Marriage License Requirements
Navigating the legal requirements for getting married can sometimes feel overwhelming, but understanding the marriage license fees in Florida is an important step in the process. Whether you’re a Florida resident planning to tie the knot or a couple from out of state considering a destination wedding in the Sunshine State, knowing the ins and outs of the marriage license fees will help you prepare for your special day.
Getting married is a significant life event, and understanding the legal requirements associated with it is crucial. In Florida, the marriage license process involves various aspects, including fees, waiting periods, and documentation. Let’s delve into the details to ensure you’re well-prepared for your big day.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Florida, both applicants must appear in person at the local County Clerk’s Office. The process includes submitting necessary identification, completing the application, and paying the required fees.
Marriage License Fees Breakdown
The cost of obtaining a marriage license in Florida varies based on certain factors. As of now, the standard fee for a marriage license is $93.50. However, there’s a reduced fee of $61.00 for applicants who have completed a premarital course conducted by a registered premarital provider. This course can offer valuable insights into married life and contributes to the fee reduction.
Marriage Waiting Period and Course Options
Florida residents typically have a three-day waiting period before the marriage license becomes effective. However, this waiting period can be waived if both parties attend a four-hour pre-marital course. This course provides couples with essential relationship skills and legal knowledge, making them eligible for a fee reduction and bypassing the waiting period.
Marriage Residency Requirements
Unlike some states, Florida does not require couples to be residents of the state to obtain a marriage license. This flexibility makes Florida a popular choice for destination weddings.
Previous Marriages and Documentation
If either party has been previously married, they must provide documentation of divorce or spouse’s death. This ensures transparency and compliance with legal requirements.
Blood Tests and Health Requirements
Unlike in the past, Florida no longer requires blood tests for marriage license applicants. This change has simplified the process and eliminated potential stress for couples.
Accepted Payment Methods
When paying for your marriage license, it’s essential to know the accepted payment methods. While cash is the preferred option, it’s advisable to check with the local County Clerk’s Office for any additional payment options.
Marriage Preparation Courses
Completing a marriage preparation course can be highly beneficial for couples. It not only provides insights into building a strong foundation for your marriage but also offers financial incentives, such as fee reductions and waived waiting periods.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Florida does not recognize proxy marriages, where one party is absent during the ceremony. However, the state does allow first and second cousins to marry legally.
Common Law Marriages
Unlike some states, Florida does not recognize common law marriages. To establish a legal marriage, you must follow the state’s formal marriage license process.
Marriage Age Requirements
In Florida, the legal age for marriage without parental consent is eighteen (18) years. For minors aged sixteen (16) and seventeen (17), parental consent is required. For individuals under sixteen, a court judge’s determination is necessary.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name after marriage, you can use an online marriage name change kit to streamline the process.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Florida allows various individuals to officiate weddings, including ordained clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace. This flexibility ensures that couples can choose the officiant that best suits their preferences and beliefs.
Marriage Witnesses and Expiration
Unlike some states, Florida does not require witnesses during the marriage ceremony. Additionally, a marriage license in Florida is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance, and the marriage ceremony must take place within this period.
Understanding the marriage license fees and requirements in Florida is essential for a smooth and stress-free wedding process. From the application process to age requirements and pre-marital courses, being well-informed will help you prepare for your special day with confidence.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Florida? Yes, there’s a three-day waiting period for Florida residents, which can be waived by completing a premarital course.
- Can non-Florida residents marry in Florida? Yes, non-residents can marry in Florida without a waiting period. However, they must still adhere to the state’s marriage requirements.
- Can I change my last name after obtaining a marriage license? Yes, but obtaining a license with your new name does not automatically change it. You can use a marriage name change kit for this purpose.
- Who can officiate weddings in Florida? Weddings can be officiated by ordained clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
- How long is a Florida marriage license valid? A Florida marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.