Marriage Certificate Requirements
When it comes to matters of marriage, there are numerous legal aspects to consider, one of which is obtaining a marriage certificate. In this article, we will delve into the details of acquiring a marriage certificate in Houston County, Alabama, and provide you with essential information to streamline the process.
Marriage is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, and obtaining a marriage certificate is an essential step in the process. It not only serves as a legal proof of the union but also provides important information about the couple. In this article, we will guide you through the process of obtaining a marriage certificate in Houston County, Alabama.
Eligibility and Legal Requirements
Before applying for a marriage certificate, it’s crucial to understand the eligibility and legal requirements. In Alabama, the legal age for marriage with parental consent is 16, while without parental consent, it’s 18. Same-sex marriages are also recognized, and there is no waiting period to get married.
The Process of Applying for a Marriage Certificate
To apply for a marriage certificate, follow these steps:
- Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form from the county probate judge’s office or online.
- Complete the form, providing basic information about both spouses.
- Take the form to a notary to witness the signatures.
- Deliver the completed and notarized form, along with the filing fee, to the county probate judge’s office for recording.
Identification and Residency Requirements
When applying for a marriage certificate, you need to provide identification. Accepted forms include a valid driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, military identification, or certified school record. Residency in Alabama is not a requirement for obtaining a marriage certificate.
Waiting Period and Validity
There is no waiting period for getting married in Alabama, except for individuals who have been divorced. Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.
Divorce and Previous Marriages
If you’ve been divorced within the last 6 months of your wedding date, you’ll need to show a copy of your Divorce Decree. Alabama law imposes a 60-day waiting period after a divorce before you can remarry.
Marriage Certificate Fee
The marriage certificate fee in Houston County is $75. It’s advisable to bring cash for payment. This fee is subject to change, so it’s recommended to verify the current fee before applying.
Blood Test and Name Change
Unlike some states, Alabama does not require a premarital blood test. If you plan to change your last name after marriage, obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name does not automatically change your name. You may need to follow a separate legal process for a name change.
Marriage Age Requirements
Minors aged 16 to 17 can apply for a marriage certificate, but parental or guardian consent is required. Adults aged 18 and over can apply without consent.
Proxy, Cousin, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Alabama. First and second cousins are permitted to marry, and the state recognizes common law marriages if certain conditions are met.
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. You have the flexibility to choose a wedding officiant based on your preferences.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed. The date of the spouses’ signature determines the effective date of the marriage.
Copy of Marriage Certificate
For copies of marriage certificates, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. It’s essential to keep a copy of your marriage certificate for legal and personal purposes.
Obtaining a marriage certificate is a vital step in the marriage process, ensuring that your union is legally recognized. By following the outlined steps and meeting the requirements, you can smoothly acquire your marriage certificate and embark on your journey together as a married couple.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can non-residents get married in Alabama?
- Yes, non-residents can marry in Alabama without any residency requirements.
- Is a blood test required for marriage in Alabama?
- No, a premarital blood test is not required.
- Can I change my name on the marriage certificate?
- Getting a marriage certificate with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. You may need to follow a separate process for a name change.
- What is the marriage certificate fee in Houston County?
- The marriage certificate fee in Houston County is $75.
- How long is a marriage certificate valid?
- A marriage certificate is valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.