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General F.A.Q.


How much does it cost to apply for a marriage license?
$20.00 for Van Buren County residents, and $30.00 for out-of state residents

How long does it take to get a marriage license in Michigan?
The license can be taken with you on the day that you apply however, it cannot be used until three days after the date you made application.

Do both people have to come to apply for the marriage license?
No. If only one applicant is present, however, please be sure to bring all the required information for the other person. That information includes:

     -Certified copy of Birth Certificate for each party
     -Photocopy of Driver's License or State ID
      -Social Security Number
      -Full name (first, middle, last)
      -Birth DateBirth Place (city, state)
      -County of residence
      -How many times married
      -Father’s full name (first, middle, last)
      -Mother’s full name (first, middle, maiden)
      -State of birth for both parents

How do I know what county to get my marriage license in?
The answer depends on whether or not you are a Michigan resident. If you are, you need to get your license in the county in which either you or your future spouse reside. The license can then be used anywhere in the state. If you are not a Michigan resident, you must obtain your license in the county where you will be married

Must witnesses to marriages be 18 years old?
Yes, witnesses are required to be 18 years of age or older.

Does the County Clerk perform wedding ceremonies?
Yes. Wedding ceremonies are performed in the County Clerks Office on Friday afternoons
by appointment only. The fee is $25.00 and the Clerk does not perform weddings outside of the office.


How much does it cost to get a copy of a birth certificate?
All certified copies (birth, death or marriage certificates) are $13.00 for the first copy and $4.00 for each additional copy of the same record purchased at the same time.

I live far away, how can I get a copy of my birth certificate? Do I have to come in person?
Requests may be made by mail by completing the forms that can be printed. You are required to send a copy of your driver’s license or state identification card with your request.

Can you obtain certified copies of marriage licenses or death certificates by mail?
Request can be made by mail by printing the on-line forms and mailing them to the Clerk’s office with the proper fees.

How long does it take to get a copy of a birth certificate or other document?
Requests made in person can be obtained generally within a few minutes at the Clerk’s office. Mail requests are generally filled within a day of receipt at Clerk’s office.

Can I get a copy of someone else’s birth, death, or marriage certificate?
Birth records are confidential and are available only to the person or parents of the person named in the record. If you are an heir, legal guardian, or legal representative of the person whose birth certificate you are requesting, additional documentation is required. Contact this office at (269)657-8218, Option 6. Death and marriage certificates are public records and available upon request.


Why do I have to register my business name with the county?
Michigan law requires that persons who own, conduct or transact business in a county, register the business name in that county as a matter of public record.

My business has been incorporated with the state. Do I also have to file with the county?
No. Corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and non-profit organizations owned by corporations do not file at the county level.

How much does it cost to file my business name?
The filing fee is $10.00, and the certificate is required to be renewed every five years. The certificate must be notarized prior to filing.

I have a DBA in another county and want to do business in Van Buren County, do I have to file a DBA there?
You are required to file a DBA in the county where the business is located, and you may
also file in Van Buren County. We will request to see and make a copy of the DBA filed in the home county.


Where can I apply for a passport in Van Buren County?
You can apply for a passport at the Van Buren County Department of Land Management at the Administration and Land Services Building, 219 Paw Paw Street, 3rd floor, in Paw Paw, from 8:30 a.m to 4:00p.m. Passport photos can also be taken there.