Marriage Certificate Requirements
In Alabama, the process of obtaining a marriage certificate has undergone significant changes under Alabama Act 2019-340. With this new act in place, persons wishing to get married no longer have to apply for a marriage license with the county probate court, and courts will no longer issue marriage licenses. Instead, they are now required to complete and record a standardized marriage certificate. In this article, we will delve into the details of this new process, including age requirements, residency, waiting periods, and more.
Marriage Certificate Requirements in Alabama
Legal Age with Parental Consent: 16
In Alabama, individuals who are 16 years old can get married with parental consent. The marriage certificate form must be fully completed and signed by both parties, and a parent or guardian’s consent must also be included.
Legal Age without Parental Consent: 18
For individuals who are 18 years or older, no parental consent is required to obtain a marriage certificate. They can apply for a marriage certificate independently.
Same-Sex Marriage: Yes
Alabama recognizes and allows same-sex marriages. Under the new Act, all couples, regardless of their gender, have the right to obtain a marriage certificate.
Waiting Period: None
Unlike some other states, Alabama does not impose a waiting period for getting married. Once the marriage certificate is obtained, the couple can proceed with their wedding whenever they desire.
Certificate Validity: 30 Days
The marriage certificate is valid for 30 days from the date of being signed by both spouses. It’s essential to complete the necessary steps and record the marriage within this timeframe.
Blood Test: Not Required
Unlike previous requirements, Alabama no longer mandates a premarital blood test for couples seeking to get married.
Residency: Not Required
You do not have to be a resident of Alabama to obtain a marriage certificate. Any couple can apply for a marriage certificate in the state.
Witnesses: Not Required
Alabama does not require witnesses for the marriage certificate process. The completion and recording of the standardized form are sufficient to validate the marriage.
Steps to Obtain a Marriage Certificate in Alabama
To successfully obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama under the new Act 2019-340, follow these steps:
- Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Fully complete the form, providing accurate information about each spouse, as required on the form.
- Take the completed form to a notary to witness the signatures of both parties. It’s crucial to ensure all signatures are notarized.
- Deliver the original, fully completed, and notarized form to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording. The filing fee for the certificate varies by county.
- The form must be submitted within 30 days of being signed by both spouses.
- The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the spouses’ signatures.
- Once properly completed and recorded by the probate court, the marriage becomes legally recognized.
It’s vital to double-check all information with your local County Probate office before making the trip to purchase your marriage certificate. The form should be printed on 8.5 x 11 inch white or light paper, front side only, as actual size, not “fit to page” or another modified size. The County Probate Office will not accept handwritten forms to ensure all information is legible and the document is properly recorded.
Marriage ID Requirements
To obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama, you must be 18 years or older and present one of the following forms of identification along with your Social Security card:
- A valid driver’s license
- Non-Driver’s license
- A copy of your birth certificate certified by the State or County
- A military identification
- A certified school record
If you have been divorced, please be prepared to tell the officials when your divorce was granted. You may not apply for a license within 60 days after your divorce was granted unless you are remarrying your former spouse.
- Proxy Marriages: Proxy marriage is not permitted in Alabama, meaning no other party may apply on behalf of either spouse.
- Cousin Marriages: First and second cousins may legally marry in Alabama.
- Common Law Marriages: A valid common law marriage exists in AL when there is capacity to enter into a marriage, present agreement or consent to be husband and wife, public recognition of the existence of the marriage, and consummation.
The new Alabama Act 2019-340 has simplified the process of obtaining a marriage certificate. Couples can now directly record their standardized marriage certificate with the county probate court, eliminating the need for a marriage license. This change ensures that all couples, regardless of their gender, have the same rights and opportunities when it comes to marriage in Alabama.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Alabama? No, there is no waiting period, except for individuals who have been divorced. They must wait 60 days after their divorce is final to remarry.
- Do I need to be a resident of Alabama to get a marriage certificate? No, you do not need to be a resident of Alabama. Any couple can apply for a marriage certificate in the state.
- Are witnesses required for the marriage certificate process? No, Alabama does not require witnesses for the marriage certificate process. The completion and recording of the standardized form are sufficient.
- What is the validity period of the marriage certificate? The marriage certificate is valid for 30 days from the date of being signed by both spouses.
- Can I obtain a marriage certificate through proxy marriage? No, proxy marriage is not permitted in Alabama. Both spouses must be present to apply for the certificate.