Henry Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
In the charming town of McDonough, Georgia, lovebirds looking to tie the knot find themselves entangled in a web of paperwork, regulations, and fees before they can say “I do.” From understanding the application process to deciphering the intricate fee structure, this article serves as your ultimate guide to navigating the marriage license journey in McDonough, Georgia.
Congratulations on your decision to embark on the beautiful journey of marriage! Whether you’re planning a wedding or a vow renewal ceremony in McDonough, Georgia, obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step that requires careful consideration. In this guide, we’ll take you through the entire process, helping you navigate the legalities, requirements, and fees associated with securing a marriage license.
Marriage License Application: A Step-by-Step Guide
Before you can say your vows, there’s some paperwork to complete. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the marriage license application process in McDonough, Georgia:
To apply for a marriage license, both you and your partner will need to provide valid identification. This can include a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or a passport.
If either applicant does not speak fluent English, a court-approved translator will be required to apply for the marriage license. Clear communication is essential to ensure accurate documentation.
Divorce and Widowhood Documentation
If either of you has been previously married, be prepared to present certified copies of divorce papers or a death certificate if widowed. These documents verify your marital history.
The application will require details about your parents’ birthplaces (city and state) and your mother’s maiden name. These details are important for the marriage record.
You’ll need to provide information about your planned wedding, including the date and place of the ceremony. This helps establish the official record of your marriage.
Marriage comes at a cost, and obtaining a marriage license is no exception. The application fee is $56 if you choose not to undergo pre-marital counseling. However, if you complete a pre-marital counseling course, the fee reduces to $16. Remember to bring the certificate of completion to qualify for this reduced fee.
Henry County Probate Court Contact
Before visiting the courthouse, it’s wise to check with your local Henry County Probate Court to learn about office hours and appointment requirements, if any. This ensures a smooth application process.
Acceptable Forms of Identification
When applying for a marriage license, you’ll need to present one of the following forms of identification:
A valid driver’s license is a commonly accepted form of identification for the marriage license application.
A state-issued identification card is an alternative to a driver’s license and is equally valid for the application process.
Resident Alien ID
If you’re a resident alien, your resident alien ID serves as proof of identification when applying for a marriage license.
Members of the military can use their military identification card as a valid form of identification for the application.
A passport is another acceptable form of identification that can be used during the marriage license application process.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirements
Unlike some states, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia. This means you can obtain your marriage license and have your wedding on the same day.
Moreover, you do not have to be a resident of Georgia to get married in the state. So whether you’re a Georgia local or reside elsewhere, you’re welcome to exchange vows in this charming southern state.
Navigating Previous Marriages
If you or your partner has been previously married, additional steps are necessary to ensure the legality of your current union:
If you’ve gone through a divorce, you’ll need to provide a certified copy of the final judgment and decree of your most recent divorce. This document should bear the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
If you are widowed, you’ll need to present a certified copy of the death certificate of your deceased spouse as part of the marriage license application.
Understanding Marriage License Fees
Finances are an essential consideration when planning your wedding. Let’s break down the marriage license fees in McDonough, Georgia:
Without Premarital Education
If you choose not to undergo pre-marital counseling, the application fee for your marriage license is $56. This fee covers the processing and documentation of your license.
With Premarital Education
Opting for pre-marital counseling can significantly reduce your application fee. If you complete a pre-marital counseling course, the fee drops to $16. Be sure to bring the certificate of completion to qualify for this reduced rate.
Certified Copy Fees
Once your marriage is official, you’ll want to have a certified copy of your marriage license. This copy costs $10 and is mailed to you after your marriage is recorded. Additionally, if you need a certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration, there’s a $10 fee for that as well.
Prohibited Marriages and Recognitions
Before proceeding, it’s crucial to understand the types of marriages recognized and prohibited in Georgia:
Georgia does not permit proxy marriages. Both parties must be physically present during the ceremony.
Contrary to some states, Georgia allows first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages
While common law marriages are not recognized if created after January 1, 1997, Georgia acknowledges common-law marriages created before this date.
Marriage Blood Tests
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for marriage license applications in Georgia.
Designating Your Name After Marriage
Choosing a name after marriage is an essential aspect of the process. Georgia law requires each applicant to designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. Here are your options:
Name Change Options
- Your present surname
- The surname from a previous marriage
- Your spouse’s surname
- A combination of your and your spouse’s surnames
Online Marriage Name Change Kit
It’s important to note that obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, consider using an online marriage name change kit to navigate this process seamlessly.
Marriage Age Requirements and Consent
Age is an important factor when it comes to marriage licenses. Here’s what you need to know about age requirements and parental consent:
18 Years and Older
Both applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Proof of age must be presented for any applicant who does not appear to be at least 25 years old.
Ages 16 and 17
If either applicant is 16 or 17 years old, a marriage license may be issued with the written consent of the parent(s). No license can be issued if either applicant is under 16 years of age.
Changes Since July 1, 2006
Starting July 1, 2006, pregnancy of a female applicant no longer authorizes the issuance of a license to a 16 or 17-year-old without parental consent.
Providing Proof of Age
Georgia law requires applicants to present proof of age during the application process. Here are acceptable documents:
- Birth certificate
- Driver’s license
- Baptismal certificate
- Certificate of birth registration
- Selective service card
- Court record
- Immigration papers
- Alien papers
- Citizenship papers
- Armed forces discharge papers
- Armed forces identification card
- Hospital admission card with full name and date of birth
Officiants and Witnesses
Who can officiate your wedding, and do you need witnesses? Let’s delve into these details:
Recognized Marriage Officiants
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia.
Typically, two witnesses are required if the person performing the ceremony does not complete the marriage license form. These witnesses ensure the legality of your union.
Marriage License Expiration
Good news: the marriage license you obtain does not have an expiration date in Georgia. Take your time planning your wedding, knowing your license remains valid.
Online Marriage Application
Embracing technology, Georgia offers the convenience of applying for a marriage license online. The Georgia Probate Record website streamlines the process, making it easier for couples to begin their marital journey.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage License
Once your marriage is official, you may wish to obtain a certified copy of your marriage license for record-keeping purposes. You can request this copy from the Vital Records Office. Here are the details:
Vital Records Office
2600 Skyland Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30319-3640 Ph: 404.679.4701
Congratulations! You’ve successfully navigated the ins and outs of obtaining a marriage license in McDonough, Georgia. This guide has covered everything from the application process and fees to identification requirements and name changes. Now you’re well-equipped to take the next step in your marital journey. Remember, it’s not just about the paperwork – it’s about the commitment and love you share.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we apply for a marriage license online?
Yes, Georgia offers the convenience of applying for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
What are the acceptable forms of identification?
Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, and passport.
Is there a waiting period for marriage?
No, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia.
Can out-of-state residents marry in Georgia?
Yes, you do not have to be a resident of Georgia to get married in the state.
How long is the marriage license valid?
The marriage license obtained in Georgia does not have an expiration date.