Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 451
Marriage, Marriage Contracts, and Rights of Married Women
Section 451.040

August 28, 2013


Marriage license required, waiting period--application, contents--license void when--common law of marriages void--lack of authority to perform marriage, effect.

451.040. 1. Previous to any marriage in this state, a license for that purpose shall be obtained from the officer authorized to issue the same, and no marriage contracted shall be recognized as valid unless the license has been previously obtained, and unless the marriage is solemnized by a person authorized by law to solemnize marriages.

2. Before applicants for a marriage license shall receive a license, and before the recorder of deeds shall be authorized to issue a license, the parties to the marriage shall present an application for the license, duly executed and signed in the presence of the recorder of deeds or their deputy. Each application for a license shall contain the Social Security number of the applicant, provided that the applicant in fact has a Social Security number, or the applicant shall sign a statement provided by the recorder that the applicant does not have a Social Security number. The Social Security number contained in an application for a marriage license shall be exempt from examination and copying pursuant to section 610.024. After the receipt of the application the recorder of deeds shall issue the license, unless one of the parties withdraws the application. The license shall be void after thirty days from the date of issuance.

3. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

4. Common-law marriages shall be null and void.

5. Provided, however, that no marriage shall be deemed or adjudged invalid, nor shall the validity be in any way affected for want of authority in any person so solemnizing the marriage pursuant to section 451.100, if consummated with the full belief on the part of the persons, so married, or either of them, that they were lawfully joined in marriage.

(RSMo 1939 3364, A.L. 1943 p. 639, A.L. 1974 H.B. 981, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 1981 S.B. 21 & 113, A.L. 1986 H.B. 931, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 H.B. 987, A.L. 2001 H.B. 157, A.L. 2007 S.B. 22)

Prior revisions: 1929 2977; 1919 7302; 1909 8283


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