the date and place of each death or judicial determination that ended any former marriage;

(2) sign the application form; and

(3) provide the clerk with the Social Security number of each party who has a Social Security number.

(c) Social Security numbers.- The Social Security numbers of the parties:

(1) shall be included in the electronic file for the marriage license application; and

(2) except as provided in § 10-617 of the State Government Article, may not be disclosed as part of the public record of the marriage license application.

(d) Parties not residents of county.- If the parties to be married are not residents of the county where the marriage ceremony is to be performed, the clerk shall accept, instead of the application specified in subsection (b) of this section, an affidavit from 1 of the parties to be married. The affidavit shall:

(1) contain the information required by subsection (b) of this section; and

(2) be sworn to under oath before a clerk or other comparable official in the county, state, province, or country where the party resides.

(e) Cecil County.- In Cecil County both parties to be married shall appear together before the clerk to apply for a license.

(f) Disclosure of application for license prohibited.- Until a license becomes effective, a clerk may not disclose the fact that an application for a license has been made except to the parent or guardian of a party to be married.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, §§ 6, 7; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 1988, ch. 123, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 22, § 1; 1997, ch. 609, § 1; 1999, ch. 336, § 2; 2003, ch. 120; 2004, ch. 25.]

§ 2-403

Forms of license and certificates

(a) Form of license.-

(1) A license shall read substantially as follows:




“State of Maryland and County of ……….. To any individual authorized by the laws of this State to perform a marriage ceremony. You are hereby authorized to join together in matrimony according to the rules and ceremonies of your church, society or religious sect and the laws of this State, or according to the laws of this State, the following individuals:




……………………………………………………..



(state here name of intended husband)




……………………………………………………..



(state here name of intended wife)


Given under my hand and seal of the Circuit Court for …………., this ……….. day of ……………… (state here month and year).”
(2) A license shall contain:

(i) appropriate spaces in which the clerk shall enter:

1. the relationship of the parties to be married, if any; and

2. as to each party, the name, age, state or foreign country in which born, residence, and marital status (single, widowed, or divorced); and

(ii) a statement that the license is valid only:

1. for 6 months from the effective date and time stated on the license; and

2. in the county in which it is issued.

(b) Certificate forms.-

(1) Attached to a license shall be 2 certificate forms that:



(i) read, “I hereby certify that on this ………… day of …………. (state here month and year), …….. (state here time), at ………….. (state here location), in accordance with the license issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court for …………….. (state here jurisdiction), I united in marriage the following individuals:




……………………………………………………..



(state here name of husband)




……………………………………………………..



(state here name of wife)”;
(ii) restate all information concerning the individuals married that is stated on the marriage license; and

(iii) provide a space for the signature of the authorized official who performs the marriage ceremony.

(2) Attached to a license, in the case of a Society of Friends marriage ceremony, shall be 2 certificate forms that:



(i) read, “We hereby certify that on this ………. day of ……….. (state here month and year), …….. (state here time), at ……….. (state here location), we, …………… (state here name of husband) and …………… (state here name of wife) were united in marriage in accordance with the ceremony of the Society of Friends and in accordance with the license issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court for …….. (state here jurisdiction)”;
(ii) restate all information concerning the individuals married that is stated on the marriage license; and

(iii) provide spaces for the signatures of the parties and the 2 overseers of the marriage ceremony.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, §§ 4, 5; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 1988, ch. 123, § 2; 1999, ch. 336, § 2; 2000, ch. 61; 2003, ch. 120.]

§ 2-404

Fees for licenses
(a) License fee.-

(1) The fee for a license is $10.

(2) The clerk shall:

(i) retain $5 of the fee; and

(ii) pay $5 of the fee into the general fund of the county.

(3) (i) A party to be married may obtain a replacement for a valid marriage license while the license is valid.

(ii) The fee for a replacement license is $10, payable into the General Fund of the State.

