Brantley Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is an exciting journey that involves not only the emotional aspects of joining two lives but also some administrative and legal procedures. One of these important steps is obtaining a marriage license. In the state of Georgia, the process is straightforward, but it’s crucial to understand the requirements and fees associated with it. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining a marriage license in Georgia, including the fees involved and the necessary documents. Let’s dive in!
Introduction to Marriage License Fees
Marriage is a beautiful union, but it also comes with some costs. Understanding the fees associated with obtaining a marriage license is an essential part of planning your big day. Let’s break down the fees step by step:
Basic Fees Breakdown
Before you tie the knot, it’s important to be aware of the basic fees involved. In Brantley County, Georgia, the fees for obtaining a marriage license are as follows:
- $56 – Without Premarital Education: If you choose not to take premarital counseling, the application fee for your marriage license will be $56.
- $16 – With Premarital Education: However, if you decide to take a premarital counseling course and provide a certificate of completion, the application fee is reduced to $16.
Certified Copy Charges
In addition to the application fee, there is a charge for a certified copy of the marriage license. This copy is typically mailed to the applicants after the recording. The fee for the certified copy is $10.
Additional Certified Copy Charges
Apart from the certified copy of the marriage license, there is also a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application. This copy is intended for the Social Security Administration.
The Application Process
To complete the application for a marriage license in Georgia, there are a few important steps you need to follow:
- Identification: Both applicants must provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, military ID, passport, or resident alien ID.
- Translator Requirement: If one of the applicants doesn’t speak fluent English, a court-approved translator will be required to assist with the application for the marriage license.
- Divorce or Widow Documentation: If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or death certificates are required.
- Parental Information: The birthplace (city and state) of both applicants’ parents and the mother’s maiden name are needed.
- Bride’s Full Name After Marriage: This information is necessary for legal documentation.
- Date and Place of Marriage: Providing the date and place of the intended marriage is crucial.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency
Unlike some states, Georgia does not have a waiting period for getting married. Additionally, you do not need to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license.
If either applicant has been divorced, documentation of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce is required.
Proxy and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Georgia. However, it is legal for first and second cousins to marry.
Common Law Marriages and Blood Tests
Common law marriages are not recognized in Georgia if created after January 1, 1997. As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for marriage.
Name Change After Marriage
Georgia law requires applicants to designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. This can include their present surname, the surname from a previous marriage, or the spouse’s surname.
Marriage Age Requirements and Proof of Age
Both applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Proof of age is required, and acceptable documents include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and more.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia. Witnesses are required if the person performing the ceremony doesn’t complete the form.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some documents, a Georgia marriage license does not have an expiration date, which means you have the flexibility to plan your wedding without rushing.
Online Marriage Application
For added convenience, Georgia offers an online application process for obtaining a marriage license. This can streamline the process and save you time.
Conclusion and Further Information
Obtaining a marriage license in Georgia involves a combination of administrative procedures and fees. It’s important to be well-prepared by having all the required documentation and information ready. Remember to verify all details with your local Brantley County Probate Court, as requirements may vary by jurisdiction. Whether you’re planning a grand wedding ceremony or a simple union, knowing the marriage license fees and process will help you start your journey of love on the right foot.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is premarital education necessary to obtain a marriage license?Premarital education is not mandatory, but it can significantly reduce the application fee.
- Can out-of-state residents marry in Georgia?Yes, you do not have to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license in the state.
- What if I don’t speak fluent English?If one applicant doesn’t speak fluent English, a court-approved translator is required for the application.
- Can I change my last name immediately after obtaining the marriage license?No, obtaining a marriage license with a new name doesn’t automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the legal process.
- Are blood tests required for marriage in Georgia?No, blood tests are not required for marriage in Georgia as of July 1, 2003.