Any person wishing to get married in the Commonwealth of Virginia must obtain a marriage license. Every license for a marriage shall be issued by the Clerk or deputy clerk of a circuit court of any county or city. If neither the Clerk nor his/her deputy is able to issue the license, it may be issued by the judge of the circuit court of such county or city. By statute, a marriage license is an essential prerequisite to the lawful solemnization of the marriage. Va. Code § 20-13.
After obtaining the license, the couple, to be legally married, must go before someone officially authorized to perform religious or civil marriage ceremonies. After the ceremony is performed, the person performing the marriage has certain legal duties in completing the marriage license and returning it to the issuing Clerk, who, in turn has the legal responsibilities as to recording the license and providing a copy to the Registrar of Vital Statistics.
To obtain a marriage license, the couple must meet certain legal requirements. Any person, age eighteen (18) or older, who is not legally married, incompetent, or related to each other to a prohibited degree [Va. Code § 20-45.1], may obtain a marriage license.
Note: Incompetency is a legal determination and no medical evidence is required.
Chesapeake has marriage commissioners who perform civil ceremonies. They are: