Marriage Certificate Requirements
The Etowah County Courthouse, located at 800 Forrest Avenue, Gadsden, AL 35901, serves as a pivotal institution in the region. This article aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the processes and requirements associated with obtaining a marriage certificate in Etowah County. From legal age requirements to residency stipulations, we’ve got you covered with all the essential information you need to know before embarking on the journey of matrimony.
The Etowah County Courthouse, situated at 800 Forrest Avenue in Gadsden, AL, serves as a vital center for obtaining marriage certificates. This article delves into the various aspects of acquiring a marriage certificate in Etowah County, providing you with a comprehensive guide to navigating the process.
Legal Requirements for Marriage
To tie the knot in Etowah County, certain legal requirements must be met. Individuals with parental consent can legally marry at the age of 16, while those without parental consent must be at least 18 years old. The county also supports same-sex marriages, and there is no waiting period or blood test requirement.
Under the new Alabama Act 2019-340, applying for a marriage license is no longer mandatory. Instead, a completed and notarized marriage certificate form is submitted to the county probate court for recording. This agreement represents a legal contract between the spouses, and solemnization is no longer obligatory for the marriage to be recognized.
Completing the Marriage Certificate Form
To complete the marriage certificate form, you’ll need to acquire a standardized form provided by the state or county probate judge’s office. This form collects essential information about both parties and requires notarization. Once completed and notarized, the form is submitted to the county probate judge’s office along with the filing fee.
Marriage Certificate Requirements
Valid forms of identification for obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama include a driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, certified copy of a birth certificate, military identification, or certified school record. Individuals remarrying a former spouse within 60 days of divorce need to be mindful of certain restrictions.
Marriage Residency and Waiting Period
Alabama does not impose residency requirements for marriage. There is no waiting period except for individuals who have been divorced; in such cases, a 60-day waiting period is enforced after the divorce is finalized. Non-residents considering a county marriage official may experience a three-day waiting period.
Divorce and Previous Marriages
Couples recently divorced must adhere to a 60-day restriction before remarrying. A copy of the divorce decree is required if the divorce occurred within six months of the wedding date.
Marriage Certificate Fee
In Etowah County, the fee for a marriage certificate is $70, with cash being the preferred method of payment.
Blood Test and Name Change
Alabama no longer mandates a premarital blood test. While obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name doesn’t automatically change your name, an online marriage name change kit can be used for this purpose.
Marriage Age Requirements
Minors aged 16 to 17 can marry with parental consent, and instructions for these age groups are included in the marriage certificate form.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy marriages are not permitted in Alabama, and both first and second cousins can legally marry. The state also recognizes common law marriages based on certain criteria.
Solemnization is no longer necessary for a recognized marriage in Alabama. Couples can choose from various wedding officiants in the state.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
Marriage certificates remain valid for 30 days from the date of signing. The effective date of marriage is determined by the signature dates of both spouses.
Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate
For a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Navigating the process of obtaining a marriage certificate at the Etowah County Courthouse is now simpler than ever before. With the recent changes in Alabama’s marriage laws, the focus has shifted from acquiring a marriage license to completing a marriage certificate form. This transformation streamlines the process and makes it more accessible to couples seeking legal recognition of their union.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is a blood test required to obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama? No, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test for obtaining a marriage certificate.
- What is the marriage certificate fee in Etowah County? The fee for a marriage certificate in Etowah County is $70, payable in cash.
- Is a waiting period required for marriage in Alabama? While there is generally no waiting period, individuals who have been divorced need to wait 60 days after the divorce is finalized.
- Can proxy marriages be conducted in Alabama? No, proxy marriages are not permitted in Alabama.
- Are cousin marriages legal in Alabama? Yes, both first and second cousins can legally marry in Alabama.