North Carolina minimum marriage age now 16 with bill signing

Known for its coastlines, mountains and the state that was “first in flight,” North Carolina has also developed a more dubious reputation recently: as a regional destination for adults who want to marry children.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s minimum age to be married is now higher after Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill increasing it from 14 years old to 16.

The increase takes effect immediately after the governor’s bill signing Thursday. It comes after the General Assembly gave unanimous support to the new threshold earlier this month.

North Carolina lawmakers acted as officials said the state had turned recently into a destination locale for out-of-state couples seeking to wed and in which one marriage applicant is a minor. North Carolina’s new law still requires 16- or 17-year-olds to receive formal legal permission to marry.

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