Butts Probate Court Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a significant life event, and one of the important aspects of legalizing your union is obtaining a marriage license. Different states have varying procedures and requirements for acquiring a marriage license. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of marriage license fees and other crucial information for couples planning to tie the knot in the state of Georgia.
The journey towards marital bliss starts with obtaining a marriage license. This legal document is a crucial step in the process of getting married, as it legitimizes your union in the eyes of the law. Each state has its own set of rules and requirements for obtaining a marriage license, and Georgia is no exception.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Georgia, both applicants need to provide identification. Acceptable forms of identification include a valid driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport.
Non-English Speaking Applicants
For applicants who do not speak fluent English, a court-approved translator must be present during the application process to ensure that both parties fully understand the proceedings.
Documents for Divorced or Widowed Applicants
If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or the death certificate of the former spouse must be provided.
Applicants are required to provide information about their parents’ birthplaces, including the city and state. Additionally, the mother’s maiden name is needed for the application.
Post-Marriage Name Change
Georgia law requires applicants to specify the legal surname they will use after marriage. This could be their present surname, a previous marriage surname, their spouse’s surname, or a combination of both.
Marriage License Fees in Georgia
The cost of obtaining a marriage license in Georgia varies depending on certain factors:
Without Premarital Counseling
If you choose not to undergo premarital counseling, the application fee for a marriage license is $56.
With Premarital Counseling
Couples who complete a premarital counseling course can avail of a reduced fee. The application cost is $16 for applicants who present a certificate of completion for the counseling.
Apart from the application fees, there is a $10 charge for the certified copy of the marriage license, which is sent to the applicants after recording. Additionally, a $10 fee is charged for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Georgia Marriage License Validity
Unlike some states, Georgia does not impose an expiration date on marriage licenses. This provides couples with flexibility in planning their wedding ceremony.
Who Can Perform the Ceremony?
Marriages in Georgia can be officiated by licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace.
If the officiant does not complete the marriage certificate form, two witnesses are required to be present during the ceremony in order to obtain the marriage certificate.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency
Georgia does not have a waiting period for marriage. Additionally, you do not need to be a resident of Georgia to apply for a marriage license in the state.
Previous Marriages and Records
In case of previous marriages, applicants must provide proof of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce. This document should bear the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for marriage license application in Georgia.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Age Requirements and Proof
Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. For applicants aged 16 or 17, written parental consent is required. As of July 1, 2006, pregnancy of a female applicant no longer authorizes the issuance of a license to a 16 or 17-year-old without consent.
Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors, and justices of the peace are authorized to officiate marriages in Georgia. If the officiant does not complete the form, two witnesses are required during the ceremony.
Online Marriage Application
Georgia offers the convenience of applying for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
How to Obtain a Copy of the Marriage License
To obtain a copy of the marriage license, you can contact the Vital Records office or visit their website. The office address is 2600 Skyland Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30319-3640.
Acquiring a marriage license is an essential step in the journey to marital happiness. By understanding the requirements, fees, and procedures involved in obtaining a marriage license in Georgia, couples can ensure a smooth and hassle-free process as they prepare to embark on this new chapter of their lives.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage in Georgia? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia.
- Can cousins marry legally in Georgia? Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in Georgia.
- Are common-law marriages recognized in Georgia? No, common-law marriages are not recognized in Georgia if they were created after January 1, 1997.
- Are blood tests required for marriage license application in Georgia? No, blood tests are not required for marriage license application in Georgia as of July 1, 2003.
- Is the marriage license fee refundable if the wedding is canceled? No, the marriage license fee is non-refundable regardless of whether the wedding takes place or not.