No Blood Test Requirement for
Marriage License Issuance
A brief history of pre-marital
serological testing for syphilis in Missouri
Missouri has not required a blood test for Marriage License issuance since 1980.
From 1944 to 1980, Missouri required every Applicant for a Marriage License to obtain a serological test for syphilis from a physician not more than 15 days before the License was issued.
The exceptions were Applicants with physician certification as to pregnancy or unlikely to consummate the marriage due to being near death.
Upon testing negative, an Applicant was issued a Marriage Health Certificate to be filed with the Recorder of Deeds and requiring execution of an Affidavit by the Applicant stating:
Comes now the above applicant and being first duly sworn states that to his or her best knowledge and belief he or she is free from syphilis.
Upon testing positive, an Applicant was required to undergo a physical examination by a physician. If the Applicant was found by the physician not to be in an infectious stage of syphilis, a Marriage Health Certificate to that affect was issued by the physician and the Applicant could be issued a Marriage License.
Marriage Health Certificates filed with Recorders of Deeds are closed records, no public access.
Two states in the United States still require a blood test for marriage license issuance:
Mississippi (syphilis testing)
Montana (rubella testing for women under age 50 with waiver options)