Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a significant milestone in life, but before you say “I do,” there are important administrative steps to take. One such step is obtaining a marriage license, which varies in cost and requirements depending on the state. In Florida, the process is straightforward, but it’s essential to understand the intricacies of marriage license fees. Let’s dive into the details to ensure your special day goes off without a hitch.
Planning a wedding involves numerous details, and understanding the marriage license process is crucial. This guide will walk you through the key points of obtaining a marriage license in Florida, focusing on fees, requirements, and special considerations.
Marriage License Basics
A marriage license is a legal document that allows a couple to marry within a specific jurisdiction. It’s an essential requirement for any legally recognized marriage. In Florida, marriage licenses are issued by county clerks and must be obtained before the wedding ceremony.
To apply for a marriage license in Florida, both applicants must be at least 18 years old. If one or both parties are between 16 and 18 years old, a birth certificate, identification, and notarized parental consent are required. Applicants under 16 must obtain a determination from a County Court Judge. A blood test is not necessary. The standard fee for a marriage license application is $93.50.
Marriage Waiting Period
Florida residents typically have a three-day waiting period before their marriage license becomes valid. However, this waiting period is waived if both parties are Florida residents and have completed a 4-hour premarital course. Non-Florida residents do not have a waiting period, but all couples must read the “Family Law Handbook.”
Marriage Residency Requirement
Florida does not require couples to be residents of the state to obtain a marriage license. Anyone can apply for a marriage license in Florida’s jurisdiction.
If either party has been previously married, the date of divorce or the date of the spouse’s death must be provided. If the divorce or death occurred within the last 30 days, relevant documentation is required.
Marriage Blood Test
Unlike some states, Florida does not require a blood test for marriage license applicants.
Marriage License Fees
The standard fee for a marriage license in Florida is $93.50. However, this fee can be reduced to $61.00 if both applicants complete a premarital course conducted by a registered provider. Proof of course completion must be presented at the time of application.
Marriage Preparation Course
As of January 1, 1999, Florida residents who complete an approved marriage preparation course can receive privileges, including a $32.50 fee reduction and waiver of the three-day waiting period. Non-Florida residents are not entitled to the fee reduction but can have the waiting period waived if they complete an accepted marriage preparation course.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. If you want to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage ceremonies in Florida can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
Unlike some states, witnesses are not required for marriage ceremonies in Florida.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A Florida marriage license is valid for 60 days after issuance. The marriage ceremony must be performed within this period.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
To obtain a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Department of Children and Families, Division of Vital Statistics. The certificate is a crucial document for legal proof of marriage.
In conclusion, understanding the process and fees associated with obtaining a marriage license in Florida is essential for a smooth and legal wedding. By following the outlined requirements and guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your journey of marital bliss.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is a blood test required for a marriage license in Florida? No, a blood test is not required for a marriage license in Florida.
- Can non-Florida residents get married in Florida? Yes, non-Florida residents can apply for a marriage license in Florida.
- What is the waiting period for Florida residents to marry? Florida residents have a three-day waiting period, unless they complete a premarital course.
- Can I change my name through a marriage license in Florida? Obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow a separate name change process.
- Who can officiate a marriage ceremony in Florida? Marriage ceremonies can be officiated by ordained clergy, licensed notaries, and justices of the peace in Florida.