Chatham Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to tying the knot, one of the first steps on your journey to wedded bliss is obtaining a marriage license. This document not only signifies the legal union of two individuals but also opens the door to a lifetime of shared moments and memories. If you’re planning to say “I do” in the picturesque city of Savannah, Georgia, this guide will walk you through the ins and outs of marriage license fees and requirements.
As you embark on the journey of marriage, understanding the legal aspects is crucial. In Savannah, Georgia, obtaining a marriage license is a vital step towards making your union official. Let’s dive into the details of what you need to know before you say “I do.”
Application for a Marriage License
To complete the application for a marriage license in Savannah, a couple must appear together at the Chatham County Probate Court. Here are some important points to keep in mind during the application process:
- Both applicants must be present.
- A Court Approved Translator is required if either applicant does not speak fluent English.
- Certified Copies of Divorce Papers are needed if either applicant has been previously married.
- A Certified Copy of Death Certificate is required if either applicant is widowed.
- Details about parents’ birthplace, mother’s maiden name, and the bride’s full name after marriage are essential.
- The date and place of the intended marriage are required.
To ensure a smooth application process, make sure to bring valid identification. Acceptable forms of identification include:
- Drivers License
- State ID
- Resident Alien ID
- Military ID
Waiting Period and Residency
Unlike some states, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia. Additionally, you do not have to be a resident of Georgia to apply for a marriage license in Savannah.
If either applicant has previously been married, they must provide a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce. This document must display the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Marriage License Fees
The fees for obtaining a marriage license in Chatham County are as follows:
- $56 without pre-marital counseling
- $16 with pre-marital counseling (proof of completion required)
In addition to the marriage license fees, there is a $10 charge for the certified copy of the marriage license. This certified copy will be mailed to the applicants after recording. There is also a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Proxy and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not permitted in Georgia. However, the state does allow first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages
Georgia does not recognize common-law marriages established after January 1, 1997.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required in Georgia as a prerequisite for marriage.
Name After Marriage
Georgia law requires each applicant to designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. This can include:
- Present surname
- Surname from a previous marriage
- Spouse’s surname
- A combination of the above in conjunction with the other spouse’s surname
It’s important to note that obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can utilize an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. If either applicant is 16 or 17 years old, a license may be issued with written parental consent. No license may be issued to individuals under 16.
Proof of Age
Georgia law mandates proof of age during the application process. Acceptable forms of proof include:
- Birth certificate
- Driver’s license
- Baptismal certificate
- Certificate of birth registration
- Selective service card
- Court record
- Immigration papers
- Alien papers
- Citizenship papers
- Armed forces discharge papers
- Armed forces identification card
- Hospital admission card with full name and date of birth
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace are authorized to officiate weddings in Georgia.
In the event that the person performing the ceremony does not complete the necessary forms, two witnesses are required during the ceremony to obtain the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some states that impose an expiration date, a Georgia marriage license does not have an expiration date.
Georgia Online Marriage Application
Savannah offers the convenience of applying for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website. This streamlines the process and allows you to initiate your marital journey with ease.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
After your marriage license has been recorded, you can obtain a copy of the certified marriage license and certificate through the Chatham County Probate Court or the Vital Records office in Atlanta.
In conclusion, navigating the intricacies of marriage license fees and requirements in Savannah, Georgia, is an important step towards making your union official. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a seamless process as you embark on your journey into marital bliss.
- Can I apply for a marriage license online in Savannah? Yes, you can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage in Georgia? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in the state of Georgia.
- What documents are required if I’ve been previously married? If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide certified copies of your divorce papers.
- Can cousins marry legally in Georgia? Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in the state of Georgia.
- Do I need a blood test before getting married in Georgia? No, blood tests are no longer required in Georgia for marriage.