Coweta Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a significant milestone in life, and one of the initial steps in this journey is obtaining a marriage license. In the state of Georgia, like in many other states, there are specific requirements and fees associated with acquiring a marriage license. Whether you’re planning a wedding or a vow renewal ceremony, understanding the intricacies of the process is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of marriage license fees in Georgia, along with the application process and other relevant information.
Marriage License Application Process
To initiate the process of obtaining a marriage license in Georgia, interested couples need to fulfill specific requirements. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, although exceptions are made for individuals aged 16 or 17 with parental consent. Proof of age is mandatory, and acceptable documents include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more.
When applying for a marriage license, couples need to provide the following information:
- Identification Documents: Valid forms of identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport.
- Divorce Papers or Death Certificates: If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or the death certificate of the former spouse must be provided.
- Parents’ Birthplace and Mother’s Maiden Name: Details about the birthplace of both applicants’ parents and the mother’s maiden name.
- Bride’s Name After Marriage: The full name of the bride after marriage.
- Date and Place of Marriage: The intended date and location of the marriage ceremony.
The cost of obtaining a marriage license varies based on certain factors. If the couple chooses to undergo pre-marital counseling, the application fee reduces. However, if counseling is not pursued, the standard fee applies. Additionally, there are charges for certified copies of the marriage license and application, which are typically sent to the Social Security Administration.
Marriage officiants in Georgia include licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace. Selecting an officiant who resonates with the couple’s beliefs and preferences is crucial.
Previous Marriages and Name Change
For those with prior marriages, providing documentation of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce is mandatory. Georgia law allows applicants to choose their legal surname post-marriage from various options. However, changing the name on the marriage license doesn’t automatically change one’s name legally; an online marriage name change kit can facilitate this process.
Marriage Age Requirements and Proof of Age
Both applicants must be 18 years old or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. For applicants aged 16 or 17, written consent from parents is essential. As of a certain date, pregnancy no longer serves as authorization for the issuance of a license to minors.
Marriage Witnesses and Expiration Date
If the officiant does not complete the form, two witnesses are required for the marriage ceremony to obtain the marriage certificate. It’s important to note that Georgia marriage licenses do not have an expiration date.
Georgia Online Marriage Application
The convenience of the digital age extends to marriage license applications in Georgia. The state’s Probate Record website offers an online platform for couples to apply for their marriage license, streamlining the process.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage License
After the marriage license is recorded, certified copies can be obtained for a fee. The Vital Records office in Georgia provides this service, allowing couples to request copies of their marriage licenses as needed.
Acquiring a marriage license in Georgia involves various considerations, from application fees to required documents and officiant choices. Understanding these details is essential to ensure a smooth and legally valid marriage ceremony. By adhering to the state’s requirements and following the outlined procedures, couples can embark on their marital journey with confidence.
- Can I apply for a marriage license online in Georgia? Yes, you can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
- Are blood tests required for marriage in Georgia? As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for marriage in Georgia.
- What documents are acceptable as proof of age for a marriage license? Acceptable proof of age documents include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Georgia? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in the State of Georgia.
- Can cousins marry legally in Georgia? Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in Georgia.