Marriage Certificate Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in DeKalb County, Alabama, obtaining a marriage certificate is an essential step in legalizing your union. The DeKalb County Probate office facilitates this process, ensuring that couples can legally marry and have their marriages recorded properly. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of applying for a marriage certificate in DeKalb County, covering all the necessary requirements, fees, and other important details. So, let’s get started!
Marriage Certificate Fee: $74.00
The DeKalb County Probate office requires a fee of $74.00 to process your marriage certificate. This fee is the same for both residents and non-residents, making it affordable and accessible for all couples. It’s essential to prepare the payment in cash, as this is the preferred method for processing the fee.
Changes in Alabama Marriage Laws
Under Alabama Act 2019-340, couples who wish to marry are no longer required to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court. Additionally, Alabama courts will no longer issue marriage licenses. Instead, couples must now complete a standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state, county probate judge’s office, or online. This form will serve as a contractual agreement between the parties to the marriage.
Once the form is fully completed and notarized, it should be delivered to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signature of the spouses. This process eliminates the need for a waiting period, and a wedding ceremony can be performed without requiring solemnization for the marriage to be recognized legally in Alabama.
Marriage Certificate Requirements in Alabama
To apply for a marriage certificate, a couple must follow these steps:
- Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Fill out the form completely, providing the required information about each spouse.
- Take the form to a notary to witness the signatures.
- Deliver the original, fully completed, and notarized form to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording, along with the $74.00 filing fee.
- Ensure the form is submitted within 30 days of being signed.
It is crucial to verify all information with your local County Probate office before making the trip to purchase your marriage certificate. The form should be printed on 8.5 x 11-inch white or light paper, front side only, to ensure legibility and proper recording.
Marriage ID Requirement in Alabama
If you are 18 years old or older, you must bring one of the following forms of identification along with your Social Security card:
- A valid driver’s license
- Non-driver’s license
- A copy of your birth certificate certified by the State or County
- A military identification
- A certified school record
If you have been divorced, you must wait at least 60 days after your divorce is final before applying for a marriage certificate, unless you are remarrying your former spouse.
Marriage Residency Requirement in Alabama
Unlike some states, Alabama does not have a residency requirement for getting married. You do not need to be a resident of Alabama to apply for a marriage certificate in the state.
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement in Alabama
In Alabama, there is generally no waiting period to get married, except for individuals who have been divorced. In such cases, a 60-day waiting period is imposed after the divorce is final. Non-residents who want to be married by a county marriage official may have to wait three days, so it’s essential to check with the County Probate office for specific details.
Previous Marriages and Divorce Restrictions
If you were divorced within the last 6 months before your wedding date, you will need to show a copy of your Divorce Decree. According to Section 30-2-10 of the Alabama Code, there is a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
Name Change in Alabama
Obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. If you want to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements for Minors
For minors aged 16 to 17, the marriage certificate form requires the consent of a parent or guardian to enter into marriage. Special instructions for completing and filing the forms are provided for this age group.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages in Alabama
Proxy marriages, where one party applies on behalf of another spouse, are not permitted in Alabama. However, first and second cousins may legally marry in the state. Furthermore, Alabama recognizes common law marriages when certain conditions are met, such as capacity to enter into a marriage, mutual consent, public recognition of the marriage, and consummation.
No More Solemnization Requirement
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama, thanks to the changes in the state’s marriage laws. This means that a wedding ceremony is not mandatory for the marriage to be legally valid.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate in Alabama
Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signature of the spouses.
How to Obtain a Copy of Marriage Certificate
If you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, located at 434 Monroe St., Montgomery, Alabama. You can reach them at Ph: 334.613.5300 or Fx: 334.240.3097.
Getting married in DeKalb County, Alabama, is a straightforward process. By following the outlined steps and meeting the necessary requirements, you can obtain your marriage certificate and make your union legally recognized. Remember to bring the appropriate identification and payment for the filing fee. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!
- Can non-residents get married in DeKalb County, Alabama? Yes, non-residents can get married in DeKalb County, and there is no residency requirement.
- Is there a waiting period to get married in Alabama? Generally, there is no waiting period in Alabama, except for individuals who have been divorced. A 60-day waiting period applies after a divorce is final.
- Do I need to be present in person to apply for a marriage certificate? Yes, both parties must be present in person to apply for a marriage certificate.
- What is the marriage certificate fee in DeKalb County, Alabama? The marriage certificate fee in DeKalb County is $74.00, and the preferred payment method is cash.
- Can first cousins marry in Alabama? Yes, first cousins may legally marry in Alabama.