Marriage Certificate Requirements
Marriage is a cherished institution, and Choctaw County, Alabama, understands the importance of making the process of obtaining a marriage certificate seamless and efficient. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to navigate the various steps and requirements associated with obtaining a marriage certificate in Choctaw County.
The Importance of a Marriage Certificate
A marriage certificate is not just a piece of paper; it’s a legal document that solidifies the union between two individuals. It serves as proof of marriage and is often required for various legal and administrative purposes. In Choctaw County, a marriage certificate is your ticket to a recognized and legally binding marriage.
Applying for a Marriage Certificate in Choctaw County
Getting the Required Form
To begin the process of obtaining a marriage certificate, you need to acquire the standardized marriage certificate form. This form can be obtained from the state, the county probate judge’s office, or online.
Completing the Form
The form requires basic information about both spouses, similar to the information currently used. Both parties need to fully complete the form.
Notarizing the Form
Before submission, the form must be notarized. This involves having a notary witness the signatures of both parties on the form.
Submission and Fees
Once the form is fully completed and notarized, it should be submitted to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording. Each county may have varying filing fees, and payment is typically made in cash.
Identification Requirements for Marriage
Acceptable Forms of Identification
To obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama, you must present valid identification. This can include a driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, military identification, or certified school record.
Divorce and Remarriage
If you’ve been divorced within the last 6 months, you’ll need to show a copy of your Divorce Decree. Additionally, there is a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
Residency and Waiting Period
Unlike some states, Alabama does not have a residency requirement. You do not have to be a resident of Alabama to obtain a marriage certificate.
Generally, there is no waiting period in Alabama to get married, except for individuals who have been divorced. Non-residents may have a waiting period of three days if they intend to be married by a county marriage official.
Dealing with Previous Marriages
If you’re recently divorced and planning to remarry, Choctaw County mandates a 60-day waiting period after your divorce is finalized before you can apply for a marriage license.
Marriage Certificate Fees
The fee for a marriage certificate in Choctaw County is $70. It’s important to note that this fee is subject to change, and it’s advisable to confirm the current fee before applying.
No More Blood Tests
Previously, premarital blood tests were required for marriage licenses in Alabama. However, this requirement has been eliminated, making the process smoother and less invasive.
Name Change After Marriage
While obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name is an important step, it doesn’t automatically change your name on all legal documents. If you want to change your last name, you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal processes.
Marriage Age Requirements
Minors Aged 16-17
For minors aged 16-17, parental or guardian consent is required to enter into marriage. Specific forms are provided for these cases.
Parties Aged 18 and Over
Individuals aged 18 and over can marry without parental consent. The standard marriage certificate form is applicable to them.
Marriage Laws and Prohibitions
Proxy marriages are not permitted in Alabama. No other party can apply on behalf of either spouse.
Alabama allows first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are recognized in Alabama if certain criteria are met, including public recognition of the marriage and consummation.
Marriage Officiants in Alabama
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. This means that you don’t necessarily need a wedding ceremony to have a legally binding marriage.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
A marriage certificate in Alabama is valid for 30 days from the date of signing. The effective date of the marriage is determined by the signature dates of both spouses.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
If you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. They can provide you with the necessary information and guide you on the process.
Navigating the process of obtaining a marriage certificate in Choctaw County, Alabama, can be straightforward with the right information. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your marriage is legally recognized and valid.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How do I obtain a copy of my marriage certificate? A1: To obtain a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. They will provide you with the necessary information and guide you through the process.
Q2: Can I apply for a marriage license online? A2: While you can obtain the standardized marriage certificate form online, the actual submission and processing of the marriage license typically require an in-person visit to the county Probate Judge’s office.
Q3: Is there a waiting period after a divorce before I can remarry? A3: Yes, there is a waiting period of 60 days after your divorce is finalized before you can apply for a marriage license and remarry.
Q4: Are proxy marriages allowed in Choctaw County? A4: No, proxy marriages are not permitted in Choctaw County or anywhere else in Alabama. Both parties must be physically present to apply for and obtain a marriage license.
Q5: What identification is required for non-residents? A5: Non-residents who are 18 years or older need to provide one of the following forms of identification along with their Social Security card to obtain a marriage license: valid driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, certified copy of their birth certificate, military identification, or a certified school record.