Dougherty Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, and it’s essential to understand the legal requirements and fees associated with obtaining a marriage license. In Georgia, the process is straightforward, but there are a few key details to keep in mind. From application requirements to fees and more, let’s dive into the specifics of marriage license fees in Georgia.
Marriage License Application Process
Obtaining a marriage license in Georgia is a straightforward process. Both individuals intending to get married must apply together in person at their local Dougherty County Probate Court. This process ensures that all legal requirements are met, and both parties provide their consent willingly.
To complete the application for a marriage license, you will need to provide certain documentation, including valid identification for each applicant. If one of the applicants doesn’t speak fluent English, a court-approved translator will be required to apply for the marriage license. Additionally, certified copies of divorce papers or death certificates must be presented if either applicant has been previously married.
Application Fees and Pre-Marital Education
The application fee for a marriage license in Georgia varies based on whether the couple has completed pre-marital counseling. Without pre-marital counseling, the application fee is $56, while it reduces to $16 if the couple has completed the counseling and presents a certificate of completion.
Contacting Your Local Probate Court
It’s essential to reach out to your local Dougherty County Probate Court well in advance of your wedding to determine the days and hours during which the clerk will be available. Some locales might require appointments, so early planning is key.
Accepted Forms of Identification
Various forms of identification are accepted when applying for a marriage license in Georgia. These include driver’s licenses, state IDs, resident alien IDs, military IDs, and passports.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Georgia doesn’t impose a waiting period for marriage, and you don’t need to be a resident of the state to get married here.
Previous Marriages and Divorce Records
If either applicant has previously been married, they must show a copy of the final judgment and decree of their most recent divorce. This document should include the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Marriage License Fees Breakdown
The fees for obtaining a marriage license in Dougherty County are $56 without pre-marital counseling and $16 with pre-marital counseling. Additionally, there’s a $10 charge for the certified copy of the marriage license, which is mailed to the applicants after recording. Another $10 fee is applied for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Georgia, but first and second cousins are permitted to legally marry.
Recognition of Common Law Marriages
While Georgia does not recognize common-law marriages formed after January 1, 1997, those created before this date are acknowledged.
Marriage Blood Test Requirement
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for marriage licenses in Georgia.
Name Change After Marriage
Georgia law requires each applicant to designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. This can include their present surname, a surname from a previous marriage, their spouse’s surname, or a combination of both spouses’ surnames.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. If an applicant is 16 or 17 years old, a license may be issued with the written consent of their parent(s).
Proof of Age Documents
Georgia law mandates that proof of age be presented during the application process. This can include documents like birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia.
Witnesses and Marriage Certificate
While the person performing the ceremony typically completes the marriage certificate, if they don’t, two witnesses are required to obtain the certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some states, the Georgia marriage license does not have an expiration date.
Applying for a Marriage License Online
Georgia provides the option to apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate
To obtain a copy of the marriage certificate, you can contact the Vital Records office in Atlanta, Georgia.
In conclusion, understanding the requirements and fees associated with obtaining a marriage license in Georgia is crucial for anyone planning to tie the knot in the state. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free process as you embark on this exciting journey of marriage.
Navigating the process of obtaining a marriage license in Dougherty County is relatively straightforward, even if you’re from out of state. With no waiting period and few residency restrictions, it’s a convenient choice for couples seeking a beautiful wedding destination.
1. Can non-residents of Georgia get married in Dougherty County?
Yes, Dougherty County welcomes couples from both in and out of the state, making it an excellent choice for destination weddings.
2. Is there a waiting period for marriage licenses in Dougherty County?
No, there is no waiting period. Once you have your license, you can get married immediately.
3. Do I need a blood test to apply for a marriage license in Dougherty County?
No, Georgia no longer requires blood tests for marriage license applications.
4. How long is the marriage license valid in Dougherty County?
The marriage license is valid immediately upon issuance and for up to 30 days.
5. Can I choose any officiant for my wedding ceremony in Dougherty County?
You can choose an authorized officiant, such as a judge, minister, or justice of the peace, to perform your wedding ceremony in Dougherty County.