Marriage Certificate Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in Birmingham, Alabama? Understanding the marriage certificate process is essential to ensure your union is recognized legally. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the details, requirements, and steps involved in obtaining your marriage certificate in the Birmingham Division of Jefferson County. From fees to age requirements, we’ve got you covered.
Applying for a Marriage Certificate
Getting married is a significant milestone, and one of the first steps is obtaining your marriage certificate. Here’s what you need to know:
Legal Age and Consent
- Legal Age with Parental Consent: 16.
- Legal Age without Parental Consent: 18.
Alabama law permits marriage for individuals as young as 16 with parental consent. Those 18 and older can marry without parental consent.
- Same-Sex Marriage: Yes.
Alabama recognizes and supports same-sex marriages.
Waiting Period and Certificate Validity
- Waiting Period: None.
- Certificate Validity: 30 Days.
There is no waiting period to obtain your marriage certificate, and it remains valid for 30 days from the date of issuance.
Blood Test and Residency
- Blood Test: Not Required.
- Residency: Not Required.
Unlike some states, Alabama does not require a blood test or proof of residency to obtain a marriage certificate.
In Alabama, witnesses are not required during the marriage ceremony.
Changes in Alabama Marriage Law
Under Alabama Act 2019-340, the process of obtaining a marriage license has changed. Instead of applying for a license, couples now need to complete and deliver a standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state. The form represents a contractual agreement between the parties to the marriage.
Steps to Obtain Your Marriage Certificate
- Obtain the Standardized Form: Acquire the marriage certificate form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Complete the Form: Fill out the form with accurate information about both spouses.
- Notarize Signatures: Take the form to a notary to witness signatures.
- Submit the Form: Deliver the completed and notarized form to the county Probate Judge’s office along with the filing fee.
To obtain a marriage certificate, individuals must present valid identification:
- A valid driver’s license
- Non-Driver’s license
- Certified copy of birth certificate
- Military identification
- Certified school record
Divorcees must wait 60 days after their divorce is final before applying for a new marriage license.
- Residency Requirement: You do not need to be an Alabama resident.
- Marriage Waiting Period: There is no waiting period except for recent divorcees, who must wait 60 days.
- Previous Marriages: Divorced within the last 6 months? You’ll need to show a copy of your Divorce Decree.
- Marriage Certificate Fee: The fee typically ranges between $40 and $80, payable in cash.
- Blood Test: A premarital blood test is no longer required.
- Name Change: Changing your last name requires a separate process.
- Minor Parties (Aged 16-17): Parental or guardian consent is required.
- Adult Parties (Aged 18 and over): No consent is required.
Officiants and Expiration
- Marriage Officiants: Licensed ministers, pastors, and Alabama judges can officiate weddings.
- Expiration Date: Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.
For inquiries and more details, you can reach out to the Alabama Department of Public Health:
- Address: 434 Monroe St., Montgomery, Alabama 36130-3017
- Phone: 334.613.5300
- Fax: 334.240.3097
Navigating the marriage certificate process in Birmingham, Alabama, is now simpler with the updated laws. Whether you’re planning a traditional or same-sex marriage, understanding the requirements and steps will ensure a smooth and legally recognized union.
- Can minors get married in Alabama? Yes, with parental or guardian consent.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage certificates? No, there is no waiting period except for recent divorcees.
- Are blood tests required for marriage in Alabama? No, premarital blood tests are no longer required.
- How much does a marriage certificate cost in Alabama? The fee typically ranges between $40 and $80, payable in cash.
- Is same-sex marriage legal in Alabama? Yes, Alabama recognizes and supports same-sex marriages.