Marriage Certificate Requirements
Getting married is a significant milestone in one’s life, and the process of obtaining a marriage certificate varies from state to state. In Alabama, the laws regarding marriage certificates have recently undergone changes under Alabama Act 2019-340. This article will guide you through the essential information you need to know when applying for a marriage certificate in Alabama. From legal age requirements to waiting periods, we have got you covered.
Legal Age with Parental Consent: 16
For individuals aged 16 or 17 who wish to get married in Alabama, parental consent is a requirement. This means that the parents or guardians of the minor parties must give their approval before the marriage can take place.
Legal Age without Parental Consent: 18
If both parties are 18 years of age or older, they can get married in Alabama without requiring parental consent.
Same-Sex Marriage: Yes
Alabama recognizes and allows same-sex marriages, ensuring equal rights for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.
Waiting Period: None
Unlike some states, Alabama does not impose a waiting period for couples who want to get married. You can obtain your marriage certificate and have your wedding as soon as you meet all the necessary requirements.
Certificate Validity: 30 Days
Once you receive your marriage certificate, it will remain valid for a period of 30 days from the date of issuance. It is important to keep this timeframe in mind and plan your wedding accordingly.
Blood Test: Not Required
In the past, many states required couples to undergo a premarital blood test to check for certain medical conditions. However, Alabama no longer requires such tests, making the process simpler for couples.
Residency: Not Required
You do not need to be a resident of Alabama to get married in the state. Couples from other states or even international couples can choose to have their wedding in Alabama.
Witnesses: Not Required
Unlike some states where witnesses are necessary during the marriage ceremony, Alabama does not require witnesses to be present.
Changes Under Alabama Act 2019-340
Under this act, significant changes have been made to the marriage certificate process in Alabama. Previously, couples had to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court, and the court would issue the license. However, this is no longer the case.
Now, couples are required to complete a standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state or county probate judge’s office. Once the form is fully completed and notarized, it must be delivered to the county probate judge’s office for recording, along with the applicable filing fee.
Marriage Certificate Requirement Alabama
To obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama, follow these steps:
- Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Fully complete the form with all required information about each spouse.
- Take the form to a notary to witness the signatures.
- Deliver the original, fully completed, and notarized form to the county probate judge’s office for recording, along with the filing fee.
The form must be submitted within 30 days of being signed, and the effective date of the marriage is determined by the latter of the dates of the spouses’ signatures.
Marriage ID Requirement Alabama
For applicants aged 18 and older, the following forms of identification are accepted to obtain a marriage certificate:
- A valid driver’s license
- Non-Driver’s license
- A copy of the birth certificate certified by the state or county
- A military identification
- A certified school record
If you have been divorced, there is a 60-day waiting period after the divorce is final before you can apply for a marriage license unless you are remarrying your former spouse.
Marriage Residency Requirement Alabama
As mentioned earlier, there is no residency requirement in Alabama. Couples from anywhere can choose to get married in the state.
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement Alabama
The state does not impose a waiting period for most couples. However, non-residents who want to be married by a county marriage official may have to wait for three days. It is recommended to verify this with the County Probate office.
If you have been divorced within the last 6 months of your wedding date, you will need to show a copy of your Divorce Decree. Alabama law requires a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce, as per Section 30-2-10 of the Alabama Code.
Marriage Certificate Fee Alabama
The fee for a marriage certificate in Alabama varies by county. In Barbour county, for instance, the fee is $85. It is advisable to check the specific fee with the county probate judge’s office.
Name Change Alabama
Obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements Alabama
Minors aged 16 to 17 can marry in Alabama with the consent of a parent or guardian. Special forms are provided for these age groups.
Parties aged 18 and over can use a different marriage certificate form.
Proxy Marriages Alabama
Alabama does not permit proxy marriages. Both parties must be present and apply for the marriage certificate themselves.
Cousin Marriages Alabama
Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in Alabama.
Common Law Marriages Alabama
Alabama recognizes common law marriages. To be considered valid, a common law marriage must meet certain criteria, including capacity to enter into a marriage, mutual agreement to be husband and wife, public recognition of the marriage, and consummation.
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. Couples have the freedom to choose how they want to celebrate their union.
Obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama has become a more straightforward process with the recent changes under Alabama Act 2019-340. As long as you meet the legal age requirements, complete the necessary forms, and follow the guidelines, you can have your marriage legally recognized in the state. Remember that your marriage certificate remains valid for 30 days, so plan your wedding accordingly. Congratulations on taking this momentous step in your life!
- Can non-residents get married in Alabama? Yes, non-residents can get married in Alabama. There is no residency requirement.
- Is there a waiting period to get married in Alabama? For most couples, there is no waiting period. However, non-residents may have to wait three days if they want to be married by a county marriage official.
- Is a blood test required to get married in Alabama? No, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test.
- Can same-sex couples get married in Alabama? Yes, same-sex marriages are legally recognized in Alabama.
- Is solemnization required for a recognized marriage in Alabama? No, solemnization is no longer required. A properly recorded marriage certificate makes the marriage legally valid.