Jackson Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Georgia? Whether you’re a resident or not, understanding the intricacies of obtaining a marriage license is crucial for a smooth and hassle-free wedding experience. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about marriage license fees and requirements in Georgia.
Planning a wedding involves more than just picking the perfect venue and flowers. Understanding the legal aspects of getting married is equally important. One such aspect is obtaining a marriage license, which is a fundamental requirement for any marriage to be legally recognized.
Marriage License Application Process
Things to Bring and Know
To apply for a marriage license in Georgia, you and your partner need to present valid identification for each applicant. Additionally, if either of you doesn’t speak fluent English, a Court Approved Translator will be required during the application process. If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or a death certificate must be provided accordingly.
Accepted forms of identification for marriage license applications include:
- Driver’s License
- State ID
- Resident Alien ID
- Military ID
Marriage Waiting Period
Unlike some states, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia. Once you obtain your marriage license, you can proceed with your wedding at your chosen time.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You do not need to be a resident of Georgia to apply for a marriage license in the state. Regardless of where you reside, you can choose to get married in Georgia.
If you or your partner has previously been married, you will need to provide proof of the final judgment and decree of your most recent divorce. This document must bear the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Marriage License Fees
The cost of obtaining a marriage license in Georgia varies based on certain factors. As of now, the fees are as follows:
- Application fee is $56 without pre-marital counseling.
- Application fee is $16 with pre-marital counseling (certificate of completion required).
In addition to the application fee, there is a $10 charge for the certified copy of the marriage license. This copy will be mailed to you after recording. Moreover, a $10 fee is charged for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
In Georgia, proxy marriages are not allowed. However, both first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry. While common-law marriages were recognized in the past, they are only valid if they were created before January 1, 1997.
Marriage Blood Test Requirement
Since July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required in Georgia for obtaining a marriage license.
Name Change After Marriage
Georgia law mandates that each applicant must designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. This can include:
- Their present surname
- The surname of a previous marriage
- Spouse’s surname
- A combination of the above in conjunction with the other spouse’s surname
Marriage Age Requirements and Proof of Age
Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. For applicants aged 16 or 17, a license may be issued with written parental consent. No license is issued if either applicant is under 16. Proof of age is required, which can include a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, and other acceptable documents.
Authorized Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace are authorized to perform wedding ceremonies in Georgia. Witnesses are required only if the person performing the ceremony does not complete the form.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some states that have an expiration date for marriage licenses, Georgia marriage licenses do not expire.
Online Marriage Application
For convenience, you can apply for your marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
After your marriage is recorded, you can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate by contacting the Vital Records office. You can apply online or visit their office in Atlanta.
Navigating the requirements and fees for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia is an essential part of preparing for your wedding day. By understanding these details, you can ensure that your marriage is legally recognized and start your new journey as a married couple with confidence.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Georgia?
- No, there is no waiting period.
- Can non-residents of Georgia apply for a marriage license in the state?
- Yes, you do not need to be a resident of Georgia to apply for a marriage license.
- Are blood tests required to obtain a marriage license in Georgia?
- No, blood tests are not required.
- Can I change my name after marriage using the marriage license?
- Yes, you can specify your new legal surname as part of the marriage license process.
- What is the minimum age to apply for a marriage license without parental consent in Georgia?
- Both applicants must be at least 18 years old.