There is an incredibly short ‘To Do’ list for couples who want to say "I do" in Pender County. Number one on the list—get a marriage license. North Carolina law requires couples to obtain a marriage license prior to the wedding ceremony. Licenses are available at the Pender County Register of Deeds office at 300 E. Fremont Street in Burgaw, NC. Be sure to bring drivers’ licenses and Social Security cards for each person plus $60 in cash. No physical is required and there is no waiting period; the license is good immediately and is valid for 60 days. Prospective brides and grooms ages 21 and above may apply for a marriage license online to save time in the Register of Deeds office, but they must come in to the Register of Deeds office within three days with licenses, Social Security cards and cash.
Applicants who have been divorced must provide the month and year of their last divorce. If the divorce was finalized within 60 days of the date of application, the applicant must provide an original or certified copy of the divorce decree. There is no waiting period between the divorce and applying for the new license. Those 18-20 years of age must also provide a certified copy of their birth certificate. Couples under 18 years of age must call the Register of Deeds office for information and requirements. The Register of Deeds office issues marriage licenses Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 4 PM.
In North Carolina, magistrates may perform marriages. The Pender County Magistrate's Office is in the County Jail Building at 104 N. Walker St. in Burgaw. Two witnesses (at least 18 years of age), a current marriage license and $20 in cash for state fees are required for a legal ceremony. The magistrate typically does not charge anything for performing the ceremony, although tipping is permitted in some counties. The Magistrate's Office is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but telephoning ahead is wise as Magistrates have other obligations as well.
Once the ceremony is performed the license must be returned to the Register of Deeds office to be put on file as a permanent public record. Certified copies of the marriage certificate are available from the Register of Deeds for $10 each.
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