Marriage Certificate Requirements
In recent times, Clarke County Probate Office has undergone significant changes in its marriage certificate and ceremony services. Previously, couples looking to tie the knot in this region had to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court. However, due to Alabama Act 2019-340, this requirement has been eliminated, and the courts will no longer issue marriage licenses. Instead, all Alabama probate courts are now obligated to record marriage certificates. In this article, we will explore the new process for obtaining marriage certificates in Clarke County and nearby alternatives for couples seeking to get married.
Applying for a Marriage Certificate in Clarke County
Legal Age for Marriage
In Clarke County, the legal age for marriage with parental consent is 16, while without parental consent, it is 18. Additionally, same-sex marriages are legally recognized in the state of Alabama.
Waiting Period and Certificate Validity
One significant change is that there is no longer a waiting period in Alabama, except for those who have been divorced. The validity of the marriage certificate is now 30 days from the date of being signed.
Blood Test and Residency Requirements
The good news for couples planning to marry in Clarke County is that a blood test is no longer required, and there are no residency requirements. In addition, witnesses are not necessary for the marriage ceremony.
New Process for Obtaining a Marriage Certificate
With the elimination of the marriage license application, the process for obtaining a marriage certificate in Clarke County has changed. Couples must now follow these steps:
- Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Fully complete the form with the required information of both spouses.
- Take the completed form to a notary to witness the signatures.
- Submit the original, fully completed, and notarized form to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording, along with the applicable filing fee.
- The form must be submitted within 30 days of being signed.
Marriage ID Requirements
To obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama, applicants aged 18 and older must provide one of the following forms of identification, along with their Social Security card:
- A valid driver’s license
- Non-Driver’s license
- A copy of the birth certificate certified by the State or County
- A military identification
- A certified school record
For individuals who have been divorced, it’s essential to note that there is a 60-day restriction on getting married after the divorce is finalized.
Marriage Certificate Fee and Services
It’s important to mention that Clarke County Probate Office no longer offers marriage certificates and ceremony services. Therefore, couples planning to marry in Clarke County will need to explore other options.
Nearby Counties to Consider
Monroe County is a neighboring county to Clarke County and offers marriage certificate services. Couples can contact the Monroe County Probate Office to inquire about the specific requirements and fees.
Washington County is another nearby option for couples seeking marriage certificate services. Similar to Monroe County, interested parties should reach out to the Washington County Probate Office for detailed information.
Lastly, Choctaw County is also in close proximity to Clarke County and provides marriage certificate services. Couples can contact the Choctaw County Probate Office for more information.
The Clarke County Probate Office’s decision to discontinue marriage certificates and ceremony services has changed the process for couples planning to get married in this area. Instead of applying for a marriage license, couples must now complete a standardized marriage certificate form, have it notarized, and submit it to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording. Furthermore, the marriage ceremony is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. Couples seeking to marry in Clarke County can now explore nearby counties such as Monroe, Washington, and Choctaw, where marriage certificate services are still available.
- Is a waiting period required for marriages in Clarke County? There is no waiting period in Clarke County, except for individuals who have been divorced. In such cases, there is a 60-day waiting period after the divorce is final.
- Are blood tests necessary for obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama? No, a premarital blood test is no longer required in Alabama.
- Can I still change my last name after getting a marriage certificate? Getting a marriage certificate with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
- Are proxy marriages permitted in Alabama? No, proxy marriages are not allowed in Alabama. Both parties must be physically present to apply for a marriage certificate.
- Can first and second cousins legally marry in Alabama? Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in Alabama.