Chattooga Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a beautiful journey that starts with a significant step – obtaining a marriage license. If you’re planning to tie the knot in the charming state of Georgia, understanding the ins and outs of marriage license fees and requirements is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process, from application to fees, so you can embark on your marital adventure well-prepared.
Marriage is a momentous occasion, and obtaining a marriage license is the first step towards a lifetime of love and companionship. Whether you’re a resident of Georgia or planning a destination wedding, understanding the marriage license process is essential.
Marriage License Application: A Step-by-Step Guide
To apply for a marriage license, both applicants need to present valid identification. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport.
Translator for Non-English Speakers
If either applicant doesn’t speak fluent English, a court-approved translator will be required to assist with the application process.
Divorce and Widowhood
Applicants who have been previously married must provide certified copies of divorce papers or a death certificate if widowed.
Details about both parents’ birthplaces (city and state) and the mother’s maiden name will be required.
Bride’s Name After Marriage
Georgia law requires applicants to designate the legal surname the bride will use after marriage.
Date and Place of Marriage
Applicants need to provide the intended date and place of the marriage ceremony.
Application Fees: What You Need to Pay
Without Premarital Counseling
The application fee is $56 without premarital counseling.
With Premarital Counseling
With proof of completion of a premarital counseling course, the fee reduces to $16.
Certified Copies and Additional Charges
There’s a $10 charge for a certified copy of the marriage license, which is mailed after recording. Additionally, a $10 fee is charged for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Marriage License ID Requirements
Georgia accepts various forms of identification, including driver’s licenses, state IDs, resident alien IDs, military IDs, and passports.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Georgia doesn’t have a waiting period for marriage, and residency is not a requirement.
Previous Marriages: Divorce and Remarriage
Applicants with previous marriages must provide relevant documentation, including the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce.
Marriage License Fees: Unveiling the Costs
The fees for obtaining a marriage license in Chattooga County are $56 without premarital education and $16 with premarital education.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
Georgia does not allow proxy marriages. First and second cousins are legally permitted to marry, but common-law marriages are recognized only if established before January 1, 1997.
Marriage Blood Test: No Longer Required
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are not required for marriage in Georgia.
Contacting Chattooga County Probate Court
It’s essential to contact the Chattooga County Probate Court well in advance to learn about office hours and whether appointments are necessary.
Name After Marriage: Your Options
Applicants can choose to keep their present surname, adopt a previous married surname, use the spouse’s surname, or combine surnames as specified by Georgia law.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both applicants must be 18 or older to marry without parental consent. Applicants aged 16 or 17 can marry with written parental consent. Marriage to those under 16 is prohibited.
Proof of Age: Documents You Need
Applicants must provide proof of age, which includes documents like a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, court record, or passport.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed ministers, clergymen, pastors, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia. Witnesses are required if the person performing the ceremony doesn’t complete the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some states, the marriage license in Georgia doesn’t have an expiration date.
Applying Online: Convenience at Your Fingertips
Georgia offers an online application process for marriage licenses through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
To obtain a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Vital Records Office.
Obtaining a marriage license is a vital step on the path to marriage. Understanding the requirements, fees, and process ensures that your special day goes off without a hitch.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much does a marriage license cost in Georgia? Marriage license fees vary. Without premarital counseling, it’s $56, and with counseling, it’s $16.
2. Can I apply for a marriage license online? Yes, Georgia offers an online application process through the Georgia Probate Record website.
3. Is premarital counseling required to obtain a marriage license? No, premarital counseling is optional, but it reduces the fee from $56 to $16.
4. What documents do I need to provide if I’ve been divorced or widowed? You’ll need certified copies of divorce papers or a death certificate if widowed.
5. Are there any age restrictions for getting married in Georgia? Applicants must be 18 or older to marry without parental consent. Those aged 16 or 17 can marry with parental consent, and marriage under 16 is prohibited.