Marriage License Requirements
Navigating the intricacies of marriage license fees and requirements is a crucial step in planning your wedding. Whether you’re a Florida resident or planning a destination wedding in the Sunshine State, understanding the process and fees associated with obtaining a marriage license is essential. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about marriage license fees in Florida.
Planning a wedding involves a myriad of details, and one of the most important is obtaining a marriage license. A marriage license legally permits two individuals to marry, and Florida has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to acquiring this vital document.
Marriage License Basics
What is a Marriage License?
A marriage license is a legal document that authorizes couples to marry within a specific jurisdiction. It is not the same as a marriage certificate, which is the official record of the marriage after it has taken place.
Why is a Marriage License Important?
A marriage license is a prerequisite for a valid marriage ceremony. Without it, your marriage is not legally recognized. It’s essential to understand the requirements and fees associated with obtaining a marriage license to ensure your wedding plans go smoothly.
Marriage License Fees
Standard Fee: $93.50
The standard fee for a marriage license in Florida is $93.50. This fee applies if you do not complete a premarital course.
Fee with Premarital Course Certificate: $61.00
If you and your partner complete a premarital course conducted by a registered premarital provider, the application fee is reduced to $61.00. This encourages couples to participate in educational programs that can strengthen their relationships.
Preferred Payment Methods
The preferred method of payment for your marriage license fee is in cash. Be sure to check with your local county clerk’s office for information on alternative payment methods.
Marriage Application Requirements
Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent.
Parental Consent for Minors
Applicants under 18 but at least 16 years old require parental consent. They must provide a birth certificate, identification, and a notarized written consent form from parents or guardians. Applicants under 16 need a determination from a County Court Judge.
Blood Test Not Required
Unlike in the past, Florida no longer requires a blood test as part of the marriage license application process.
Premarital Course and Fee Reduction
Completing a Premarital Course
Couples can opt to complete a premarital course to enhance their understanding of marriage. This course is conducted by registered premarital providers and covers various topics related to marriage.
Applying for Fee Reduction
If you complete a premarital course, you can apply for a reduced marriage license fee of $61.00 instead of $93.50. Make sure to present a valid certificate of completion to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Identification and Documentation
Both parties must provide photo identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, passport, or I-94 card.
Social Security Numbers
Applicants need to provide their Social Security numbers but do not need to show their Social Security Cards.
Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
You may be asked to provide a certified copy of your birth certificate as part of the application process.
Waiting Period and Exceptions
3-Day Waiting Period for Residents
Florida residents typically have a 3-day waiting period before their marriage license becomes valid. However, completing a 4-hour pre-marital course can waive this waiting period.
Exception for Completion of Pre-Marital Course
Non-residents and residents can receive a $32.50 discount on their marriage license fee by completing a premarital course. This discount is available if the course was completed within a year of the license application.
Marriage Residency Requirements
You do not need to be a Florida resident to apply for a marriage license in Dixie County.
If you’ve been previously married, you must provide the date of divorce or the date of your spouse’s death. If these events occurred within the past 30 days, certified documentation is required.
Marriage Blood Test
Florida no longer requires blood tests for marriage license applications.
Marriages can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
Witnesses are not required for marriages in the State of Florida.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Your marriage license is valid for 60 days after issuance. The marriage ceremony must take place within this timeframe.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal processes.
Acquiring a marriage license is a critical step in your wedding journey. Understanding the fees, requirements, and processes involved will ensure that your special day goes off without a hitch. Remember to check with your local county clerk’s office for specific details and to clarify any questions you might have.
- Is a blood test required for a marriage license in Florida? No, Florida no longer requires couples to undergo a blood test as part of the marriage license application process.
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not a Florida resident? Yes, you do not need to be a Florida resident to apply for a marriage license in Dixie County.
- Can I change my last name on the marriage license? Obtaining a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures to change your last name officially.
- Can I waive the waiting period for a marriage license? Yes, by completing a 4-hour pre-marital course, both Florida residents and non-residents can waive the standard 3-day waiting period.
- What happens if I don’t use my marriage license within 60 days? Your marriage license will expire after 60 days. If you don’t perform the marriage ceremony within this timeframe, you’ll need to reapply for a new license.