(b) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Authorized.- Except as otherwise provided in this section:

(1) any county or group of 2 or more counties may set an additional fee of up to $25 for each license; and

(2) the proceeds shall be used to fund domestic violence programs.

(c) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Anne Arundel County.- In Anne Arundel County:

(1) the County Council may set by ordinance an additional fee of up to $45 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the general fund of the county each month; and

(3) the County Council shall distribute the proceeds to promote or fund domestic violence programs.

(d) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Baltimore City.- In Baltimore City:

(1) the Mayor and City Council shall set by resolution an additional fee of up to $75 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the Mayor and City Council each month; and

(3) the proceeds shall be used to fund domestic violence programs that have 24-hour intake ability.

(e) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Baltimore County.- In Baltimore County:

(1) in addition to the fee authorized under subsection (b)(1) of this section, the County Council may set by resolution an additional fee of up to $15 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the Director of Finance of the county each month;

(3) the proceeds, in addition to designated federal, State, and county funds, shall be used to fund battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs established under Title 4, Subtitle 5 of this article; and

(4) the County Executive shall prepare and make available an annual report on or before December 1 of each year on the disposition of fees collected under this subsection during the previous fiscal year.

(f) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Calvert County.- In Calvert County:

(1) the Board of County Commissioners may set an additional fee of up to $55 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the County Commissioners each month; and

(3) the proceeds shall be used to fund battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs in Calvert County.

(g) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Cecil County.- In Cecil County:

(1) the Board of County Commissioners shall set an additional fee of $20 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the County Treasurer each month;

(3) the proceeds in addition to designated federal funds and county funds shall be given to the Cecil County Department of Social Services Advisory Board to be used to fund battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs; and

(4) the Cecil County Department of Social Services Advisory Board shall prepare and make available to the Board of County Commissioners an annual report on or before December 1 of each year of the disposition of fees collected under this subsection during the previous fiscal year.

(h) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Charles County.- In Charles County:

(1) the Board of County Commissioners may set an additional fee of up to $35 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the County Commissioners each month; and

(3) the proceeds shall be used to fund domestic violence programs located in Charles County.

(i) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Frederick County.- In Frederick County:

(1) the Board of County Commissioners may set an additional fee, in an amount not to exceed $65, for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the County Commissioners each month; and

(3) the proceeds, in addition to designated federal, State, and county funds, shall be used to fund domestic violence programs established under Title 4, Subtitle 5 of this article.

(j) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Garrett County.- In Garrett County:

(1) the Board of County Commissioners may set an additional fee of up to $40 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the County Commissioners each month; and

(3) the proceeds shall be used to fund domestic violence programs in Garrett County.

(k) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Harford County.- In Harford County:

(1) the County Council may set by resolution an additional fee of up to $40 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall:

(i) retain 3% of the proceeds from the additional fee for processing;

(ii) pay $5 of the proceeds from each license to the Harford County Sexual Assault/Spousal Abuse Resource Center, Inc.; and

(iii) pay the remaining proceeds to the Treasurer of Harford County each month;

(3) the county:

(i) shall use the proceeds, in addition to designated federal, State, and county funds, to fund battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs; and

(ii) may make in-kind contributions to battered spouse and domestic violence programs; and

(4) the County Executive shall prepare and make available an annual report on or before December 1 of each year on the disposition of fees collected under this subsection during the previous fiscal year.

(l) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Howard County.- In Howard County:

(1) the County Council may set by resolution an additional fee of up to $50 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the Director of Finance of the county each month;

(3) the proceeds, in addition to designated federal, State, and county funds, shall be used to fund battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs established under Title 4, Subtitle 5 of this article; and

(4) the County Executive shall prepare and make available an annual report on or before December 1 of each year on the disposition of fees collected under this subsection during the previous fiscal year.

(m) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Montgomery County.- In Montgomery County:

(1) the County Council may set by resolution an additional fee of up to $45 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the Director of Finance of the county each month;

(3) the proceeds, in addition to designated federal, State, and county funds, shall be used to fund battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs; and

(4) the County Executive shall prepare and make available an annual report on or before December 1 of each year on the disposition of fees collected under this subsection during the previous fiscal year.

