Marriage Certificate Requirements
Marriage is a sacred bond that brings two individuals together in a union of love and commitment. However, before embarking on this journey, there are certain legal formalities that need to be fulfilled. One such crucial step is obtaining a marriage certificate. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about the marriage certificate process, its requirements, and the associated fees.
Before embarking on the journey of marriage, couples in Alabama are required to obtain a marriage certificate. This certificate serves as a legal proof of the union and holds significant value in various official and personal matters.
Applying for a Marriage Certificate
To apply for a marriage certificate in Alabama, couples must adhere to specific guidelines outlined by the state. The process has undergone changes due to the Alabama Act 2019-340, eliminating the need for a marriage license application. Instead, couples must complete and record a standardized marriage certificate form.
Alabama Marriage Certificate Requirements
Marriage laws in Alabama are clear and concise, making the process straightforward. The legal age for marriage with parental consent is 16, while it’s 18 without consent. The state recognizes same-sex marriages, and there’s no waiting period or blood test requirement. Residency and witnesses are not required, simplifying the process for couples.
Changes in Alabama Marriage Laws
Thanks to Alabama Act 2019-340, couples seeking marriage will no longer have to navigate the complexities of a marriage license application. Instead, all that’s required is the completion and recording of a marriage certificate form, making the process more efficient and accessible.
Completing the Marriage Certificate Form
Obtaining a marriage certificate requires couples to complete a standardized form provided by the state, county probate judge’s office, or online. The form captures essential information about both spouses, and after completion, it must be notarized before submission to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording.
Marriage Certificate ID Requirements
To successfully obtain a marriage certificate, individuals aged 18 or older need to provide a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or certified birth certificate. Divorced individuals must wait for 60 days after their divorce before applying for a new marriage license.
Marriage Residency and Waiting Period
Alabama’s marriage laws offer flexibility by not requiring residency and eliminating waiting periods except for individuals who’ve been divorced. Non-residents seeking to marry in Alabama may need to wait three days. It’s advisable to confirm with the County Probate office regarding any waiting periods.
Previous Marriages and Restrictions
Divorcees seeking to remarry should be aware of the 60-day restriction after their divorce has been finalized. A copy of the Divorce Decree will be required if the divorce occurred within the last six months before the wedding date.
Marriage Certificate Fee Alabama: $75.00
Obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama incurs a fee of $75. This fee is payable in cash, making it essential for couples to be prepared with the necessary funds.
Dispelling Blood Test Myths
Contrary to popular belief, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test. This change simplifies the marriage process, removing a potential source of stress for couples.
Name Change after Marriage
While obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name is a significant step, it doesn’t automatically change one’s name. Couples seeking to change their last name should explore the option of an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Minors aged 16 to 17 can enter into marriage with parental consent. Those aged 18 and above can do so independently. The state provides specific forms for different age groups, ensuring all legal requirements are met.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy marriages aren’t permitted in Alabama, and first and second cousins can legally marry. The state recognizes common law marriages based on capacity, agreement, public recognition, and consummation.
Solemnization: A New Perspective
Solemnization, once a requirement for marriage recognition, is no longer necessary in Alabama. A recognized marriage is established through the completion and recording of the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
A marriage certificate remains valid for 30 days from the date of signing. The effective marriage date is determined by the spouses’ signature dates.
Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate
If you require a copy of your marriage certificate, the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics is the place to go. Ensure you have the necessary details before requesting a copy.
Acquiring a marriage certificate is a crucial step in the journey of marriage, solidifying the legal aspect of a couple’s commitment. Alabama’s straightforward requirements and streamlined process ensure that couples can navigate this process with ease. By understanding the nuances of marriage laws, identification requirements, and associated fees, couples can embark on their marital journey with confidence.
- Can we apply for a marriage certificate online? Currently, the marriage certificate form must be obtained from the state, county probate judge’s office, or an appropriate online source. The completed form must be submitted in person.
- Is a blood test required before getting married in Alabama? No, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test for couples seeking marriage.
- Can we change our names through the marriage certificate? While obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name is a step in the process, it doesn’t automatically change your name. Consider using an online marriage name change kit for this purpose.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Alabama? No, proxy marriages are not permitted in Alabama. Both parties must be present to complete and record the marriage certificate.
- What is the validity period of a marriage certificate in Alabama? A marriage certificate remains valid for 30 days from the date of being signed. The effective marriage date is determined by the spouses’ signature dates.