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.