A marriage license office is responsible for issuing the official permit for a couple to be married. A marriage license may also be referred to as a wedding license. When a couple wants to become legally married, they need a marriage license, which serves as their proof of marriage. This office is nearly always part of a larger city or county clerk's office, though it can also be a separate bureau as well. The wedding ceremony may occur inside a marriage license office, place of worship, or in any other convenient location.
The marriage license office manages applications and also records the licenses for certification once completed by the marriage officiant, which is a clergyman although it could also be a government official or even a ship's captain when a couple is married at sea. Records are maintained indefinitely for future reference in both paper and form.