Marriage Certificate Requirements
Marriage is a sacred bond between two individuals, and getting married involves various legal procedures and requirements. In Alabama, the process for obtaining a marriage certificate has undergone significant changes under the Alabama Act 2019-340. This article aims to explain the new regulations and guidelines for obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama.
Understanding the Alabama Act 2019-340
Under the Alabama Act 2019-340, the process of obtaining a marriage license from the county probate court has been eliminated. Instead, couples are now required to fill out and submit a standardized marriage certificate form, provided by the state or county probate judge’s office.
Completing the Marriage Certificate Form
To apply for a marriage certificate, couples must obtain the standardized form and fill it out completely. The form requests basic information about each spouse, similar to the previous marriage license application.
Notarization of Signatures
Once the form is completed, both parties must sign it in the presence of a notary to witness the signatures. Notary services are not provided by the Probate Office, so couples must arrange for this service on their own.
Submitting the Form to the County Probate Judge’s Office
After notarization, the original, fully completed, and notarized form must be submitted to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording. Each county may have a different filing fee, so couples should inquire about the specific fee in their county.
Time Limit for Submission
It is crucial to submit the form within 30 days of being signed. The effective date of the marriage will be the latter of the dates of the spouses’ signatures.
Solemnization is No Longer Required
Under the new law, a wedding ceremony, also known as solemnization, is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. The completed and recorded marriage certificate is sufficient to validate the marriage.
With solemnization no longer required, couples have the freedom to choose their wedding officiants. Alabama Wedding Officiants provide services for wedding ceremonies and vow renewals, and couples can choose the best one for their special day.
Requirements for Applicants Aged 16-17
Minors aged 16 to 17 can enter into marriage with parental or guardian consent. There are specific instructions and forms designed for minor applicants, which must be followed carefully.
Identification Requirements for Applicants Aged 18 and Older
Applicants aged 18 and older must present identification documents such as a valid driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, military identification, certified school record, or a copy of their birth certificate certified by the State or County.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
There is no waiting period for most applicants in Alabama, except for those who have been divorced, in which case there is a 60-day waiting period after the divorce is final. Additionally, applicants do not have to be residents of Alabama to get married in the state.
Cousin Marriages and Common Law Marriages
First and second cousins can legally marry in Alabama, and the state recognizes common law marriages if specific criteria are met.
Marriage Certificate Fee
The marriage certificate fee in Cherokee County is $81, payable in cash.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the spouses’ signatures.
The Alabama Act 2019-340 has simplified the process of obtaining a marriage certificate in the state. With the elimination of the marriage license application, couples can now apply for a marriage certificate directly, following the specified guidelines and requirements. The changes introduced by this act aim to make the marriage process more accessible and convenient for all individuals seeking to get married in Alabama.
1. Do I still need a marriage license in Alabama? No, under the Alabama Act 2019-340, the process of obtaining a marriage license has been eliminated. Couples are now required to complete and submit a standardized marriage certificate form.
2. Can anyone officiate my wedding in Alabama? Yes, solemnization is no longer required in Alabama. Couples can choose any Wedding Officiant of their choice for their wedding ceremony.
3. Are there any waiting periods for getting married in Alabama? For most applicants, there is no waiting period, except for those who have been divorced, in which case there is a 60-day waiting period after the divorce is final.
4. Can minors get married in Alabama? Yes, minors aged 16 to 17 can get married with parental or guardian consent.
5. What is the validity period of the marriage certificate? Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.