If you’re gay, you likely haven’t devoted a lifetime of study to the actual process required for getting married. But now with the passage of Referendum 74 and the start tomorrow statewide of the issuance of marriage licenses for gays and lesbians, there are some things you might want to know.
The first is that if you want to get your marriage license tomorrow, you need to drive to Port Orchard. That’s where the Office of the Kitsap County Auditor is located.
I spoke with Nancy Lawrence, Recording and Licensing Manager for the Kitsap County Auditor. I asked her if she’s expecting big crowds tomorrow, and she said they hadn’t been because they had hardly received any calls but then, suddenly, today, they got 35 inquiries. Lawrence said, “We are prepared. We beefed up our staffing.” Since they only have a staff of five and four computers, you might be wise to anticipate some delays.
Lawrence said that one couple is planning on showing up at 6:30 in the morning so they can get the first appointment at 8 a.m. She added, “We’re very excited. This is a historic day.”
To get your license issued on the same day, both you and your partner need to go to Lawrence’s office in the Administration Building at 614 Division Street in Port Orchard (see map below), no appointment necessary, sometime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. However, if you’re not in a rush, you can request that an application be sent to you. In that case, you will need to have your signatures notarized before returning the paperwork. Once the license is issued, whether via mail or in person, there is a three-day waiting period before you can use it. So the earliest you’d be able to get married is Sunday. But if you’re not in a big hurry, you’ve got 60 days to use it before it expires. Of course you can only use it in Washington.
You’ll be sworn in so there’s no need to bring documentation. However, if either of you has been married before or is a registered domestic partner, you need to meet the requirements of the state in which you were divorced or registered. If your divorce was issued in Kitsap County, the paperwork must be finalized and filed at the Clerk’s office before you can apply to get married again. Special rules apply if you’re not yet 18—call ahead.
There’s a fee—$64—that you can pay with cash or a check.
If you want a judge to marry you and your partner, call (360) 337-7033 to line one up. And if you have any other questions, call (360) 337-4935.
Photo by Marc Love.