Iowa Marriage License

Getting married in Iowa?  Let us help you navigate the process!  Your marriage license must be received from the state in which the legal ceremony is being held in.  In Iowa, the County Recorder is the department that issues and manages the marriage license process.

1. Applying for your Iowa marriage license is always best if you can do it in person, however, it can be accomplished by mail.

2. There is a 3 day waiting period that begins the day after your paperwork has been accepted.

3. If applying in person, take one witness that knows you both.  Those that are applying via mail, you will also need someone who knows you both to sign the documents in front of a notary.

4. Arrangements can be made for Inclusive Life to pick up your Pottawattamie County license when it is done if you are arriving during the weekend.  We do not charge an extra fee for this service.

5. Your ceremony must take place in Iowa, if you are applying for an Iowa marriage license.  It can be in ANY county or city, as long as it is in the state of Iowa.

6. Judges are not allowed to charge extra for wedding ceremonies during the day, and the time they allot on their schedule is greatly diminished.  Inclusive Life is often available for same-day-service or short notice.

7.  If you are traveling and do not have witnesses, Inclusive Life can schedule witnesses for you, (A fee does apply.)

8.  If the license is not retrieved from the County Registrar within six months from the date of application, the application is considered null and void.  Once the license is picked up, it is valid until it is solemnized.


Pottawattami County Recorders Office
227 S 6th St, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Office 712.328.5612
Fax: 712.328.4738

Monday-Friday 8am-330pm
FEE: $35.00 (includes certified copy) cash or credit card only (no checks)

Marriage License Instructions for State of Iowa

State of Iowa Marriage License Application



If you are planning an Elopement with just witnesses no permit fee is required.  If you are planning on having guests, chairs, etc., a permit will need to be paid for and date approved prior to ceremony.

Bayliss Park CLICK to view photo (Fairly open and large park) Click here for website

Lewis and Clark Lookout CLICK to view photo (Overlooks part of Council Bluffs and West towards Omaha.  More private) Click here for website

Fairmount Park CLICK to view (Overlooks Council Bluffs, fairly private) Click here for website