Bibb Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding involves countless details, and one important aspect that often requires attention is obtaining a marriage license. A marriage license is a legal document that allows a couple to marry and formalize their union. If you’re planning to tie the knot in Macon, Georgia, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of the marriage license process. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about marriage license fees, requirements, and more.
Before you say “I do,” you’ll need to obtain a marriage license, which is a legal requirement for marriage in Georgia. A marriage license legitimizes your union and is an essential step in the wedding process.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Macon, Georgia, you and your partner must visit the Bibb County Probate Court. The office is located at 601 Mulberry Street, Room 114, Macon, GA 31201. The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday (excluding Court Approved Holidays).
Required Documents and Information
When applying for a marriage license, you will need to provide the following information and documents:
- Identification: You and your partner must bring valid ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport.
- Divorce Papers or Death Certificate: If either of you has been previously married, bring certified copies of divorce papers or the death certificate of your former spouse.
- Parents’ Birth Place and Mother’s Maiden Name: You’ll need to know the birthplaces (city and state) of both your parents and your mother’s maiden name.
- Full Name After Marriage: You’ll need to decide on the legal surname you’ll use after marriage.
- Date and Place of Marriage: The date and location of your upcoming marriage.
Marriage License Fees
The cost of obtaining a marriage license varies based on whether you have completed pre-marital counseling. The fees are as follows:
- Without pre-marital counseling: $56
- With pre-marital counseling: $16
Additionally, there is a $10 fee for the certified copy of the marriage license, which is mailed to the applicants after recording. There’s also a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
You can use various forms of identification to apply for a marriage license, including a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Georgia does not have a waiting period for getting married. You do not need to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license in the state.
Previous Marriages and Divorce Records
If you or your partner have been previously married, you’ll need to provide certified copies of divorce papers showing the judge’s signature and date of divorce.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Georgia. However, first and second cousins are legally permitted to marry. While common-law marriages aren’t recognized if formed after January 1, 1997, those formed before that date are valid.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required in Georgia for obtaining a marriage license.
Name Change After Marriage
Georgia law requires each applicant to designate the legal surname they’ll use after marriage. This can include their present surname, the surname of a previous marriage, or the spouse’s surname.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. For those aged 16 or 17, a license may be issued with written parental consent. No license is issued if either applicant is under 16.
Proof of Age Documentation
Acceptable proof of age documents include a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, selective service card, passport, court record, and more.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings. If the officiant does not complete the form, two witnesses are required.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The Georgia marriage license does not have an expiration date.
Online Marriage Application
You can apply for your marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
How to Obtain a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
To get a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Vital Records office at 2600 Skyland Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30319-3640, or call 404.679.4701.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in the journey towards marriage. By understanding the requirements, fees, and procedures involved, you’ll ensure a smooth and legally sound process as you embark on this exciting chapter of your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I apply for a marriage license online in Georgia? Yes, you can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Georgia? No, proxy marriages are not permitted in Georgia.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Georgia? No, Georgia does not have a waiting period for getting married.
- Can I change my last name through the marriage license? While you can designate a new surname on the marriage license, it does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal process to change your last name.
- Are common-law marriages recognized in Georgia? Common-law marriages formed before January 1, 1997, are recognized in Georgia.