Marriage License Requirements
Everything You Need to Know About Marriage License Fees in Florida
When it comes to tying the knot in the sunshine state, Florida, there are certain formalities that need to be addressed. One of the most important aspects is obtaining a marriage license. This document not only legalizes your union but also marks the beginning of your journey as a married couple. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the intricacies of marriage license fees in Florida, ensuring you’re well-prepared for your big day.
Understanding Marriage License Fees
Before you exchange your vows, you need to exchange a fee for your marriage license. In Florida, the standard fee for obtaining a marriage license is $93.50. However, there’s an opportunity to reduce this fee if you meet specific criteria.
Fee Reduction for Premarital Course Completion
If you and your partner attend a premarital course conducted by a registered premarital provider, you can enjoy a reduced fee of $61.00 for your marriage license application. This reduction serves as an incentive for couples to engage in premarital counseling and education.
Qualifications for Reduced Fee
To qualify for the reduced fee, you must present a valid certificate of completion from the premarital course. This certificate should be furnished at the time of filing the marriage license application. This provision encourages couples to invest in their relationship before they embark on the journey of marriage.
Marriage Application Requirements
When applying for a marriage license in Florida, there are certain requirements that both parties must meet. Here’s an overview:
- Both applicants must be at least 18 years of age to apply without parental consent.
- If either applicant is between 16 and 18 years of age, a birth certificate and proof of identification are required. Notarized written consent from parents or guardians is also necessary.
- Applicants under 16 years of age must seek a determination from a County Court Judge.
- A blood test is not required.
- A $93.50 fee is applicable at the time of marriage license application.
Course Completion and Fee Reduction
As mentioned earlier, completing a premarital course qualifies you for a reduced fee. If you furnish a valid certificate of completion, your application fee drops from $93.50 to $61.00. The certificate serves as proof of your commitment to strengthening your relationship before marriage.
Additional Mandatory Requirements
In addition to the premarital course, both applicants are required by law to read the “Family Law Handbook.” This ensures that couples are aware of their rights and responsibilities within a marriage. It’s a step towards fostering understanding and awareness.
Non-Florida Residents and Fee Reduction
Even if you’re not a resident of Florida, you can still benefit from the reduced fee. Completing an accepted marriage preparation course enables both residents and non-residents to enjoy the fee reduction. This emphasizes the importance of education and preparation, regardless of your location.
Validity and Expiration of Marriage License
Keep in mind that a marriage license in Florida remains valid for 60 days after issuance. This means you must conduct your marriage ceremony within this timeframe. Failure to do so would require obtaining a new license.
The Role of Marriage Officiants
Your marriage ceremony can be officiated by any ordained or licensed clergy, notary public, or justice of the peace. This flexibility ensures that your union can be celebrated in a way that resonates with you.
Witnesses Not Required
Unlike some states, Florida does not require witnesses during your marriage ceremony. This simplifies the process and allows you to focus on the significance of the moment.
Navigating the world of marriage licenses in Florida might seem intricate, but understanding the nuances can make the process much smoother. By meeting the requirements and taking advantage of the fee reduction opportunities, you’re taking meaningful steps towards building a strong foundation for your marriage. Remember, investing time and effort into your relationship is a priceless endeavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Can I apply for a marriage license in Florida if I’m not a resident? Yes, Florida doesn’t require you to be a resident to apply for a marriage license.
Q2: Do I need a blood test to obtain a marriage license in Florida? No, a blood test is not required to obtain a marriage license in Florida.
Q3: Can I change my name on the marriage license? Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures.
Q4: What if I’ve been previously married? If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide the date of your divorce or your spouse’s death. If either of these occurred within the past 30 days, relevant documentation is required.
Q5: How long is the marriage license valid? A marriage license in Florida is valid for 60 days after issuance. The ceremony must be performed within this timeframe.