Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Florida, understanding the intricacies of marriage license fees is essential. Whether you’re a local resident or coming from out of state, knowing the requirements, fees, and procedures will ensure your special day goes off without a hitch. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, covering all the key points you need to know.
Getting married is a momentous occasion, and having the right information at your fingertips can make the process smoother. Florida offers a stunning backdrop for weddings, and understanding the legal requirements is the first step to making your dreams a reality.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Florida, both applicants must be at least 18 years old, unless they have parental consent. If one of the applicants is between 16 and 18 years old, they can apply with written consent from their parents or legal guardians.
Consent for Minors
Applicants under 16 years of age must obtain permission from a County Court Judge to get married.
Blood Test Not Required
Unlike some states, Florida does not require couples to undergo a blood test before getting a marriage license.
There is a fee of $93.50 for applying for a marriage license. This fee is required at the time of application.
Reduced Application Fee with Premarital Course
If both applicants have completed a premarital course conducted by a registered premarital provider, they can avail of a reduced application fee. The fee is reduced from $93.50 to $61.00 upon presenting a valid certificate of completion.
Mandatory Reading: Family Law Handbook
Both applicants are required by law to read the “Family Law Handbook.”
Photo Identification and Social Security Numbers
Applicants must provide valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, passport, or I-94 card. Social Security numbers are also required, but the physical cards are not necessary.
Waiting Period for Florida Residents
Florida residents typically have a 3-day waiting period before they can get married unless they meet specific criteria.
Discounts for Completed Premarital Courses
Florida residents who complete a 4-hour premarital course are eligible for a $32.50 discount on the marriage license fee. Non-residents can also receive this discount if they have completed the course within the last year.
You don’t need to be a resident of Florida to apply for a marriage license in the state.
Previous Marriages and Documentation
If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide information about your divorce or your spouse’s death. If this event occurred within the past 30 days, you’ll need to present certified documentation.
Standard Marriage License Fees
The standard fee for a marriage license in Florida is $93.50, payable in cash. Other payment methods might be available; it’s best to check with the local Hamilton County Clerk’s Office.
Marriage Preparation Course Benefits
Completing a marriage preparation course offers several benefits, including fee reductions and waived waiting periods for Florida residents. Non-residents, however, are not eligible for fee reductions.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Florida, and first and second cousins are permitted to marry.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Florida.
Marriage Age Requirements
The legal age for marriage without parental consent is 18 years. With parental consent, the legal age is 16. If the bride is pregnant, marriage can be allowed under the age of 16 with additional documentation.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures for a name change.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Marriages in Florida can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
No Witnesses Required
Unlike in some states, witnesses are not required during the marriage ceremony in Florida.
Expiration of Marriage License
A marriage license in Florida is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance. The ceremony must take place within this period.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
For a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Department of Children and Families, Division of Vital Statistics.
Getting married in Florida is an exciting journey, and understanding the requirements and fees associated with a marriage license is crucial. Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident, completing a premarital course can offer substantial benefits. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the process, gather the necessary documents, and create unforgettable memories on your special day.
Q: How much does a marriage license cost in Florida? A: The standard fee is $93.50, but it can be reduced to $61.00 with completion of a premarital course.
Q: Can non-residents of Florida get a fee reduction for completing a premarital course? A: Non-residents can also receive the fee reduction if they’ve completed the course within the past year.
Q: Are proxy marriages allowed in Florida? A: No, proxy marriages are not permitted.
Q: Is a waiting period required for Florida residents? A: There is a 3-day waiting period, but it can be waived with completion of a premarital course.
Q: How long is a Florida marriage license valid? A: A marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.