Marriage Certificate Requirements
If you’re considering tying the knot in Geneva County, Alabama, you might need to update your plans. The Geneva County Probate Office, located at 200 N. Commerce Street, Geneva, Alabama, has undergone significant changes in its marriage certificate and ceremony services. This article will guide you through the new procedures and requirements, ensuring you have all the information you need before your big day.
A Shift in Services
In the heart of Geneva, Alabama, the Probate Office once offered comprehensive marriage certificate and ceremony services to couples looking to start their journey of wedded bliss. However, a recent change has taken place, shifting the landscape of marriage-related processes in the county.
The Evolution of Marriage Certificates
Under the provisions of Alabama Act 2019-340, prospective couples are no longer mandated to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court. This means that the Geneva County Probate Office, along with other Alabama probate courts, will cease the issuance of marriage licenses altogether. Instead, a new procedure has been put in place to ensure the legality of marriages.
The Alabama Marriage Certificate
In the past, obtaining a marriage license was a crucial step in the process of getting married. However, under the new regulations, the focus has shifted to the Alabama Marriage Certificate. This document serves as a contractual agreement between the parties involved in the marriage. Both individuals complete and deliver this document to the probate court for official recording.
While the importance of the marriage ceremony itself has not diminished, the solemnization of the marriage is no longer a requirement for a recognized marriage in Alabama. This means that couples can still choose to have a wedding ceremony, but it is not necessary for the marriage to be legally recognized.
Navigating the New Process
Now that you’re aware of the changes to marriage certificate services in Geneva County, it’s essential to understand the new process for obtaining a marriage certificate. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Obtain the Standardized Marriage Certificate Form
To begin the process, you’ll need to obtain the standardized marriage certificate form. You can acquire this form from the state, the county probate judge’s office, or online.
Complete the Form
Fill out the form with accurate and detailed information about each spouse. The same basic information that was previously required for a marriage license is still needed for the marriage certificate.
Unlike the previous process, the new procedure requires the form to be notarized. Take the completed form to a notary to witness the signatures of both parties.
Submit the Form to the Probate Judge’s Office
Once the form is fully completed and notarized, deliver it to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording. Remember to include the necessary filing fee specific to your county.
Ensure that the completed and notarized form is submitted within 30 days of its signing. The effective date of the marriage will be based on the dates of the spouses’ signatures.
When applying for a marriage certificate, proper identification is crucial. If you’re 18 or older, you must present one of the following forms of identification, along with your Social Security card:
- Valid driver’s license
- Non-driver’s license
- Certified copy of your birth certificate from the State or County
- Military identification
- Certified school record
There is generally no waiting period in Alabama for getting married. However, if you have been divorced, there is a 60-day waiting period after your divorce is finalized before you can apply for a marriage certificate.
You do not need to be a resident of Alabama to obtain a marriage certificate in the state.
If you have been divorced within the last six months of your wedding date, you will need to provide 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.
Blood Test and Name Change
Unlike in the past, a premarital blood test is no longer required in Alabama. Additionally, obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
As you prepare for your wedding in Geneva County, Alabama, be sure to keep these changes to the marriage certificate process in mind. The shift from marriage licenses to the Alabama Marriage Certificate marks a new era in the state’s marriage regulations. By following the updated procedures and guidelines, you can ensure that your marriage is legally recognized and celebrate your special day with confidence.
- Why did Geneva County Probate Office stop offering marriage certificates?The Geneva County Probate Office, along with all Alabama probate courts, stopped issuing marriage licenses due to the implementation of Alabama Act 2019-340. This act introduced changes to the marriage certificate process.
- Can we still have a wedding ceremony in Geneva County?Yes, you can still have a wedding ceremony in Geneva County, but it is no longer a legal requirement for the marriage to be recognized in Alabama.
- Do we need to wait after getting divorced before applying for a marriage certificate?Yes, there is a 60-day waiting period after your divorce is finalized before you can apply for a marriage certificate.
- Are there any identification requirements for obtaining a marriage certificate?Yes, if you’re 18 or older, you must present valid identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or certified copy of your birth certificate, along with your Social Security card.
- Is a premarital blood test required for marriage in Alabama?No, premarital blood tests are no longer required in Alabama.