De Kalb Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, and obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in the process. If you’re planning to tie the knot in Georgia, understanding the intricacies of marriage license fees and requirements is essential. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about marriage license fees in Georgia, ensuring your journey to marital bliss is as smooth as possible.
Getting married in Georgia involves several legal procedures, one of which is obtaining a marriage license. This document allows you to legally marry in the state. However, it’s important to understand the fees associated with this process, as they can vary based on different factors.
Marriage License Basics
Before we delve into the details, let’s establish the basics of a marriage license. A marriage license is a legal document that grants you permission to marry within a specific jurisdiction. It’s important to note that a marriage license is distinct from a marriage certificate, which is the legal proof of marriage after the ceremony has taken place.
To apply for a marriage license in Georgia, couples must complete an application form provided by the De Kalb County Probate Court. This application can usually be filled out in person or online through the Georgia Probate Record website. It’s recommended to apply well in advance of the wedding to ensure all paperwork is in order.
When applying for a marriage license, both applicants need to provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, or passport. If either applicant doesn’t speak fluent English, a Court Approved Translator will be required. Additionally, certified copies of divorce papers (if applicable) or a death certificate (if widowed) must be presented.
Marriage ID Requirements
Georgia accepts various forms of identification for the marriage license application process, including a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, and passport.
Waiting Period and Residency
Unlike some states, Georgia does not have a waiting period for getting married. This means you can obtain your marriage license and get married on the same day. Furthermore, you do not need to be a resident of Georgia to apply for a marriage license within the state.
If either applicant has been previously married, they must provide a certified copy of the final judgment and decree of their most recent divorce. This document must show the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Marriage License Fees
Marriage license fees in Georgia can vary depending on whether the couple has completed pre-marital counseling. Without pre-marital counseling, the fee is $56, and with counseling, it’s reduced to $16. These fees cover the administrative costs associated with processing the marriage license.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Georgia does not allow proxy marriages, where one party is absent and represented by another person. However, the state permits first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages
Georgia does not recognize common law marriages created after January 1, 1997. If your common law marriage predates this date, it will be recognized.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required to obtain a marriage license in Georgia.
Name After Marriage
Georgia law requires each applicant to designate their legal surname after marriage. This can include their present surname, the surname from a previous marriage, or their spouse’s surname.
Name Change Process
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. To change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both applicants must be 18 years or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Applicants aged 16 or 17 can obtain a license with written parental consent. No license can be issued if either applicant is under 16.
Proof of Age
Georgia law mandates proof of age at the time of application. Acceptable proofs include a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, selective service card, passport, and more.
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia.
If the person performing the ceremony doesn’t complete the form, two witnesses are required to obtain the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license in Georgia does not have an expiration date, but it’s advisable to use it within a reasonable timeframe.
Georgia Online Marriage Application
Applying for a marriage license online is convenient and accessible through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a Copy of Certificate
After the marriage is recorded, a certified copy of the marriage license is mailed to the applicants. This copy can also be obtained from the Vital Records office.
Obtaining a marriage license in Georgia involves understanding the fees, requirements, and processes involved. By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey towards matrimony. For more information and to begin your application process, visit the official De Kalb County Probate Court website.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 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 to obtain a marriage license in Georgia? No, as of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required to obtain a marriage license in Georgia.
- What is the waiting period for getting married in Georgia? Georgia does not have a waiting period for getting married. You can obtain your license and get married on the same day.
- Can common-law marriages be recognized in Georgia? Yes, common-law marriages created before January 1, 1997, can be recognized in Georgia.
- What documents are required for a marriage license application in Georgia? Valid identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, is required for both applicants. Additionally, certified copies of divorce papers (if applicable) or a death certificate (if widowed) must be presented.