Marriage Blood Test: Can One Fail It?

For those who live in a US State where a blood test is required before getting a marriage license, can Big Brother really prevent you from getting married if you and/or your spouse were to fail? What’s the whole point of the blood test, anyhow? - Jinx

For my first marriage in the great state of Oklahoma a blood test was required.

I asked the doctor why and he said the test was for syfallus. (sp)

Anyway we could still be married but he made the test results known to me and my soon-to-be spouse.

I suppose that if I did have she may not have gone through with it.

Very few states have blood-testing requirements anymore. Caution. Generalization follows: Originally they were designed to catch syphilis, and prevent the transmission of said disease to any offspring of the proposed marriage. I doubt they were ever used to legally bar a marriage, only to ensure treatment.

Testing has been dropped because of its tremendously low yield of positive results.


Growing up I always thought bloog tests were done to make sure you weren’t related and accidently end up marrying your long lost brother or something. As I got older I realized it was to test for disease. I wasn’t even aware it was still required. I thought that law was done away with.

It’s not really a question of pass or fail. In Montana, only the bride-to-be is required to submit to a blood test. They are looking for proof that you have been vaccinated for Rubella, (German measles.) Providing they find the antibodies in your blood stream, you are good to go. If they don’t, you get the vaccination, and then get married. You must have the bloodwork paperwork with you when applying for your license. Women over the age of 50 are not required to submit to this test, as they are past childbearing years.


Cause Og knows no women in Montana get pregnant before marriage. :slight_smile:

NC did away with the physical one year before my first marriage. My best friend had to have one when she got married though. It wasn’t a pass or fail thing. She did say that she had to get naked and the doctor just looked at her naked bits. I guess making sure she was really a women?

Hi, one of Doctor oldbat’s patients cancelled, so I’m browsing for a minute here. I practice in Michigan, and the marriage license here requires at least a statement of positive rubella antibody titer. Bride only, I seem to recall. Many people think they need to get vaccinated every time they marry, but one positive test is sufficient documentation for the purpose. Public health reasons. Babies damaged by prenatal rubella are generally regarded as a BAD preventable tragedy. Don’t know what they’d do if somebody refused the test and refused vaccine, but I’m pretty sure they can’t prevent two competent adults from marrying for public-health reasons. This is a quickie screening, but is cost-effective, too, since almost everybody is positive for rubella antibodies and the vaccine is so widely used that it makes the blood tests generally unnecessary.
Oops, another patient just arrived…

In the states where they test for the Rubella antibody when you marry do they test again when you are pregnant? I thought you got tested everytime you were going to have a baby. (Although I know it is too late to do anything about it if you are negative when you already have a bun in the oven.)

Airman and I got married in Mississippi, and we both had to be tested for syphilis. The tests had to be dated within (I think) two to three weeks (maybe less) of the date on the marriage license. No big deal; the clinic at Keesler AFB is used to it, and my obstetrician (I was pregnant at the time) was too happy to comply. The reason I was given for the syphilis test was that Mississippi has a fairly high incidence of the disease, and testing is a way to make sure people get treated for it.

About the rubella titer. I’ve been checked for it so many times, it’s not even funny. One GYN I used to go to made it part of his annual physical routine, along with STD cultures. I also got tested for it during pregnancy as part of the earliest bloodwork done. It’s not that not being immune to rubella is bad in and of itself; I would’ve had to be extra-careful to avoid people with it.


Massachusetts (as of 1994, YMMV) required the passage of the syphilis test (called an “RPR”) to obtain a marriage license. Any positive RPR test, in any setting, requires a retest at the DPH labs, where a more selective test is performed.

It was quite a surprise when the doctor told me I had failed the test for syphilis; I’ve never had, nor had any symptoms of, an STD. This went down to the wire for me…the state lab had to declare me negative prior to my wife and I receiving a license, and it was only two weeks to the wedding! Fortunately, the test came back negative and we were able to get the license and get married on time.

The false positive result led to a workup for lupus, as such a result is often an indicator of the disease, but I was clear. It was however, an indicator for another problem that would appear later: antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (only without the syndrome…I just have anticardiolipin antibodies which cause blood clotting).

In Conceiveable says…

Funny you should say this, I was one of the pregnant and unmarried… I was 15 years old at the time. :slight_smile:

Actually, as such, I wasn’t required to have the test. I had been vaccinated when I had my son 11 years ago, and only needed a copy of my history from the hospital to prove this to the Co. Health Dept. I opted to pay the $27.00, and have the bloodtest done as I didn’t want to take the time to go tracking down 11 year old documents at the hospital.


from Cecil

If you try to marry your freakin sister or something, yeah they will have something to say about that!

Non sequitur, but it raises an ancilliary point: Is the first-cousin rule' pretty much universal in the USA? (By which I mean, you can marry nobody more closely related to you than a second cousin.) Do incest laws only apply in cases of consanguinity or do they cover merely legal relationships’ (in-laws, step*s)?