(n) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Prince George’s County.- In Prince George’s County:

(1) the County Council may set by resolution an additional fee of up to $60 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the Director of Finance of the county, who shall distribute the proceeds to the Family Crisis Center of Prince George’s County each month;

(3) if the Family Crisis Center of Prince George’s County changes its name or objectives or ceases to exist, the proceeds, in addition to designated federal, State, and county funds, shall be used to fund battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs; and

(4) the County Executive shall prepare and make available an annual report on or before December 1 of each year on the disposition of fees collected under this subsection during the previous fiscal year.

(o) Additional license fee for battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs – Washington County.- In Washington County:

(1) the Board of County Commissioners may set an additional fee of up to $50 for each license;

(2) the clerk shall pay the proceeds from the additional fee to the County Commissioners each month; and

(3) the proceeds shall be used to fund battered spouse shelters and domestic violence programs in Washington County.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, § 14; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 1985, ch. 230; 1986, ch. 227; 1987, chs. 176, 254, 260; 1988, ch. 6, § 1; 1992, ch. 355; 1993, ch. 109, § 1; ch. 111; ch. 468, § 1; ch. 511, § 1; chs. 572, 585; 1994, ch. 32; 1995, ch. 454; 1996, ch. 10, § 1; 1997, chs. 347, 374; 1999, ch. 336, §§ 1, 2; 2000, ch. 172, §§ 1, 2; 2005, ch. 25, § 1; 2006, ch. 566; 2007, ch. 247; 2010, ch. 288.]

§ 2-404.1

Premarital preparation course
(a) Marriage license fee discount.-

(1) A county may discount a marriage license fee under § 2-404(a) of this subtitle if the couple to be married has completed, within 1 year before the date of the application for the license, a premarital preparation course that meets the requirements specified in this section.

(2) The amount of any discount shall be determined by the county governing body.

(b) Course description.- A premarital preparation course shall:

(1) include instruction regarding:

(i) conflict management;

(ii) communication skills;

(iii) financial responsibilities; and

(iv) children and parenting responsibilities; and

(2) consist of at least 4 hours of instruction.

(c) Authorized instructors.- A premarital preparation course may be conducted by:

(1) a clinical professional counselor or a clinical marriage and family therapist licensed under Title 17, Subtitle 3A of the Health Occupations Article;

(2) a psychologist licensed under Title 18 of the Health Occupations Article;

(3) a social worker licensed under Title 19 of the Health Occupations Article;

(4) an official representative of a religious institution if the representative has relevant training; or

(5) any other qualified provider approved by a county governing body.

(d) Instructor registration affidavit.-

(1) A premarital preparation course provider shall register with the clerk by filing a written affidavit containing:

(i) the provider’s name, address, and telephone number;

(ii) a summary of the provider’s qualifications and training; and

(iii) a statement that the provider shall comply with the course requirements specified in this section.

(2) The clerk may establish a roster of area premarital preparation course providers, including those who offer the course on a sliding fee scale or for free.

(e) Certificate of completion.-

(1) A premarital preparation course provider shall provide to each couple who completes the course a certificate of completion that specifies:

(i) the names of the couple;

(ii) the name of the provider; and

(iii) the date of completion of the course.

(2) To receive a discounted marriage license fee under this section, an applicant for a license shall verify completion of a premarital preparation course by filing with the clerk a valid certificate of course completion issued in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(f) Cost.- Any cost for a premarital preparation course shall be paid by the applicant for a marriage license.

(g) Domestic violence programs.- The discount authorized by this section may not be applied to any fee used to fund domestic violence programs.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[2001, ch. 635.]

§ 2-405

Issuance of license
(a) Clerk to issue license.- The clerk for the county in which a marriage ceremony is to be performed may issue and deliver a license at the time the application is made.

