2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
October 27, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Weatherston, Zamarripa,
Berceau, E. Brooks, Considine, Fields, Genrich, Hesselbein, Horlacher,
Kolste, Ohnstad, Pope, Rohrkaste, Sargent, Sinicki, Skowronski, Subeck
and Kulp, cosponsored by Senators Carpenter and Wirch. Referred to
Committee on Family Law.
AB602,1,3 1An Act to amend 765.08, 765.09 (3) (b), 765.12 (2), 765.23 and 765.30 (3) (a) and
2(b) of the statutes; relating to: marriage license application requirements,
3issuance, and validity.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes various changes to the requirements relating to marriage
licenses. Under the bill, a county clerk is required to accept certain documentation
in lieu of a birth certificate for the purpose of obtaining a marriage license. Under
current law, an applicant for a marriage license may present other documentary
proof of the information found in the birth certificate, but the clerk has discretion
regarding whether or not that documentation is satisfactory. The bill requires the
clerk to accept a valid U.S. passport, driver's license, permanent resident card, or
naturalization paper as satisfactory documentary proof in lieu of a birth certificate.
This bill also decreases the waiting period for a marriage license from five days
to 24 hours. Under the bill, the county clerk retains the discretion to waive the
minimum waiting period and charge a fee of up to $25 to cover any additional
processing cost incurred by the county for expediting the license. Finally, the bill
extends the period for which a marriage license is valid from 30 days to 60 days.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
1Section 1. 765.08 of the statutes is amended to read:
AB602,2,4 2765.08 Application for marriage license. (1) Except as provided in sub.
3(2), no marriage license may be issued within 5 days 24 hours of application for the
4marriage license.
AB602,2,8 5(2) The county clerk may, at his or her discretion, issue a marriage license
6within less than 5 days 24 hours after application if the applicant pays an additional
7fee of not more than $25 to cover any increased processing cost incurred by the
8county. The county clerk shall pay this fee into the county treasury.
AB602,2 9Section 2. 765.09 (3) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB602,2,2110 765.09 (3) (b) Each applicant for a marriage license shall exhibit to the clerk
11a certified copy of a birth certificate, and each applicant shall submit a copy of any
12judgment or death certificate affecting the applicant's marital status. If any
13applicable birth certificate, death certificate or judgment is unobtainable, other
14satisfactory documentary proof of the requisite facts therein may be presented in lieu
15of the birth certificate, death certificate or judgment. If a birth certificate is
16unobtainable, a valid U.S. passport, state driver's license, permanent resident card,
17or naturalization paper may be presented in lieu of the birth certificate and shall be
18considered satisfactory documentary proof for purposes of this paragraph.

19Whenever the clerk is not satisfied with the documentary proof presented, he or she
20shall submit the presented proof to a judge of a court of record in the county of
21application for an opinion as to its sufficiency.
AB602,3 22Section 3 . 765.12 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB602,3,723 765.12 (2) The marriage license shall authorize the marriage ceremony to be
24performed in any county of this state within 30 60 days of issuance, excepting that
25where both parties are nonresidents of the state, the ceremony shall be performed

1only in the county in which the marriage license is issued. The officiating person
2shall determine that the parties presenting themselves to be married are the parties
3named in the marriage license. If aware of any legal impediment to such marriage,
4the person shall refuse to perform the ceremony. The issuance of a marriage license
5shall not be deemed to remove or dispense with any legal disability, impediment or
6prohibition rendering marriage between the parties illegal, and the marriage license
7shall contain a statement to that effect.
AB602,4 8Section 4 . 765.23 of the statutes is amended to read:
AB602,3,23 9765.23 Immaterial irregularities otherwise. No marriage hereafter
10contracted shall be void either by reason of the marriage license having been issued
11by a county clerk not having jurisdiction to issue the same; or by reason of any
12informality or irregularity of form in the application for the marriage license or in
13the marriage license itself, or the incompetency of the witnesses to such marriage;
14or because the marriage may have been solemnized in a county other than the county
15prescribed in s. 765.12, or more than 30 60 days after the date of the marriage license,
16if the marriage is in other respects lawful and is consummated with the full belief
17on the part of the persons so married, or either of them, that they have been lawfully
18joined in marriage. Where a marriage has been celebrated in one of the forms
19provided for in s. 765.16 (1m), and the parties thereto have immediately thereafter
20assumed the habit and repute of husband and wife, and having continued the same
21uninterruptedly thereafter for the period of one year, or until the death of either of
22them, it shall be deemed that a marriage license has been issued as required by ss.
23765.05 to 765.24 and 767.803.
AB602,5 24Section 5 . 765.30 (3) (a) and (b) of the statutes are amended to read:
1765.30 (3) (a) Penalty for unlawful solemnization of marriage. Any officiating
2person who solemnizes a marriage unless the contracting parties have first obtained
3a proper marriage license as heretofore provided; or unless the parties to such
4marriage declare that they take each other as husband and wife; or without the
5presence of 2 competent adult witnesses; or solemnizes a marriage knowing of any
6legal impediment thereto; or solemnizes a marriage more than 30 60 days after the
7date of the marriage license; or falsely certifies to the date of a marriage solemnized
8by the officiating person; or solemnizes a marriage in a county other than the county
9prescribed in s. 765.12.
AB602,4,1510 (b) Penalty for unlawful solemnization by parties. Where a marriage is
11solemnized without the presence of an officiating person if the parties to such
12marriage solemnize the same without the presence of 2 competent adult witnesses
13or more than 30 60 days after the date of the license; or falsely certify to the date of
14such marriage; or solemnize the same in a county other than the county prescribed
15in s. 765.12.
AB602,4,1616 (End)