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Ohio County Begins Issuing Marriage Licenses Online

After largely suspending the issuance of marriage licenses earlier this week, the Cuyahoga County Probate Court has found an innovative way to return to issuing the licenses couples need in order marry in the county.

by Anne Nickoloff, Advance Ohio Media / March 20, 2020

(TNS) — After largely suspending the issuance of marriage licenses earlier this week, the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Probate Court has found an innovative way to return to issuing the licenses couples need in order marry in the county.

“We have issued our first marriage license remotely via an online video call,” a Cuyahoga County Probate Court press release states. “We believe we are the first Probate Court in the State of Ohio to have been able to successfully issue a marriage license without the parties having to appear in-person at the Probate Court.”

The suspension of licenses, initially declared on March 15, was made in an effort to keep Probate Court employees safe from coronavirus’ spread in Northeast Ohio. The court significantly decreased its issuance of licenses for couples with non-immediate needs, but made exceptions for couples with urgent need to be legally married, or those with quickly approaching weddings.

Now, in-person appointments for marriage licenses are unnecessary, for the time being -- and that means Cuyahoga County Probate Court employees can issue licenses in a way that doesn’t expose them to large numbers of people.

“Our IT department has been working around the clock to come up with an online solution,” the press release states.

According to the press release, the new system will be available starting on Monday, March 23. Couples with wedding ceremonies scheduled in the next month, who can also verify that they have an officiant to perform their marriage, will be able to pre-register for a marriage license on the probate court’s website. Then, applicants will be directed to the marriage department to schedule an online appointment.

To receive a marriage license immediately, the press release states, applicants require a valid email address and access to a computer and printer.

A successful test on Thursday, March 19, allowed a marriage license to be issued without applicants appearing in court, by using an online appointment, according to the press release.

The online procedure will be used during the coronavirus pandemic only, the press release states, and the application system will return to normal after coronavirus concerns are eased.

Cuyahoga County Probate Court also stated that, for couples who have already obtained a license, but are unable to have a marriage ceremony due to coronavirus issues, one additional license will be given free of cost. Those couples must apply for the additional free license within 10 business days of the original marriage license expiring. Marriage licenses are effective for 60 days from the date of issuance.

Find more information about Cuyahoga County Probate Court’s response to coronavirus at probate.cuyahogacounty.us/news.aspx.

©2020 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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