Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to tying the knot in Panama City, Florida, there are a few essential steps you need to take to ensure a smooth and legal marriage. One of the first things on your checklist should be obtaining a marriage license. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process, requirements, and costs associated with acquiring a marriage license in Panama City, Florida.
Your wedding day is a special and memorable occasion, and obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in making it official. In Panama City, Florida, the process is straightforward, but there are some important details to be aware of before you start planning your big day.
Marriage License Basics
To apply for a marriage license in Panama City, both applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria. They should be at least 18 years old, and if either applicant is between 16 and 18 years old, they must provide a birth certificate and obtain notarized consent from their parents or guardian. Applicants under 16 years old require a determination from a County Court Judge.
If you’re both at least 18 years old, you can apply for a marriage license without parental consent. However, if one or both applicants are 16 or 17 years old, a birth certificate and consent form are necessary.
Minors and Consent
For minors aged 16 or 17, parental or guardian consent is mandatory. A blood test is not required for obtaining a marriage license.
To apply for a marriage license, both applicants need to visit the Bay County Clerk’s Office in person. You’ll need to bring the following documents:
- Photo identification (driver’s license, state ID, passport, or I-94 card)
- Social Security numbers (cards not required)
- Certified copy of birth certificate (if requested)
- Proof of course completion for reduced fee (if applicable)
Reduced Fee Option
If you’ve completed a premarital course conducted by a registered premarital provider, you can benefit from a reduced application fee. The fee is lowered from $93.50 to $61.00 upon presenting a valid certificate of completion.
Valid photo identification is crucial when applying for a marriage license. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security numbers, and a certified copy of your birth certificate might be required.
You don’t have to be a resident of Florida to obtain a marriage license in Bay County. It’s a popular choice for couples looking for a destination wedding location.
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide the date of divorce or your spouse’s death. If these events occurred within the past 30 days, a certified copy of the relevant document is necessary.
No Blood Test Required
Unlike in some states, Florida doesn’t require a blood test as part of the marriage license application process.
Marriage License Fees
The standard fee for a marriage license is $93.50, but this can be reduced to $61.00 if you’ve completed a premarital course.
Marriage Preparation Course
Florida residents who take an approved marriage preparation course can enjoy privileges such as a reduced fee and waived waiting period. Non-Florida residents who complete an accepted course can have the waiting period waived.
Before heading to the Bay County Clerk’s Office, make sure to verify all the necessary information, including office hours and any specific requirements.
While proxy marriages and common law marriages are not allowed in Florida, first and second cousins are legally permitted to marry.
Marriage Age Requirements
The legal age for marriage without parental consent is 18 years. However, with parental consent, individuals as young as 16 can get married. A doctor’s certification of pregnancy can also allow underage marriage.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. For a name change, consider using an online marriage name change kit.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Marriage ceremonies can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
Unlike in some states, witnesses are not required for a marriage ceremony in Florida.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Your marriage license will be valid for 60 days after issuance. Make sure to plan your wedding ceremony within this timeframe.
Acquiring a marriage license in Panama City, Florida, is an essential step in making your wedding day official and memorable. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and associated fees, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. Whether you’re a Florida resident or planning a destination wedding, the guidelines provided here will help you navigate the process with ease.
- Can non-Florida residents apply for a marriage license in Bay County, Florida?
- Yes, non-Florida residents can apply for a marriage license in Bay County.
- Is a blood test required when applying for a marriage license in Panama City, Florida?
- No, a blood test is not required for a marriage license in Panama City, Florida.
- How long is a marriage license valid after issuance?
- A marriage license in Panama City, Florida, is valid for 60 days after issuance.
- Can minors get married in Panama City, Florida?
- Minors aged 16 or 17 can get married with parental consent and other requirements.
- Are witnesses required for a marriage ceremony in Florida?
- No, witnesses are not required for a marriage ceremony in Florida.