Chapter 3101: MARRIAGE

3101.01 Persons who may be joined in marriage - minor to obtain consent.

(A) Male persons of the age of eighteen years, and female persons of the age of sixteen years, not nearer of kin than second cousins, and not having a husband or wife living, may be joined in marriage. A marriage may only be entered into by one man and one woman. A minor shall first obtain the consent of the minor's parents, surviving parent, parent who is designated the residential parent and legal custodian of the minor by a court of competent jurisdiction, guardian, or any one of the following who has been awarded permanent custody of the minor by a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction:

(1) An adult person;

(2) The department of job and family services or any child welfare organization certified by the department;

(3) A public children services agency.

(B) For the purposes of division (A) of this section, a minor shall not be required to obtain the consent of a parent who resides in a foreign country, has neglected or abandoned the minor for a period of one year or longer immediately preceding the minor's application for a marriage license, has been adjudged incompetent, is an inmate of a state mental or correctional institution, has been permanently deprived of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the minor and the right to have the minor live with the parent and to be the legal custodian of the minor by a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction, or has been deprived of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the minor and the right to have the minor live with the parent and to be the legal custodian of the minor by the appointment of a guardian of the person of the minor by the probate court or by another court of competent jurisdiction.

(C)

(1) Any marriage between persons of the same sex is against the strong public policy of this state. Any marriage between persons of the same sex shall have no legal force or effect in this state and, if attempted to be entered into in this state, is void ab initio and shall not be recognized by this state.

(2) Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in any other jurisdiction shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this state and shall not be recognized by this state.

(3) The recognition or extension by the state of the specific statutory benefits of a legal marriage to nonmarital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is against the strong public policy of this state. Any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of this state, as defined in section 9.82 of the Revised Code, that extends the specific statutory benefits of legal marriage to nonmarital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is void ab initio. Nothing in division (C)(3) of this section shall be construed to do either of the following:

(a) Prohibit the extension of specific benefits otherwise enjoyed by all persons, married or unmarried, to nonmarital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes, including the extension of benefits conferred by any statute that is not expressly limited to married persons, which includes but is not limited to benefits available under Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code;

(b) Affect the validity of private agreements that are otherwise valid under the laws of this state.

(4) Any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state, country, or other jurisdiction outside this state that extends the specific benefits of legal marriage to nonmarital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this state and shall not be recognized by this state.

Effective Date: 05-07-2004

3101.02 Method of consent.

Any consent required under section 3101.01 of the Revised Code shall be personally given before the probate judge or a deputy clerk of the probate court, or certified under the hand of the person consenting, by two witnesses, one of whom shall appear before the judge and make oath that the witness saw the person whose name is annexed to the certificate subscribe it, or heard the person consenting acknowledge it.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.52, SB 124, §1, eff. 1/13/2012.

Effective Date: 01-10-1961

3101.03 Consent of absent parent or guardian of minor.

If the parent or guardian of a minor is a nonresident of, or is absent from, the county in which the marriage license is applied for, the parent or guardian personally may appear before the official upon whose authority marriage licenses are issued in the county in which the parent or guardian is at the time domiciled, and give consent in writing to that marriage. The consent shall be attested to by two witnesses, certified to by that official, and forwarded to the probate judge of the county in which the license is applied for. The probate judge may administer any oath required, issue and sign the license, and affix the seal of the probate court.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.52, SB 124, §1, eff. 1/13/2012.

Effective Date: 06-22-1972

3101.04 Consent by juvenile court.

When the juvenile court files a consent to marriage pursuant to the juvenile rules, the probate court may thereupon issue a license, notwithstanding either or both the contracting parties for the marital relation are under the minimum age prescribed in section 3101.01 of the Revised Code. The license shall not issue until section 3101.05 of the Revised Code has been complied with, and until such child has been born, or it is found beyond doubt by the juvenile court that the minor female is pregnant and intends to have the child.

