Jefferson Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a beautiful journey that begins with a simple yet important step: obtaining a marriage license. Whether you’re planning an extravagant wedding or an intimate ceremony, understanding the marriage license fees and requirements in Georgia is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about marriage license fees in Georgia, ensuring that your special day starts off on the right foot.
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! Before you exchange your vows and celebrate your love, it’s important to navigate the process of obtaining a marriage license. This essential document not only makes your union official but also lays the foundation for your journey as a married couple.
Marriage License Application Process
When applying for a marriage license, both parties must present valid identification. This includes any of the following:
- 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 (containing full name and date of birth)
If either applicant does not speak fluent English, a Court Approved Translator will be required to assist with the marriage license application.
Divorce and Widowed Documents
Applicants who have been previously married must provide certified copies of divorce papers or a certified copy of the death certificate if widowed.
Essential Details for Marriage License Application
Parents’ Birth Place and Maiden Name
During the application process, you’ll need to provide information about your parents’ birthplaces, including the city and state. Additionally, the mother’s maiden name is required.
Bride’s Full Name After Marriage
Specify the full name the bride will use after marriage. This step ensures accurate record-keeping for future references.
Date and Place of Marriage
While applying, you’ll need to provide the intended date and location of your marriage.
Application Fees and Pre-Marital Counseling
Standard Application Fee
The application fee for a marriage license without pre-marital counseling is $56.
Reduced Fee with Pre-Marital Counseling
If you choose to complete a pre-marital counseling course, the application fee reduces to $16. Make sure to bring the certificate of completion to qualify for the reduced fee.
Contacting Jefferson County Probate Court
Before visiting the Jefferson County Probate Court, it’s advisable to contact them well in advance. Confirm the office hours and availability of the Clerk, especially if you need to schedule an appointment.
Accepted Forms of Identification
Georgia recognizes various forms of identification for the marriage license application process. These include:
- Driver’s License
- State ID
- Resident Alien ID
- Military ID
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Unlike some states, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia. Additionally, you do not need to be a resident of Georgia to apply for a marriage license.
Previous Marriages and Legal Requirements
If either applicant has been divorced, a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce must be provided. This document should bear the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Widows and Widowers
For widows and widowers, a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse is required.
Marriage License Fees in Detail
Fees Without Premarital Education
The standard fee for obtaining a marriage license without completing pre-marital education is $56.
Fees with Premarital Education
Couples who choose to participate in pre-marital counseling can benefit from a reduced fee of $16 for the marriage license application. Remember to bring the certificate of completion to avail of this discount.
Certified Copy and Social Security Administration Fee
Upon recording, a certified copy of the marriage license is provided to applicants for a $10 fee. Additionally, there is a $10 charge for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy Marriages: Not Allowed
Georgia does not permit proxy marriages, which require one party to be absent and represented by a stand-in.
Cousin Marriages: Permissible
First and second cousins are allowed to marry legally in Georgia.
Common Law Marriages: Grandfathered
While common law marriages are not established in Georgia after January 1, 1997, those formed before this date are recognized.
Marriage Blood Test Requirements
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required in Georgia as a prerequisite for marriage.
Verifying Information with Jefferson County Probate Court
To ensure accuracy and avoid any complications, it’s crucial to verify all information with your local Jefferson County Probate Court before proceeding.
Name Changes After Marriage
Legal Surname Designation
Georgia law mandates that each applicant designates the legal surname they will use after marriage. This can include their present surname, a surname from a previous marriage, or their spouse’s surname.
Online Name Change Resources
While obtaining a marriage license with your new name is an essential step, it doesn’t automatically change your name. If you’re planning to change your last name, online marriage name change kits can be helpful.
Marriage Age Requirements and Parental Consent
Minimum Age Requirement
Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent.
Consent for Underage Applicants
Applicants aged 16 or 17 may obtain a marriage license with written consent from their parent or parents. No license will be issued if either applicant is under 16 years of age.
Valid Proof of Age
When applying for a marriage license, proof of age is essential. Acceptable documents include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia.
If the person conducting the ceremony doesn’t complete the form, two witnesses are required to obtain the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some licenses, the marriage license in Georgia does not have an expiration date.
Applying for a Marriage License Online
For convenience, you can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage License Certificate
To obtain a copy of your marriage license certificate, you can contact the Vital Records office at:
Vital Records 2600 Skyland Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30319-3640 Ph: 404.679.4701
Your journey to marital bliss begins with obtaining a marriage license. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can navigate the process with ease, ensuring that your special day is filled with love and celebration.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I apply for a marriage license online in Georgia? Yes, you can conveniently apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage in Georgia? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia.
- What documents do I need to bring if I’ve been divorced? If you’ve been divorced, you’ll need to provide a certified copy of the final judgment and decree of your most recent divorce.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Georgia? No, Georgia does not permit proxy marriages.
- Can I change my name after obtaining a marriage license? Yes, you can change your name after obtaining a marriage license. However, the license itself doesn’t automatically change your name. You can use online marriage name change resources to assist you.