Columbia County Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Florida, understanding the intricacies of marriage license fees is crucial. From standard fees to potential discounts, and even requirements for premarital courses, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about marriage license fees in the Sunshine State.
Introduction to Marriage License Fees
Getting married is an exciting milestone in anyone’s life. However, before you say “I do,” you’ll need to obtain a marriage license. This legal document permits you to marry your partner within a specific time frame. In Florida, the process involves various requirements and fees that you should be aware of.
Standard Marriage License Fee
The standard fee for obtaining a marriage license in Florida is $93.50. This fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing your application and issuing the license.
Reduced Fee with Premarital Course
Florida offers an incentive for couples who complete a premarital course before applying for a marriage license. Upon presenting a valid certificate of completion from a registered premarital course provider, the application fee is reduced to $61.00. This reduction encourages couples to invest in premarital education, ultimately benefiting their future relationship.
Premarital Course Requirements
To qualify for the reduced fee, both applicants must attend a premarital course conducted by an approved provider. This course aims to equip couples with valuable relationship skills and insights. A printed copy of the course completion certificate must be presented to the Clerk of the Circuit Court during the application process to enjoy the fee reduction.
Age Requirements for Marriage License
To apply for a marriage license in Florida without parental consent, both applicants must be at least 18 years old. If either applicant is between 16 and 18 years old, a birth certificate, proof of identification, and notarized written consent from parents or guardians are required. Applicants under 16 years old must obtain approval from a County Court Judge.
Identification and Documentation
Applicants must provide photo identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or I-94 card. Social Security numbers are also required but not the physical cards. If either party has been previously married and divorced within the past 30 days, the divorce decree or death certificate of the former spouse must be supplied.
Waiting Period for Florida Residents
Generally, Florida residents face a 3-day waiting period before receiving their marriage license. However, this waiting period can be waived if both parties attend a 4-hour premarital course. Proof of course completion must be presented during the application process.
Waiting Period for Non-Florida Residents
Non-residents of Florida do not have a waiting period to obtain a marriage license. However, they are still encouraged to read the “Family Law Handbook,” as all applicants must do so regardless of residency.
Marriage Residency Requirement
Florida does not require applicants to be residents of the state to obtain a marriage license. Couples from out of state can also benefit from the reduced fee by completing an approved premarital course.
Blood Test and Proxy Marriages
Unlike some states, Florida does not require blood tests for obtaining a marriage license. Additionally, proxy marriages are not permitted in Florida, meaning both parties must be present during the application process.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Marriage ceremonies in Florida can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, or justices of the peace. Witnesses are not required for the marriage ceremony.
Expiration of Marriage License
A marriage license in Florida is valid for 60 days after issuance. This means that the ceremony must take place within this time frame for the marriage to be legally recognized.
Obtaining a marriage license in Florida involves several factors, from fees and waiting periods to premarital courses and documentation. Understanding these requirements ensures a smooth and legally sound journey towards your marital bliss. Always verify the information with your local Clerk’s Office to stay up-to-date with any changes in regulations.
14. Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Can non-residents of Florida apply for a marriage license in the state?
Yes, Florida does not require residency for obtaining a marriage license.
Q2: How can I qualify for the reduced marriage license fee in Florida?
Completing a premarital course with a registered provider allows you to enjoy a reduced fee.
Q3: Are blood tests required for a marriage license in Florida?
No, Florida does not require couples to undergo blood tests.
Q4: Can I have a proxy marriage in Florida?
No, Florida does not allow proxy marriages; both parties must be present during the application process.
Q5: How long is a Florida marriage license valid?
A marriage license in Florida is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.