Effective Date: 08-08-1996

3101.05 Application for marriage license.

(A) The parties to a marriage shall make an application for a marriage license. Each of the persons seeking a marriage license shall personally appear in the probate court within the county where either resides, or, if neither is a resident of this state, where the marriage is expected to be solemnized. If neither party is a resident of this state, the marriage may be solemnized only in the county where the license is obtained. Each party shall make application and shall state upon oath, the party's name, age, residence, place of birth, occupation, father's name, and mother's maiden name, if known, and the name of the person who is expected to solemnize the marriage. If either party has been previously married, the application shall include the names of the parties to any previous marriage and of any minor children, and if divorced the jurisdiction, date, and case number of the decree. If either applicant is under the age of eighteen years, the judge shall require the applicants to state that they received marriage counseling satisfactory to the court. Except as otherwise provided in this division, the application also shall include each party's social security number. In lieu of requiring each party's social security number on the application, the court may obtain each party's social security number, retain the social security numbers in a separate record, and allow a number other than the social security number to be used on the application for reference purposes. If a court allows the use of a number other than the social security number to be used on the application for reference purposes, the record containing the social security number is not a public record, except that, in any of the circumstances set forth in divisions (A)(1) to (4) of section 3101.051 of the Revised Code, the record containing the social security number shall be made available for inspection under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

Immediately upon receipt of an application for a marriage license, the court shall place the parties' record in a book kept for that purpose. If the probate judge is satisfied that there is no legal impediment and if one or both of the parties are present, the probate judge shall grant the marriage license.

If the judge is satisfied from the affidavit of a reputable physician in active practice and residing in the county where the probate court is located, that one of the parties is unable to appear in court, by reason of illness or other physical disability, a marriage license may be granted upon application and oath of the other party to the contemplated marriage; but in that case the person who is unable to appear in court, at the time of making application for a marriage license, shall make and file in that court, an affidavit setting forth the information required of applicants for a marriage license.

A probate judge may grant a marriage license under this section at any time after the application is made.

A marriage license issued shall not display the social security number of either party to the marriage.

(B) An applicant for a marriage license who knowingly makes a false statement in an application or affidavit prescribed by this section is guilty of falsification under section 2921.13 of the Revised Code.

(C) No licensing officer shall issue a marriage license if the officer has not received the application, affidavit, or other statements prescribed by this section or if the officer has reason to believe that any of the statements in a marriage license application or in an affidavit prescribed by this section are false.

(D) Any fine collected for violation of this section shall be paid to the use of the county together with the costs of prosecution.

Effective Date: 02-12-2001

3101.051 Deleting social security numbers prior to inspecting records.

(A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, a probate court shall make available to any person for inspection the records pertaining to the issuance of marriage licenses as provided under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

(B) Before it makes available to a person any records pertaining to the issuance of a marriage license as described in division (A) of this section, subject to division (C) of this section, a probate court shall delete or otherwise remove any social security numbers of the parties to a marriage so that they are not available to the person inspecting the records.

(C) Division (B) of this section does not apply in any of the following circumstances:

(1) If the records in question are inspected by authorized personnel of the division of child support in the department of job and family services under section 5101.37 of the Revised Code;

(2) If the records in question are inspected by law enforcement personnel for purposes of a criminal investigation;

(3) If the records in question with the social security numbers are necessary for use in a civil or criminal trial and the release of the records with the social security numbers is ordered by a court with jurisdiction over the trial;

(4) If the records in question are inspected by either party to the marriage to which the records pertain;

(5) If the court possessed the records in question prior to the effective date of this section.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Effective Date: 02-12-2001

3101.06 Denying license.

No marriage license shall be granted when either of the applicants is under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or controlled substance or is infected with syphilis in a form that is communicable or likely to become communicable.

Effective Date: 04-09-1981

3101.07 Expiration date of license.

No marriage license shall be effective nor shall it authorize the performance of a marriage ceremony after the expiration of sixty days from the date of issuance. This provision shall be printed on each license in prominent type.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

3101.08 Who may solemnize marriages.

An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state who is licensed to solemnize marriages, a judge of a county court in accordance with section 1907.18 of the Revised Code, a judge of a municipal court in accordance with section 1901.14 of the Revised Code, a probate judge in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code, the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf, or any religious society in conformity with the rules of its church, may join together as husband and wife any persons who are not prohibited by law from being joined in marriage.