(b) When and where issued.- A license may be issued only at the office of the clerk during regular office hours.

(c) Receipt of consent, oath, and certificate; contents of record; sealing certificate.-

(1) If either party to be married is known to be of an age where the parental or guardian’s consent and oath, or the licensed physician’s certificate, required by § 2-301 of this title, is required, the clerk shall obtain the consent and oath or the certificate before issuing the license.

(2) (i) The clerk’s record required under this title shall include:

1. the consent and oath required by § 2-301 of this title, if written; or

2. the fact that consent was given and an oath was made, if given and made in person.

(ii) The licensed physician’s certificate required by § 2-301 of this title may not be made a part of the clerk’s record.

(3) After an individual has been issued a license in accordance with the provisions of this subtitle, the clerk who issued the license shall seal the licensed physician’s certificate. Except on order of the court, the licensed physician’s certificate shall remain sealed.

(d) Waiting period.-

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a license is not effective until 6 a.m. on the second calendar day after the license is issued.

(2) For good cause shown, a judge of the circuit court for the county in which the application is made may sign an authorization for a license to become effective at a time before the waiting period expires, as stated in the authorization, if 1 of the parties to be married is:

(i) a resident of this State; or

(ii) a member of the United States armed forces.

(e) Clerk authorized to withhold license.- If, during the questioning of an applicant for a license, the clerk finds that there is a legal reason why the applicants should not be married, the clerk shall withhold the license unless ordered by the court to issue the license.

(f) To whom license may be mailed or delivered.- A license may be delivered personally or by mail to:

(1) either of the parties to be married; or

(2) any person authorized in writing by either of the parties to accept delivery.

(g) Birth control information and lists of family clinics.-

(1) The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shall provide to each clerk:

(i) birth control information; and

(ii) a list of the family planning clinics located in the county where the license is issued.

(2) When the clerk issues a license, the clerk shall make the information and list available to each applicant for a license.

(h) Prohibitions and penalties.-

(1) A clerk may not predate an application for a license.

(2) A clerk who violates any provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject:

(i) for a first offense, to a fine not exceeding $100; and

(ii) for each subsequent offense, to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, §§ 6, 7, 7A, 7B, 9, 10, 12; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 1985, ch. 478, § 1; 1999, ch. 336, § 2.]

§ 2-407

False statements
(a) Prohibited.- An individual may not knowingly make any material false statement to obtain or to help another individual to obtain a license or marriage ceremony in violation of this title or of any order of court under § 2-405 of this subtitle.

(b) Violation constitutes perjury.- An individual who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of perjury.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, § 11; 1984, ch. 296, § 2.]

§ 2-408

Solicitation of individuals contemplating marriage; advertising in solicitation of marriages
(a) Prohibited acts.- An authorized official may not give or offer to give any reward to any person as an inducement to direct to the authorized official any individual who is contemplating marriage.

(b) Penalties.- An authorized official who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $50 for each offense.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 27, §§ 396, 397; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 2003, ch. 70.]

§ 2-409

Signing and disposition of marriage certificates
(a) Signing of certificate.- Each marriage certificate shall contain:

(1) the name, signature, and title of the authorized official who performs the marriage ceremony; or

(2) if the individuals are married in a Society of Friends marriage ceremony, the signatures of the individuals and the attestation of the certificate by 2 overseers of the marriage ceremony.

(b) Disposition of certificates.-

(1) The authorized official who performs the marriage ceremony shall:

(i) hand 1 marriage certificate to the individuals; and

(ii) return, within 5 days from the date of the marriage ceremony, the other marriage certificate to the clerk who issued the license to which the certificates were attached, but if the authorized official who performs the marriage ceremony dies or resigns, some other individual shall return the certificate.

(2) If the individuals are married in a Society of Friends marriage ceremony, they:

(i) may keep 1 marriage certificate; and

(ii) within 5 days from the date of the marriage ceremony, shall return the other marriage certificate to the clerk who issued the license to which the certificates were attached.

