Civil Unions

Marriage-LicenseAny Civil Union license not returned to our office within 63 days from the date of the ceremony shall incur a minimum late fee of not less than $20.00 with an additional $5.00  assessed each day thereafter not to exceed $50.00 per Colorado Revised Statute 14-15-112(2). The postmark will be used to calculate applicable late fees.

The Civil Union Process

Both parties must appear in person to be issued a license If this is not possible, one party must appear with a completed and notarized absentee affidavit as well as approved original identification for the absent party.

  1. The applicants must first meet the general requirements and restrictions.
  2. The applicants apply for and are issued a Civil Union License.  The Civil Union ceremony must take place within 35 days of the License being issued.
  3. The Civil Union License and Certificate are certified (for example, a religious ceremony).
  4. After the certification, the applicants register their Civil Union by returning the completed License/Certificate to the County Clerk in the County where it was issued.

Each of these items are discussed in detail below.

General Requirements and Restrictions 

Civil Union License Application

Age Requirements

Both parties must be 18 years of age or older. If either party is under guardianship, written consent of the legal guardian is required.

Social Security Number Required

Per Colorado Revised Statute § 14-15-104, social security numbers are required for the Civil Union application. If an applicant does not have a social security number, an affidavit provided by the Clerk’s Office must be signed and notarized stating that the party does not have a social security number.

Prohibited Civil Union

  • Ancestor and descendant
  • Siblings
  • Uncle and Niece
  • Aunt and Nephew

Civil Unions between first Cousins is permitted in Colorado.

Applying for a Civil Union

Entering the applicant’s information into the online kiosk will significantly speed up the processing time when the parties appear in the Office of the Clerk and Recorder to obtain their license.  Please review the full list of requirements before beginning your application.

Important Information about Civil Unions

  • Civil Union Licenses are valid for 35 days after issuance
  • Both parties must appear in person to be issued a license If this is not possible, one party must appear with a completed and notarized absentee affidavit as well as approved original identification for the absent party.
  • If either party has been previously married or party to a civil union, that party must provide:
    • Name of Spouse or name of other party.
    • The date of the dissolution or death.
    • Type of court where the dissolution took place
    • The location where the dissolution or death occurred (city/state)
  • Applicants for a Colorado Civil Union License do not need to be Colorado residents
  • Civil Union Licenses issued in Colorado are only valid for use in Colorado
  • Once the Civil Union has been solemnized, the license must be returned to the issuing County Clerk for recordation within 63 days from the date of the ceremony


Notarized Absentee Affidavit by person entering into a Civil Union when the individual cannot appear in person before county clerk.

Proof of Identity Required

Applicants must provide proof of identity and date of birth. All identity documents must be in English. Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Military Identification
  • Birth Certificate (Presenting a birth certificate as proof of age and/or identity requires some form of photo ID).   

Once a Civil Union License is issued, it is valid for 35 days, however parties may apply for a civil union license at any time.

Both parties must appear in person in order to be issued a Civil Union License. If both parties cannot appear in person, please refer to the Absentee Affidavit information.

Fees and Costs 

The fee for a Civil Union is $30, payable by cash or credit card only. Additional copies of the license (after registration are $1.25 each. Shipping and handling charges may apply.

Apply in person

In Douglas County, Civil Union Licenses may be applied for and issued at the following locations:

Recording Division

301 Wilcox Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104

Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Certifying The Union

Colorado allows for three types of Certification: Religious, Civil, or Self. Regardless of which type is selected, witness’ signatures are not required on the Civil Union Certificate. The ceremony must occur in Colorado within 35 days after the license is issued in order for it to be lawfully valid.

Religious Ceremonies

Religious officiants must sign the Civil Union certificate and be recognized by the organization that ordained them to lawfully perform civil union ceremonies in Colorado. Out-of-state clergy do not need to be registered in Colorado, but must be authorized by their organization / entity to perform ceremonies in Colorado.

Civil Ceremonies

Judicial officiants must be recognized by the State of Colorado to perform civil union ceremonies and must sign the Civil Union Certificate.

Judges who perform Civil Union /Marriage Ceremonies in 2015

Douglas County Justice Center 

  • Judge Theresa Slade                            720-437-6279
  • Judge Angela Arkin                              720-437-6275
  • Judge Larry Bowling                            720-437-6247
  • Judge Susanna Meissner-Cutler        720-437-6251
  • Magistrate Beth Elliott-Dumler         720-437-6267
  • Magistrate Rebecca Moss                   720-437-6287
  • Magistrate Harold Hurst                     720-437-6244

Self Certify Licenses

A couple may choose to not have either a religious or civil ceremony and may certify their civil union themselves under C.R.S.§ 14-15-112.  

Registering  the Civil Union

Request for Copies