Effective Date: 04-11-1991

3101.09 Prohibition.

No person, except those legally authorized, shall attempt to solemnize a marriage, and no marriage shall be solemnized without the issuance of a license.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

3101.10 License to solemnize marriages.

A minister upon producing to the secretary of state, credentials of the minister's being a regularly ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation, shall be entitled to receive from the secretary of state a license authorizing the minister to solemnize marriages in this state so long as the minister continues as a regular minister in that society or congregation. A minister shall produce for inspection the minister's license to solemnize marriages upon demand of any party to a marriage at which the minister officiates or proposes to officiate or upon demand of any probate judge.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.52, SB 124, §1, eff. 1/13/2012.

Effective Date: 06-04-1976

3101.11 Recording license to solemnize marriages.

The secretary of state shall enter the name of a minister licensed to solemnize marriages upon a record kept in the office of the secretary of state.

Effective Date: 06-04-1976

3101.12 Evidence of recording.

When the name of a minister licensed to solemnize marriages is entered upon the record by the secretary of state, such record and the license issued under section 3101.10 of the Revised Code shall be evidence that such minister is authorized to solemnize marriages in this state.

Effective Date: 06-04-1976

3101.13 Marriage record.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, a certificate of every marriage solemnized shall be transmitted by the authorized person solemnizing the marriage, within thirty days after the solemnization, to the probate judge of the county in which the marriage license was issued. If, in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code, a probate judge solemnizes a marriage and if the probate judge issued the marriage license to the husband and wife, the probate judge shall file a certificate of that solemnized marriage in the probate judge's office within thirty days after the solemnization. All of the transmitted and filed certificates shall be consecutively numbered and recorded in the order in which they are received.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.52, SB 124, §1, eff. 1/13/2012.

Effective Date: 04-11-1991

3101.14 Notice on license of penalty for failure to return certificate of solemnized marriage.

Every marriage license shall have printed upon it in prominent type the notice that, unless the person solemnizing the marriage returns a certificate of the solemnized marriage to the probate court that issued the marriage license within thirty days after performing the ceremony, or, if the person solemnizing the marriage is a probate judge who is acting in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code and who issued the marriage license to the husband and wife, unless that probate judge files a certificate of the solemnized marriage in the probate judge's office within thirty days after the solemnization, the person or probate judge is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be punished by a fine of fifty dollars. An envelope suitable for returning the certificate of marriage, and addressed to the proper probate court, shall be given with each license, except that this requirement does not apply if a marriage is to be solemnized by a probate judge who is acting in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code and who issued the marriage license to the husband and wife.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.52, SB 124, §1, eff. 1/13/2012.

Effective Date: 04-11-1991

3101.15 Applying to correct marriage certificate.

A person who is not a party to a marriage, when both parties to the marriage are deceased or otherwise unable to correct the certificate of marriage of the parties, and who claims that the facts stated in a certificate of marriage filed in this state are not true may file an application for correction of the certificate in the probate court of the county in which the certificate was filed.

In the application, the applicant shall set forth all of the available facts required on a certificate of marriage and the reasons for making the application, including the reason for the unavailability of the parties to the marriage. The applicant shall verify the application. On the filing of an application under this section, the court may fix a date for a hearing on the application. The date shall not be less than seven days after the filing date. The application shall be supported by the affidavit of at least one person having knowledge of the facts stated in the application, by documentary evidence, or by other evidence as the court considers sufficient. The probate judge may refuse to accept an affidavit or evidence that appears to be submitted for the purpose of falsifying the certificate of marriage. If the probate judge is satisfied that the facts are as stated, the judge shall make an order correcting the certificate of marriage and shall file it in the judge's office.

This section shall not apply to and shall not limit the ability of the parties to a marriage to correct a certificate of marriage in accordance with procedures followed by the probate court.

Effective Date: 05-15-1996

3101.99 Penalty.

(A) Whoever violates division (B) of section 3101.05 of the Revised Code is guilty of a violation of section 2921.13 of the Revised Code. Whoever violates any other provision of section 3101.05 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(B) Whoever violates section 3101.09 of the Revised Code shall be fined five hundred dollars and imprisoned not more than six months.

(C) Whoever violates section 3101.13 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than fifty dollars.

Effective Date: 04-11-1991