Lee County Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Lee County, Florida, understanding the intricacies of marriage license fees and requirements is essential. From the cost of the license to the necessary documents, this article will guide you through the process step by step.
Introduction to Marriage License Fees
Before you say “I do,” you’ll need to secure a marriage license, and that comes with a fee. The standard fee for obtaining a marriage license in Lee County is $93.50. However, if you and your partner have completed a premarital course, you’re in luck. With a valid certificate of completion, your fee drops to $61.00. Let’s delve deeper into the details.
Eligibility and Age Requirements
To apply for a marriage license in Lee County, both you and your partner must be at least 18 years old. If either of you is between 16 and 18 years old, a birth certificate and proof of identification are required, along with notarized written consent from parents or guardians. Those under 16 must obtain a determination from a County Court Judge. No blood test is required, making the process simpler.
The Premarital Course Option
One way to reduce your marriage license fee is by completing a premarital course. If you choose this option, your fee will be lowered to $61.00. This course, conducted by a registered premarital provider, aims to prepare couples for marriage and help them build a strong foundation. A printed copy of the premarital course completion certificate must be presented to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the fee reduction to be applied.
Application Process and Requirements
To complete the marriage license application, both applicants must read the “Family Law Handbook.” This is a legal requirement. You’ll need to visit the Lee County Clerk’s Office in person. Be sure to contact them in advance to determine office hours and whether an appointment is necessary.
Identification and Social Security
Both parties must provide photo identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or I-94 card. Social Security numbers are required but not the physical cards. You might also be asked for a certified copy of your birth certificate.
Waiting Period and Discounts
Florida Residents usually have a three-day waiting period for marriage licenses. However, this waiting period can be waived if both parties are Florida Residents and have attended a 4-hour pre-marital course. Non-Florida Residents do not have a waiting period, but they can receive a discount on their marriage license by completing an approved premarital course.
The marriage license fee can be paid in cash, and other payment methods should be confirmed with the Lee County Clerk’s Office. If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to provide divorce or spouse’s death information. Cousin marriages are legal in Florida, and there’s no blood test requirement.
Officiants and Witnesses
Marriage officiants in Florida include ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace. Unlike some states, witnesses are not required for the marriage ceremony.
Validity and Expiration
Your marriage license is valid for 60 days after issuance. Make sure to hold your ceremony within this timeframe. If you need a copy of your certificate of marriage license, you can contact the Department of Children and Families.
Getting married is a significant life event, and understanding the details surrounding marriage license fees and requirements is crucial for a smooth process. Whether you’re a Florida resident or not, knowing the options available to you and the steps involved will help you embark on your marital journey with confidence.
Q1: Can we apply for a marriage license if we’re not Florida residents? A1: Yes, you don’t need to be a Florida resident to apply for a marriage license in Lee County.
Q2: Is a blood test required for a marriage license in Lee County? A2: No, a blood test is not required.
Q3: Can we get a discount on the marriage license fee? A3: Florida residents can receive a discount by completing an approved premarital course.
Q4: Are witnesses necessary for the marriage ceremony? A4: No, witnesses are not required for the marriage ceremony in Florida.
Q5: How long is the marriage license valid? A5: The marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.