Marriage Certificate Requirements
Marriage is a beautiful union between two individuals, and getting a marriage certificate is an essential legal step in the process. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to obtaining a marriage certificate in Lawrence County, Alabama. We will cover the requirements, fees, procedures, and other essential information related to marriage certificates in the region.
Legal Requirements for Marriage in Alabama
In Alabama, individuals must meet specific legal requirements to get married. The legal age for marriage with parental consent is 16, while without parental consent, it is 18. Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in the state, and there is no waiting period to get married. A marriage certificate in Alabama is valid for 30 days from the date of being signed, and a blood test is no longer required.
Applying for a Marriage Certificate
Under Alabama Act 2019-340, individuals wishing to get married are no longer required to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court. Instead, they must complete a standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
Marriage Certificate Form and Notarization
To apply for a marriage certificate, the couple must fully complete the form, which requests basic information about each spouse. The form must be signed in the presence of a notary, but notary services are not provided by the probate office. The original, fully completed, and notarized form must then be delivered to the county probate judge’s office for recording, along with the applicable filing fee.
For individuals aged 18 or older, acceptable forms of identification include a valid driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, a copy of the birth certificate certified by the state or county, a military identification, or a certified school record. If a person has been divorced, they must wait 60 days after the divorce is final before applying for a marriage license unless they are remarrying their former spouse.
Residency and Waiting Period
There is no residency requirement in Alabama for obtaining a marriage certificate. However, non-residents who want to be married by a county marriage official may have to wait three days. It is essential to verify with the County Probate office whether there is a waiting period.
Previous Marriages and Divorce Decrees
If a person was divorced within the last six months of their wedding date, they must show a copy of their Divorce Decree. Alabama Code Section 30-2-10 imposes a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
Marriage Certificate Fee
In Lawrence County, Alabama, the fee for a marriage certificate is $79. The preferred method of payment is cash.
Blood Test and Name Change
A premarital blood test is no longer required in Alabama. However, it is important to note that obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name on it does not automatically change the person’s name. If a name change is desired, an online marriage name change kit can be used.
Marriage Age Requirements for Minors
For minors aged 16 to 17, a marriage certificate form can be used, but parental or guardian consent is required to enter into marriage. Detailed instructions for completing and filing the form are included with the document.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not permitted in Alabama, meaning no other party may apply on behalf of either spouse. However, first and second cousins may legally marry in the state.
Common Law Marriages
Alabama recognizes common law marriages. A valid common law marriage exists in the state when there is a capacity to enter into a marriage, an agreement or consent to be husband and wife, public recognition of the existence of the marriage, and consummation.
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. Couples can choose an Alabama wedding officiant for their wedding or vow renewal ceremony by submitting a form to top-rated marriage officiants in their locality.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
As mentioned earlier, marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signature of the spouses.
Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate
In case a copy of the marriage certificate is needed, individuals can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, located at 434 Monroe St., Montgomery, Alabama. The office can be reached at Ph: 334.613.5300, and the fax number is Fx: 334.240.3097.
Obtaining a marriage certificate in Lawrence County, Alabama, is a straightforward process. By meeting the legal requirements, filling out the standardized form, and submitting it with the appropriate fee, couples can ensure their marriage is officially recorded and legally recognized. Whether planning a grand wedding or a simple ceremony, the marriage certificate is an essential document that symbolizes the commitment and love between two individuals.
1. Is a blood test required to get married in Alabama?
No, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test.
2. Can first cousins get married in Alabama?
Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in Alabama.
3. Is there a waiting period to get married in Alabama?
There is no waiting period in Alabama except after being divorced. Then, there is a 60-day waiting period after the divorce is final.
4. Can I apply for a marriage license if I am under 18?
Minors aged 16 to 17 can apply for a marriage certificate with parental or guardian consent.
5. How long is the marriage certificate valid?
Marriage certificates in Alabama are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.