Marriage Certificate Requirements
Marriage is a significant milestone in life, symbolizing the union of two individuals in love. To formalize this union, obtaining a marriage certificate is a crucial step. Each state in the United States has its own set of rules and requirements for obtaining a marriage certificate. In this article, we will explore the process of obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama, specifically focusing on the Macon County Probate.
Legal Age Requirements
In Alabama, individuals must meet specific age requirements to apply for a marriage certificate. With parental consent, individuals as young as 16 years old can legally marry. However, those who are 18 years old or older can marry without parental consent.
Alabama recognizes same-sex marriage, granting LGBTQ+ couples the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples.
Unlike some states, Alabama does not have a waiting period for getting married, except for individuals who have recently been divorced. After a divorce, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period before applying for a new marriage certificate.
Once a marriage certificate is issued, it remains valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.
Previously, many states required a premarital blood test, but in Alabama, such a test is no longer required.
Unlike some states that impose residency requirements for marriage, Alabama allows non-residents to marry within its borders.
In Alabama, witnesses are not required during the marriage ceremony.
Alabama Act 2019-340
The Alabama Act 2019-340 brought significant changes to the marriage process. Under this act, individuals seeking marriage are no longer required to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court. Instead, all Alabama probate courts are mandated to record marriage certificates.
Completing the Marriage Certificate Form
To apply for a marriage certificate, a couple must complete the standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state, county probate judge’s office, or available online. The form collects basic information about each spouse, similar to the information required in the past.
Marriage ID Requirement
Individuals aged 18 and older must present one of the following forms of identification, along with their Social Security card, to obtain a marriage certificate:
- Valid driver’s license
- Non-driver’s license
- Certified copy of birth certificate from the state or county
- Military identification
- Certified school record
Marriage Residency Requirement
As mentioned earlier, there is no residency requirement in Alabama for obtaining a marriage certificate.
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement
The waiting period in Alabama applies only to individuals who have recently been divorced. After a divorce is finalized, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period before they can remarry.
For individuals who have been divorced within the last six months before their wedding date, they must show a copy of their Divorce Decree. The Alabama Code (Section 30-2-10) enforces a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
Marriage Certificate Fee Alabama
In Macon County, the fee for obtaining a marriage certificate is $77. The preferred method of payment is cash.
Marriage Blood Test Alabama
As previously mentioned, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test.
Name Change Alabama
Obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name does not automatically change an individual’s name. If a name change is desired, an online marriage name change kit can be used.
Marriage Age Requirements Alabama
For minor parties aged 16 to 17, the marriage certificate form requires parental or guardian consent. Instructions for completing and filing the forms are provided.
Proxy Marriages Alabama
Proxy marriages, where one party is not physically present during the ceremony, are not permitted in Alabama.
Cousin Marriages Alabama
Alabama allows first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages Alabama
Alabama recognizes common law marriages when certain criteria are met, including the capacity to enter into a marriage, an agreement to be husband and wife, public recognition of the marriage, and consummation.
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. Couples can choose their own wedding officiants.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate Alabama
As mentioned earlier, marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.
Copy of Marriage Certificate
For those who need a copy of their marriage certificate, they can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Obtaining a marriage certificate is an essential step for couples to formalize their union legally. In Alabama, the process has become more streamlined with the enactment of Alabama Act 2019-340, eliminating the need for marriage licenses. By completing the standardized marriage certificate form and adhering to the requirements, couples can have their marriage officially recognized. Remember to check with the local County Probate office to ensure accuracy and compliance with the rules. Celebrate love and commitment with the proper documentation!
- Can individuals under 16 years old get married in Alabama? No, individuals must be at least 16 years old with parental consent to marry in Alabama.
- Is a waiting period required for all marriages in Alabama? No, there is no waiting period unless an individual has recently been divorced.
- Are witnesses required during the marriage ceremony in Alabama? No, Alabama does not require witnesses during the marriage ceremony.
- Is a premarital blood test required in Alabama? No, premarital blood tests are no longer required in Alabama.
- Can individuals marry their first cousins in Alabama? Yes, Alabama allows first cousins to legally marry.