MAX 4-YR AGE DIFF TO MARRY UNDER 18 YRS. (NEW)

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 35 (Public) Filed Monday, February 1, 2021
AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAWFUL AGE OF MARRIAGE TO SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, AND TO PROVIDE A MAXIMUM FOUR-YEAR AGE DIFFERENCE FOR A SIXTEEN OR SEVENTEEN YEAR-OLD TO MARRY.
Intro. by Sawyer, Britt, Foushee.

Status: Ch. SL 2021-119 (Aug 26 2021)

SOG comments (2):

Long title change

Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition changed the long title. Original title was AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAWFUL AGE TO ENTER INTO MARRIAGE IN THIS STATE TO 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.

Long title change

Senate amendment to the 2nd edition changed the long title. Original title was AN ACT TO PROVIDE A MAXIMUM FOUR-YEAR AGE DIFFERENCE FOR A PERSON UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE TO MARRY.

Bill History:

S 35/S.L. 2021-119

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Aug 26 2021 - More information

    AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAWFUL AGE OF MARRIAGE TO SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, AND TO PROVIDE A MAXIMUM FOUR-YEAR AGE DIFFERENCE FOR A SIXTEEN OR SEVENTEEN YEAR-OLD TO MARRY. SL 2021-119. Enacted Aug. 26, 2021. Effective Aug. 26, 2021.


  • Summary date: Jun 22 2021 - More information

    House committee substitute amends the 3rd edition as follows. 

    Revises part of the proposed changes to GS 51-3 regarding capacity to marry and void marriages, to maintain current law providing that marriages between a male person under 16 years of age and any female, or between a female person under 16 years of age and any male, are void (previously deleted).


  • Summary date: May 12 2021 - More information

    Senate amendment amends the 2nd edition as follows.

    Further amends GS 51-2, raising the legal age to marry from 14 to 16. Additionally requires persons under 18 to file with the register of deeds a certified copy of an order issued by a district court authorizing the marriage as provided in GS 51-2.1, as amended, prior to being issued a marriage license. Makes conforming changes; changes the section's title. 

    Makes conforming changes to GS 51-2.1 to eliminate provisions regarding marriage by persons under 16. Specifies that a district court judge can issue an order authorizing a marriage between a person 16 years of age and under 18 years of age, to a person no more than four years older (age difference limitation previously proposed) upon making required findings. 

    Makes conforming changes to GS 51-3, regarding capacity to marry and void marriages. 

    Changes the act's long title. 


  • Summary date: Apr 28 2021 - More information

    Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Deletes the content of the previous edition and replaces it with the following. Amends GS 51-2 to allow a (1) person over age 16 and under age 18; or (1) person over age 14 and under age 16, to marry (as allowed under GS 51-2.1) a person no more than four years older (previously, allowed those persons to marry with no restriction on the age of the person they married). Makes conforming changes to GS 51-2.1 (concerning marriage of certain underage parties). Amends the act's titles.


  • Summary date: Feb 1 2021 - More information

    Identical to H 41, filed 2/1/21.

    Amends GS 51-2 to eliminate the existing exceptions for persons to marry under the age of 18, thereby making the legal age to marry (18) absolute. Makes conforming changes to GS 51-3, GS 51-16 and GS 51-17, relating to unlawful marriages and marriage licenses. Makes conforming repeals of GS 51-2.1 (concerning marriage of certain underage parties) and GS 51-2.2 (defining parent as the term relates to annulment of unlawful underage marriages).


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