(c) Duty of clerk when certificate not returned.- If the marriage certificate is not returned within 6 months after the date on which the license becomes effective, the clerk who issued the license shall attempt to determine whether the marriage ceremony was performed and, if so, the name of the authorized official who performed the marriage ceremony.

(d) Disposition of certificates required; penalty.-

(1) An individual who performs a marriage ceremony or who is married in a Society of Friends marriage ceremony may not violate the provisions of subsection (b)(1)(ii) or (2)(ii) of this section.

(2) An individual who violates any provision of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine in an amount that the court considers appropriate.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, §§ 4, 5, 15; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 1999, ch. 336, § 2.]

§ 2-410

Receipt and disposition of clerk’s or deputy clerk’s fee for performing marriage ceremony
(a) Fee and disposition of funds.-

(1) Except as provided in this subsection, a judge, clerk, or deputy clerk may not receive any fee, remuneration, or gift for performing a marriage ceremony.

(2) (i) 1. A Maryland judge’s fee for performing a marriage ceremony is a nonrefundable fee, payable to the clerk before a marriage license is issued, in the amount of $30 in Cecil County and $25 in any other county.

2. The clerk’s or deputy clerk’s fee for performing a marriage ceremony is $30 in Cecil County and $25 in any other county.

(ii) Each month the clerk shall pay $10 of each fee collected under this section into the general fund of the county.

(iii) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the clerk shall retain the remainder of each fee and deposit and disburse it in the same manner as other fees collected by the clerk.

(3) In Allegany County, from the remaining $15, the clerk shall pay, quarterly, $2 of each fee to the Allegany County Historical Society.

(4) (i) In Anne Arundel County, from the remaining $15, the clerk shall pay $4 of each fee to the Annarrundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc.

(ii) The Annarrundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc. shall report annually to the Anne Arundel County Executive and the Maryland Historical Trust on the use of all funds received under this section, including a detailed record of the expenditures and receipts of all funds transferred from the Anne Arundel County Committee of the Historical Trust.

(iii) The Anne Arundel County Executive or the Maryland Historical Trust may request at any time an audit of the financial records of the Annarrundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc.

(5) (i) In Baltimore County, the clerk shall pay the remaining $15 to the Baltimore County Historical Trust, Inc.

(ii) The Baltimore County Historical Trust, Inc. shall report annually to the Baltimore County Executive and the Maryland Historical Trust on the use of all funds received under this section, including a detailed record of the expenditures and receipts of all funds collected before July 1, 1987.

(iii) The Baltimore County Executive or the Maryland Historical Trust may request at any time an audit of the financial records of the Baltimore County Historical Trust, Inc.

(6) In Cecil County:

(i) of the funds remaining after the payment into the general fund of the county under paragraph (2)(ii) of this subsection, the clerk shall pay:

1. $5 of each fee to the Cecil Historical Trust, Incorporated; and

2. $5 of each fee to the Historical Society of Cecil County;

(ii) the Historical Society of Cecil County shall report annually to the Cecil County Commissioners on the use of the funds received under this section;

(iii) the Cecil Historical Trust, Incorporated shall report annually to the Cecil County Commissioners and the Maryland Historical Trust on the use of all funds received under this section, including a detailed record of the expenditures and receipts of all funds transferred from the Cecil County Committee of the Maryland Historical Trust; and

(iv) the Cecil County Commissioners or the Maryland Historical Trust may request at any time an audit of the financial records of the Cecil Historical Trust, Incorporated.

(7) In Garrett County, from the remaining $15, the clerk shall pay $5 of each fee to the Garrett County Historical Society.

(8) In Montgomery County, from the remaining $15, the clerk shall pay:

(i) $2 of each fee to the Montgomery County Historical Society, Incorporated; and

(ii) $3 of each fee into the fund for the enhancement and beautification of the Montgomery County Courthouse and facilities.

