The marriage law in the State of South Carolina is governed by the Title 20- Domestic Relations South Carolina Code. As per the code the marriage is a contract. Where one male and a female binds themselves to contract to be husband and wife of each other respectively.
PERSONS ELIGIBLE TO MARRY
As per the code all persons, except mentally incompetent persons and persons whose marriage is prohibited by this section, may lawfully contract matrimony.
However, the marriage of the following persons are forbidden by law of the State:
MINIMUM AGE FOR VALID MARRIAGE
Persons eligible to contract matrimony within this State may do so by first procuring a marriage license by filing a written application twenty-four hours prior to issuance of license with the probate judge, or in Darlington and Georgetown counties the clerk of court who issues the license.
The application must be signed by both of the contracting parties and shall contain the same information as required for the issuing of the license including the social security numbers, or the alien identification numbers assigned to resident aliens who do not have social security numbers, of the contracting parties.
The license issued, in addition to other things required, must show the hour and date of the filing of the application and the hour and date of the issuance of the license. The application must be kept by the probate judge or clerk of court as a permanent record in his office.
A probate judge or clerk of court issuing a license contrary to the provisions, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or not less than twenty-five dollars, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days or not less than ten days.
ISSUANCE OF MARRIAGE LICENSE
Once when the completed application is filed by the persons wishing to marry shall apply in person. After a lapse of at least twenty-four hours thereafter and upon the payment of the fee provided by law, and by filing of a statement, under oath or affirmation, to the effect that the persons seeking the contract of matrimony are legally entitled to marry, together with the full names of the persons, their ages and places of residence, the judge of probate or clerk of court with whom the application was filed shall issue a license for the marriage of such persons.
All authorized offices, officials, or individuals empowered to issue a marriage license shall, at the time of application, provide to applicants for marriage licenses:
APPLICANTS UNDER AGE OF CONSENT
A marriage license must not be issued when either applicant is under the age of sixteen.
When either applicant is between the ages of sixteen to eighteen and that applicant resides with father, mother, other relative, or guardian, the probate judge or other officer authorized to issue marriage licenses shall not issue a license for the marriage until furnished with a sworn affidavit signed by the father, mother, other relative, or guardian giving consent to the marriage.
Proof of age required of minor applicant
The probate judge or any other officer authorized by law to issue marriage licenses shall issue any license to any applicant under the age of eighteen years only after he/she files a birth certificate, or a hospital or baptismal certificate which has been issued and dated within one year after birth, or a certified copy thereof, showing that he is of lawful age, which shall be filed in the records of his office with the application for such license.
Persons applying for marriage licenses in lieu of furnishing birth certificates or hospital or baptismal certificates may present the following:
Proof of age of applicant over age eighteen and under age twenty-five
All persons over eighteen years of age and under twenty-five years of age shall furnish documentary evidence to the probate judge or any other officer authorized under the law to issue marriage licenses which shall prove the age of the applicant to the satisfaction of such probate judge or other officer.
There is no expiration date for a South Carolina marriage license. The license can only be used within the State of South Carolina.
PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM MARRIAGE CEREMONY
Only ministers of the Gospel or accepted Jewish rabbis and officers authorized to administer oaths in this State are authorized to administer a marriage ceremony in this State may perform in the State.
SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE