What States Can A Dog Sign A Marriage License? 2023 List

Making your pet a part of your wedding is a cherished dream for dog parents.

But have you ever wondered what states can a dog sign a marriage license?

Join me on this journey to uncover the state names, learn how it’s done, and get valuable tips for an excellent ceremony. Let’s dive right in!

What States Can A Dog Sign A Marriage License? 

what states can a dog sign a marriage license

What states can your dog sign your marriage license? Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. are where you can do this.

In these states, there is no requirement for an officiant – so-called self-uniting marriage – to marry so you can include your furry friend as an unofficial participant in the marriage ceremony.

Other places require a witness being a third-party officiant.

How To Get The Dog To Sign The Marriage License 

Check State Laws

Can your dog sign your marriage license in Colorado? Yes, but this doesn’t hold true for other states. And it’s important to note that laws can change over time.

Therefore, when you are ready to proceed, it is crucial to double-check the current marriage laws regarding the official wedding witness in your location.

Do Some Research: Google “marriage laws [your state]” to find helpful information.

Otherwise, you can search:  Can your dog be your wedding witness in Florida (or other states)? 

Talk to Authorized People: Contact the county clerk’s office or the local government office that handles marriage licenses.

They can tell you what you need to know about getting married with your dog as a witness and if it’s allowed where you live.

Ask a Wedding Helper: If you have a wedding planner helping you, they can advise and guide you on the rules for involving dogs in your ceremony and whether they can sign the marriage paper in your state.

Obtain A Marriage License

You will need to visit the office and fill out some application forms. The office will give you the marriage license, which you should keep safe until your wedding day. 

Don’t forget to bring important legal documents to marry aside from your ID, birth certificate, and marriage license fee to complete the procedures and have a valid marriage.

Confirm Pet Requirements

Before including your dog in the wedding, ensure that the wedding planning place where you’re getting married accepts pets and doesn’t have any rules against them being part of the marriage ceremonies.

Also, you might need a letter from the dog doctor saying your furry friend is healthy and behaves nicely.

In my case, when I went to the office to obtain the marriage license, I inquired about any specific eligibility requirements for my dog to serve as a witness.

The authorized person informed me that my dog needed a microchip implanted under their skin or provide proof of vaccination against rabies.

Dog As A Witness

During the ceremony, you can have your dog by your side, watching as you exchange vows and rings.

To make it even more special, you can prepare a cute outfit for your pet that matches the theme and makes the wedding ceremony unforgettable.

Just make sure the costume is comfortable and fits your pet well, so they can enjoy being a part of your special day.

Additionally, remember to bathe and groom your furry friends with care.

If you decide to use vinegar to wash your dog, learning the correct way to bathe dogs with vinegar is important. Otherwise, they might not be ready for your big day.

Prepare Ink Pad & Some Paper Towels

First, get an ink pad that is safe for pets. This special ink pad is designed for animals and won’t harm their paws or fur.

Next, have some paper towels on hand in case of any messes or ink smudges. You can use tissue to clean your dog’s paws or to wipe away any excess ink.

Get Your Pet’s Attention

To get your dog signing marriage license, the owner needs to get their attention. Call their name in a friendly and excited tone to let them know you want them to pay attention.

You can also use their favorite treats or toys to capture their focus. Hold the treat or toy before them to keep their gaze fixed on you. 

Press Your Dog’s Paw Onto The Ink Pad

Now it’s time to capture your dog’s paw print! Take the ink pad and gently press your dog’s paw onto it.

Make sure to apply gentle pressure to ensure the paw comes into contact with the ink. Take your time and provide good coverage so the paw print is clear and visible.

Your dog may find this ticklish or strange, so be patient and reassuring.

If the furry companion pulls its paws back, you can try again or give it a short break before attempting again.

The goal is to create a beautiful paw print to commemorate this special event.

Transfer The Paw Print Onto The Marriage License

It’s time to transfer the cute paw print onto the marriage certificate! Look for a special spot on the license where you can put your dog’s paw print.

It could be a blank space or a designated area.

Carefully guide your dog’s paw and place it on that spot. Make sure the paw is aligned and facing the right direction.

Press it down gently but firmly so the ink from the paw print sticks onto the license.

Sign & File The Marriage License With The County Clerk

Look for the space on the marriage certificate you and your partner must sign. Follow the instructions carefully and write your names in the designated areas.

Make sure your handwriting is clear and easy to read. 

Once both of you have signed, it’s time to take the marriage license to the county clerk’s office.

They will help you with the filing process and ensure all necessary steps are completed.

Capture Documentation

Don’t forget to capture this special moment with your furry friend! 

Take out your camera or smartphone and snap photos or videos of your dog’s paw print on the permanent record of the marriage license.

You can also take pictures of your dog during the wedding ceremony, showing how they were an important part of your big day.

Tips For Completing The Dog Sign Marriage License Beautifully 

can dogs sign marriage license

What state is it that your dog can approve your marriage? Now, you’ve got the full list, but there are some notes to take:

Quiet, Distraction-Free Location Selection

Choose a calm and peaceful spot where you and your pet can focus on the task.

Find a place in your home or outdoors with minimal distractions, such as loud noises or other animals.

Paw Print Practice For Startle-Prone Dogs

If your dog is easily startled or uncomfortable with new experiences, you should gradually introduce them to the paw printing process.

Start by gently touching their paws and rewarding them with treats or praise.

Once they are comfortable, you can slowly introduce the ink pad and practice making paw prints on paper.

Patient Training For Dog’s Cooperation

Training and positive reinforcement are key to completing the dog sign public marriage license in your actual wedding party.

Take your time to train your dog to associate the ink pad with a positive experience.

Use treats, toys, or praise to reward them for calmly placing their paw on the ink pad and making a paw print.

Break the process down into small steps and gradually increase the difficulty. Remember to be patient and understanding with your furry friend as they learn and cooperate with you.

That’s how I did when my goldendoodle was out of control during the training session to keep him calm.


dog sign marriage license

What States That Allow Your Dog to Serve as Your Wedding Officiant? 

In Washington, D.CColorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, dogs can be a part of the marriage ceremony and marriage officiant.


That is everything about the topic: what states can a dog sign a marriage license?

Pooches bring abundant love and joy to our lives, and including them in our wedding ceremonies is a heartfelt gesture.

I hope your state is among the ones that allow dogs to participate

However, regardless of whether your state permits canines to sign the marriage license, the bond between you and your furry friend is priceless.

So, there’s no need to worry.


Photo of author
Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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