Harris Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Planning a wedding involves a multitude of decisions, and one of the essential steps is obtaining a marriage license. In Georgia, this process comes with specific fees and requirements that couples need to be aware of. Whether you’re a resident or planning a destination wedding in Georgia, understanding the marriage license fees and regulations is crucial to ensure your special day goes off without a hitch.
Getting married is a significant milestone in one’s life, and ensuring you have the right paperwork in place is essential. In Georgia, marriage licenses are issued by the local Harris County Probate Court, and there are specific steps you need to follow to obtain one.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license, both applicants must visit the Harris County Probate Court. This process usually involves filling out an application form, providing necessary documents, and paying the applicable fees.
The required documents include:
- Identification: Valid ID for each applicant is essential.
- Proof of Divorce or Death: If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or death certificates are required.
- Parents’ Birth Place: City and state of parents’ birth.
- Mother’s Maiden Name: Required for identification purposes.
- Bride’s Full Name After Marriage: Specify the bride’s name after marriage.
- Date and Place of Marriage: Information about your intended wedding day.
Marriage License Fees
The marriage license fees in Georgia vary depending on whether you choose to undergo pre-marital counseling. Without counseling, the fee is $56. However, if you complete pre-marital counseling, the fee reduces to $16. Additionally, there’s a charge of $10 for a certified copy of the marriage license and a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
There is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia, and you do not need to be a resident of the state to marry here.
If either applicant has been divorced, a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce is required. This document should bear the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Driver’s License
- State ID
- Resident Alien ID
- Military ID
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Georgia. However, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry.
Common Law Marriages
While Georgia does not recognize common law marriages created after January 1, 1997, those created before this date are acknowledged.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for marriage in Georgia.
Name Change After Marriage
Georgia law requires applicants to designate their legal surname after marriage. This can include the present surname, the surname of a previous marriage, or the spouse’s surname.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both applicants must be 18 years or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Applicants aged 16 or 17 can obtain a license with parental consent.
Proof of Age
Acceptable proofs of age include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed ministers, clergymen, pastors, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia. If the officiant doesn’t complete the form, two witnesses are required to obtain the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Marriage licenses in Georgia do not have an expiration date.
Georgia Online Marriage Application
Couples can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website, offering a convenient option for busy couples.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in the wedding planning process. Understanding the fees, requirements, and procedures involved in obtaining a marriage license in Georgia is essential to ensure your wedding day is legally sound and hassle-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is pre-marital counseling mandatory? No, it’s optional, but it reduces the marriage license fee.
- Can out-of-state residents marry in Georgia? Yes, residency is not a requirement.
- Are blood tests necessary for marriage? No, blood tests are no longer required in Georgia.
- Can same-sex couples marry in Georgia? Yes, same-sex marriage is legal in the state.
- What if I need to change my name after marriage? You can use an online marriage name change kit to streamline the process.