Catholics and marriage licenses


No. Even a felon can apply for a marriage license. Even someone with a warrent could apply.

One does not have to “pay up” taxes in order to get a marriage lisence.

There are two things you are trying to correlate.

First, is what the OP is hinting at which is the “sovereign citizen” cult (for lack of a better word). These people feel that they can extricate themselves from all legitimately owed taxes and do not get any documentation for their children so they cannot be traced by the state. These children, therefore, cannot participate in normative state activities like driving, getting a job and having a bank account because technically they do not exist. They cannot get a marriage license because they do not have a birth certificate–which–in most states that and $10 will get you a marriage license.

Second, is the fraud that a married couple could perpetrate on the state by living together as two tax-registered individuals rather than a married couple. The state allows tax breaks for those who are single and must maintain a household on their own. For instance, my friend with a child, who has an adult roommate who also has children, can file “head of household” and thus get a discount on what taxes she owes. Her roommate can do the same. Without combining their incomes they are also both eligible for social welfare benefits–although at this time both choose not to take them because having a roommate makes rent cheap enough they can afford groceries and heat.

Now, my husband and I, despite the fact that we look, on the surface, to be demographically similar (two adults + kids) cannot claim this deduction because we are married. If I did not have to combine my income with my husband’s and we each claimed X number of children I would get to be on every social welfare program there is, pay no tax etc. His income isn’t really all that high and while he would not be eligible for any welfare programs he would get more back in tax. In fact, if I claimed to pay rent to him, and charged him for “daycare” while keeping one of the children under my name, he could write off all that daycare expense, I’d not have enough income to pay tax on and we’d make out like bandits. To not be married would TOTALLY game the US system.

This is because the government RIGHTLY assumes that it is more difficult for a single parent than married ones.


ok thank you, so if I am understanding you (forgive me if I am not) it is not specifically a tax issue (looking backwards) and the church would not be helping someone to avoid paying taxes by not insisting on a state marriage licence (looking backwards) but they need the licence to know that there are no other impediments (as you mentioned) so that the wedding would be valid.

Also as Roma has explained , in not having a state marriage licence the person could avoid taxes (looking forward) because they would be cheating on the tax threshold considerations?


Correct. They would, however, be participating in a marriage which had not been declared free from impediment, and would thus be breaching their obligations as officiants.


ok thank you for your explanation and for bearing with me.


Thank you Father for this excellent explanation.


And this understanding is not correct.

There is no link between getting a marriage license and taxes, paid or unpaid. There is no check or tax action triggered federally or at the state level with the application for or issuance of a marriage license.


Thank you 1ke, Cass has just suggested the same thing. Thank you both for the information.



I don’t understand the question? I only mentioned property taxes because I know my friends are exempt from paying them on their estate. They removed themselves from the incorporated US. That’s why their daughter is unable to apply for a state marriage license.


My favorite book by Robert Hugh Benson, By What Authority :blush:


Did they set a little flag and declared independence? How did this worked?


Hello ByWhatAuthority,

it appears there are some people on this thread that suspect your friends are in the ‘sovereign citizens’ movement.

Their replies seem to be coming with this assumption in mind.

Could you confirm whether or not your friends see themselves as ‘sovereign citizens’.

Thank you.

Also as Roma has said, if someone in America is not registered with a state marriage licence then they will be avoiding personal income tax because in that country the tax threshold is lower for married couples than for individual singles. This seems to be where other posters on this thread are having a problem with your request.



Regardless of why they can’t; I think, getting a license from the state to marry should at the very least be optional. It’s a sacrament for pity’s sake and we can’t have it unless the government says so!!???

You misunderstand what marriage is. Marriage is meant for the good of society. The church recognizes that the state has a legitimate role in regulating marriage. The Catholic Church herself empowers the state to co-regulate Catholic marriages through recognition in Canon Law.

The most relevant entry is Canon 1059:

The marriage of catholics, even if only one party is baptised, is governed not only by divine law but also by canon law, without prejudice to the competence of the civil authority in respect of the merely civil effects of the marriage.

There is no “civil marriage” versus “sacramental marriage”. There is only marriage. The marriage bond is the very basis of civil society; the marriage bond is available to non-Catholics without interference from Catholic law for this reason. Canon law adds requirements for Catholics to protect the church’s interests in the marriage bond; the church does not undermine the state’s regulations meant to protect society’s interests. Only in rare cases of persecution will a Catholic be permitted to bypass civil registry.


How did they remove themselves from US jurisdiction?

Asking for the Confederate states.


Your friends are not exempt from paying property taxes and there is no process by which one can remove themselves from the “incorporated US” because there is no such thing as the “incorporated US”. Your friends simply choose not to pay property taxes and, as yet, the state has not enforced their delinquency against them.


I suppose the thought process here is: “it isn’t illegal if we are getting away with it.”


She probably could but it would be illegally obtained. If she lied to the clerk; she could probably get a license. She’s not going to lie and trick the state do she can receive a sacrament. Geeesh! And for the record, I’m not a “he”. Lol


She would have to lie to obtain a marriage license?

A marriage license merely verifies that there are no impediments to these people being married. If she would have to lie to get one, it sounds like there might be some serious validity issues.


This. HUGE red flag…



This is sounding worse and worse the more you talk.

Only DC and Montana require a blood test. The rest require a photo id of both participants (may or may not be government issued by state) and a birth certificate.

Some have waiting periods. You’re stating that your friend can drive legally so they MUST have a photo id. You also stated they had valid birth certificates.

What in the world is the issue here?


You have not answered the question. What specifically is preventing her from obtaining a marriage license? There are very few things that would make someone be denied. Is she related to the groom? Until you answer the question this thread is pointless. . You have stated she is unable to obtain a license. There are very few reasons for that. Even non-citizens and non-residents can obtain a license. What prevents her from obtaining a license?

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