Marriage Certificate Requirements
Getting married is a joyous occasion, but it also involves some legal processes. One of the key elements is obtaining a marriage certificate, which serves as proof of your marriage’s legality. This article will guide you through the process and provide essential information about marriage certificates in Clay County, Alabama.
Applying for a Marriage Certificate
To obtain a marriage certificate in Clay County, there are specific steps you need to follow:
- Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form, either from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Fully complete the form, providing accurate information about both spouses.
- Take the form to a notary to witness signatures. Note that notary services for the form are not provided by the Probate Office.
- Deliver the original, fully completed, and notarized form to the county Probate Judge’s office along with the appropriate filing fee.
Legal Age Requirements
In Alabama, the legal age for marriage with parental consent is 16. Without parental consent, the legal age is 18. This means that individuals aged 16 or 17 can marry with the approval of their parent or guardian.
Alabama recognizes same-sex marriages, allowing all couples to enjoy the same legal rights and benefits.
Waiting Period and Certificate Validity
Unlike some states, Alabama doesn’t have a waiting period for marriage after obtaining a divorce. However, non-residents seeking marriage by a county marriage official may face a three-day waiting period.
Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date they are signed.
Blood Test and Residency
In Alabama, a premarital blood test is not required. Additionally, you don’t need to be a resident of Alabama to get married in the state.
Unlike some places, Alabama doesn’t require witnesses for a marriage ceremony.
Changes in Marriage License Process
Under Alabama Act 2019-340, the process of obtaining a marriage license has changed. Now, individuals looking to marry are not required to apply for a marriage license with the county probate court. Instead, all Alabama probate courts are obligated to record marriage certificates.
Completing the Marriage Certificate Form
When completing the marriage certificate form, ensure you:
- Use the standardized form provided by the state or county probate judge’s office.
- Fill in accurate and complete information for both spouses.
- Have signatures witnessed by a notary.
To obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama, you’ll need to provide identification, such as:
- Valid driver’s license
- Non-driver’s license
- Certified copy of your birth certificate
- Military identification
- Certified school record
Marriage Residency and Waiting Period
There’s no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama. As mentioned earlier, there’s no waiting period except for those recently divorced.
Dealing with Previous Marriages
If you’ve been divorced within the last 6 months of your wedding date, you’ll need to show a copy of your Divorce Decree. According to Alabama Code Section 30-2-10, there’s a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
Marriage Certificate Fee
The fee for a marriage certificate in Clay County is $77. This fee is payable in cash, making it easy to complete the process.
Blood Test and Name Change
As mentioned before, a premarital blood test is not required in Alabama. Additionally, it’s essential to note that obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name.
Marriage Age Requirements and Proxy Marriages
For minors aged 16 to 17, marriage is possible with parental or guardian consent. Individuals aged 18 and above can complete the marriage certificate form independently.
Proxy marriages are not permitted in Alabama, meaning that neither party can apply for the marriage certificate on behalf of the other.
Cousin Marriages and Common Law Marriages
In Alabama, first and second cousins can legally marry. The state recognizes common law marriages as valid when certain conditions are met, such as the agreement to be husband and wife and public recognition of the marriage.
Marriage Officiants and Conclusion
Solemnization, the formal process of marrying a couple, is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. You have the flexibility to choose an officiant that suits your preferences.
In conclusion, obtaining a marriage certificate in Clay County, Alabama, involves a series of steps that ensure the legality of your union. With this guide, you’re equipped with the information needed to navigate this process seamlessly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: How long is a marriage certificate valid in Alabama? A: A marriage certificate is valid for 30 days from the date it is signed.
Q2: Is a blood test required to obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama? A: No, a blood test is not required in Alabama.
Q3: Can non-residents get married in Alabama? A: Yes, non-residents can get married in Alabama.
Q4: What is the fee for a marriage certificate in Clay County? A: The fee for a marriage certificate in Clay County is $77.
Q5: Can cousins marry in Alabama? A: Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in Alabama.