(9) (i) In Prince George’s County, from the remaining $15, the clerk shall pay $3 of each fee to Prince George’s Heritage, Inc.

(ii) Prince George’s Heritage, Inc. shall report annually to the Prince George’s County Executive and the Maryland Historical Trust on the use of all funds received under this section, including a detailed record of the expenditures and receipts of all funds collected before July 1, 1987.

(iii) The Prince George’s County Executive or the Maryland Historical Trust may request at any time an audit of the financial records of Prince George’s Heritage, Inc.

(10) In Harford County, from the remaining $15, the clerk shall pay $10 of each fee to the Historical Society of Harford County, Inc.

(b) Disposition of funds required; penalty.-

(1) A clerk or deputy clerk may not violate any provision of this section.

(2) A clerk or deputy clerk who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of neglect of duty and on conviction is subject to removal from office.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, § 3A; 1984, ch. 296, § 2; 1985, ch. 478, § 1; 1986, chs. 80, 862; 1987, ch. 180; 1996, ch. 10, § 1; 1997, ch. 347; 1998, ch. 275; 2004, ch. 25, § 6; ch. 199; 2006, ch. 582.]

§ 2-501

Marriage license book
Each clerk shall keep in the clerk’s office a marriage license book, which shall contain:

(1) a complete record of each license issued;

(2) a complete record of all matters the clerk is required to ascertain that relate to the rights of an individual to obtain a license;

(3) in regular order, the items testified to by the applicants for a license as required under this title;

(4) properly indexed, the name of each individual who intends to be married; and

(5) the date each certificate was filed and the name of the authorized official who performed the ceremony.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 5: Records
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, § 8; 1984, ch. 296, § 2.]

§ 2-502

Foreign marriage record book; certificate of records
(a) “Foreign marriage” defined.- In this section, “foreign marriage” means a marriage ceremony:

(1) performed outside this State; and

(2) in which 1 or both of the parties were or are citizens of this State.

(b) Foreign marriage record book.- Each clerk shall keep a foreign marriage record book in the clerk’s office. The clerk shall record a foreign marriage when presented with either:

(1) a certificate of marriage signed by the individual who performed the marriage ceremony; or

(2) an official certified copy of a marriage record.

(c) Certificate of foreign marriage.- On request, the clerk shall provide, under the seal of the court, certification of a foreign marriage in the same manner as the clerk issues certification of a marriage ceremony performed in this State.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 5: Records
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, § 19; 1984, ch. 296, § 2.]

§ 2-503

Reports to Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene; duplication of records
(a) Reports to Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene – Required.- At the intervals that the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene sets, each clerk shall send to the Secretary:

(1) a copy of the record of each marriage that the clerk licenses and records;

(2) a report of each divorce that the court grants;

(3) a report of each annulment of a marriage that the court:

(i) grants; or

(ii) effects by entering a conviction of bigamy or of marrying within any prohibited degree; and

(4) a report of any change in a marriage, divorce, or annulment record, in which the clerk shall certify that the change is correct and conforms to the corresponding record of the clerk.

(b) Reports to Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene – Form.- The report of a divorce or annulment or of a change in a marriage, divorce, or annulment record shall be made on the form that the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene provides.

(c) Duplication of marriage records by Secretary.-

(1) The Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene may make photostatic, photographic, or microphotographic copies of the original marriage records of a clerk.

(2) The Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene may not remove any original marriage record from the custody of the clerk.

(3) The Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene shall:

(i) make the copies in a manner that does not interfere with the orderly transaction of business by the clerk; and

(ii) bear the cost of making the copies.

(d) Extra compensation prohibited.- The clerk may not receive any extra compensation for sending a report or record to the Secretary or for making records available to the Secretary.

(e) Penalty.- A clerk who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $10 for each offense.
Maryland Code – Family Law – Title 2: Marriage – Subtitle 5: Records
[An. Code 1957, art. 62, § 18; 1984, ch. 296, § 2.]

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