North Carolina General Statutes
- 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:
- a. In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate; and
- b. With the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the persons are husband and wife; or
- In accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, or federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe.
- Marriages solemnized before March 9, 1909, by ministers of the gospel licensed, but not ordained, are validated from their consummation.
(1871-2, c. 193, s. 3; Code, s. 1812; Rev., s. 2081; 1908, c. 47; 1909, c. 704, s. 2; c. 897; C.S., s. 2493; 1945, c. 839; 1965, c. 152; 1971, c. 1185, s. 26; 1977, c. 592, s. 1; 2000-58, ss. 1, 2; 2001-14, ss. 1, 2; 2001-62, ss. 1, 17; 2002-115, ss. 5, 6; 2002-159, s. 13(a); 2003-4, s. 1; 2005-56, s. 1.; 2007-61, s. 1.)
Solemnization without license unlawful.
No minister, officer, or any other person authorized to solemnize a marriage under the laws of this State shall perform a ceremony of marriage between a man and woman, or shall declare them to be husband and wife, until there is delivered to that person a license for the marriage of the said persons, signed by the register of deeds of the county in which the marriage license was issued or by a lawful deputy or assistant. There must be at least two witnesses to the marriage ceremony.
Whenever a man and woman have been lawfully married in accordance with the laws of the state in which the marriage ceremony took place, and said marriage was performed by a magistrate or some other civil official duly authorized to perform such ceremony, and the parties thereafter wish to confirm their marriage vows before an ordained minister or minister authorized by a church, or in a ceremony recognized by any religious denomination, federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe, nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit such confirmation ceremony; provided, however, that such confirmation ceremony shall not be deemed in law to be a marriage ceremony, such confirmation ceremony shall in no way affect the validity or invalidity of the prior marriage ceremony performed by a civil official, no license for such confirmation ceremony shall be issued by a register of deeds, and no record of such confirmation ceremony may be kept by a register of deeds.
(1871-2, c. 193, s. 4; Code, s. 1813; Rev., s. 2086; C.S., s. 2498; 1957, c. 1261; 1959, c. 338; 1967, c. 957, ss. 6, 9; 1977, c. 592, s. 2; 2001-62, s. 6.)
Marriage License Agency: County Clerk
Common Law: No
Civil Union: No
Duration of Marriage Licence: No Expiration