Gay couples can marry after Dec. 6

History will be made on Dec. 6 when same-sex couples can legally apply for a marriage license in Washington.  The approval by voters of Referendum 74 will usher in a new era of equality for all couples to legally marry in the Evergreen state.

All couples are required to have a valid marriage license to get married in Washington. In San Juan County, couples may apply online at, in person at the County Auditor’s Office in Friday Harbor, or through the mail. The license fee is $60.

Before a license can be issued, both parties must have their signatures notarized, a service that is available at the Auditor’s office.  Marriage licenses become valid three days after they are issued and remain valid for only sixty days, so the couple must have their vows solemnized by a licensed officiant within that 60-day window.

Once the wedding ceremony takes place, the officiant is responsible for returning the signed and properly witnessed marriage document to the auditor’s office.  The couple will receive a certified copy of the marriage license, which will be necessary for the process of changing either party’s name.

Applications will be taken from same-sex couples beginning on Dec. 6, the day the election results will be certified at the State level.  Licenses issued that day will be valid for ceremonies beginning Dec. 9.

Contact the San Juan County Auditor’s Office at 378-2161 with any questions about the marriage licensing process. The online application and all forms are now in the process of being updated so that they will be available on Dec. 6.

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