Marriage License Requirements
If wedding bells are ringing in your future, there’s more to consider than just choosing the perfect venue and picking out the cake. One of the important steps in the marriage process is obtaining a marriage license, and that comes with a fee. In Florida, the Sunshine State, marriage license fees vary depending on certain factors. Let’s dive into the details so you can navigate this process smoothly and without any surprises.
Getting married is a significant life event, and obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in the process. Florida, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, has specific guidelines and fees associated with obtaining a marriage license. Understanding these details will help you plan your special day with ease.
Marriage License Basics
A marriage license is a legal document that allows a couple to get married. In Florida, both parties must appear in person at the County Clerk’s Office to apply for the license. The address for the Charlotte County Clerk’s Office is 350 E. Marion Avenue, 2nd floor, Punta Gorda, FL 33951. The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding Court Approved Holidays).
To apply for a marriage license without parental consent, both applicants must be at least 18 years old. If either applicant is between 16 and 18 years old, they can apply with a birth certificate and proof of identification. Notarized written consent from parents or a guardian is also required in this case. Applicants under 16 years old need a determination from a County Court Judge.
Photo identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, valid passport, or I-94 card, is required for both parties. Social Security numbers are also necessary, although the actual Social Security Cards are not required.
Florida residents typically have a 3-day waiting period before receiving their marriage license. However, this waiting period can be waived if both parties attend a 4-hour pre-marital course. Non-residents do not have a waiting period but are encouraged to read the “Family Law Handbook.”
You do not need to be a resident of Florida to apply for a marriage license in Charlotte County.
If either party has been previously married, the date of divorce or spouse’s death must be provided, along with relevant documentation if the event occurred within the past 30 days.
Florida does not require blood tests for obtaining a marriage license.
Marriage License Fees
The standard fee for a marriage license in Florida is $93.50. However, this fee can be reduced to $61.00 if both parties complete a premarital course offered by a registered premarital provider. This course helps couples prepare for a successful marriage and provides valuable insights.
Marriage Preparation Course
Taking a marriage preparation course can offer privileges for Florida residents. Completing an approved course can lead to a $32.50 discount on the marriage license fee and waive the 3-day waiting period.
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Florida.
First and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in Florida.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Florida.
Marriages in Florida can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
Obtaining a marriage license in Florida involves several important considerations, from age requirements and identification to waiting periods and fees. Planning ahead and understanding the guidelines will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable process as you prepare for your special day.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does a marriage license cost in Florida? The standard fee is $93.50, but it can be reduced to $61.00 if both parties complete a premarital course.
- Do I need to be a resident of Florida to get a marriage license in Charlotte County? No, residency is not a requirement for obtaining a marriage license in Charlotte County.
- Are blood tests required for a marriage license in Florida? No, blood tests are not required.
- Can non-residents of Florida also benefit from the marriage preparation course discount? Yes, both residents and non-residents can receive the discount by completing an approved marriage preparation course.
- Who can officiate marriages in Florida? Marriages can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.