Marriage Certificate Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in Marion County, Alabama? Understanding the process and requirements for obtaining a marriage certificate is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps, legalities, and details you need to know about acquiring a marriage certificate in Marion County.
Getting married is an exciting and meaningful journey. Before you embark on this new chapter of your life, it’s important to understand the legal requirements and procedures for obtaining a marriage certificate in Marion County, Alabama.
Legal Age Requirements
In Alabama, individuals must meet certain age requirements to apply for a marriage certificate. With parental consent, individuals as young as 16 years old can get married. Those aged 18 and older can apply for a marriage certificate without parental consent.
Alabama recognizes and allows same-sex marriages, ensuring that all couples have equal rights and opportunities to legally wed.
Unlike many other states, Alabama doesn’t have a waiting period for marriage. Once you obtain your marriage certificate, you’re free to proceed with your wedding ceremony.
Your marriage certificate in Alabama remains valid for 30 days from the date it is signed. This gives you ample time to plan and carry out your wedding ceremony.
Unlike in the past, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test as a prerequisite for marriage.
Alabama has no residency requirement, meaning you don’t have to be a resident of the state to get married there.
Unlike some states, Alabama does not require witnesses to be present during the marriage ceremony.
Changes in Alabama Marriage Law
Thanks to Alabama Act 2019-340, the process for getting married has evolved. Couples are no longer required to apply for a marriage license, and all probate courts in Alabama are now mandated to record marriage certificates.
Obtaining the Marriage Certificate Form
To begin the process, you must obtain a standardized marriage certificate form. You can get this form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
Notarization of Signatures
After completing the form, both parties must sign it in the presence of a notary. This ensures the authenticity of the signatures.
Submitting the Form
Once the form is signed and notarized, it must be submitted to the county Probate Judge’s office along with the appropriate filing fee. It’s crucial to submit the form within 30 days of signing.
Marriage Identification Requirement
When applying for a marriage certificate in Alabama, you need to provide identification. This can include a valid driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, certified birth certificate, military ID, or certified school record.
Marriage Residency Requirement
As mentioned earlier, there is no residency requirement in Alabama. You can get married in the state regardless of where you live.
Marriage Waiting Period Requirement
In general, there is no waiting period in Alabama for getting married. However, non-residents seeking marriage by a county marriage official may encounter a three-day waiting period.
If you’ve been divorced within the last 6 months before your wedding date, you must present a copy of your Divorce Decree. Alabama law mandates a 60-day waiting period for individuals remarrying after a divorce.
Marriage Certificate Fee
In Marion County, the fee for obtaining a marriage certificate is $70. It’s recommended to pay in cash if possible.
Marriage Blood Test
Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test.
Obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you want to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
If you’re 16 or 17 years old, you can apply for a marriage certificate with parental or guardian consent. Those aged 18 and over can apply independently.
Proxy marriages, where someone stands in for a spouse who can’t be present, are not allowed in Alabama.
First and second cousins can legally marry in Alabama.
Common Law Marriages
Alabama recognizes common law marriages when certain conditions are met, including public recognition of the marriage and consummation.
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. You can choose a wedding officiant according to your preference.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
Remember, marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed. The effective date of the marriage is determined by the date of the spouses’ signatures.
Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate
In case you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can reach out to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Getting married in Marion County, Alabama, is a straightforward process with well-defined requirements. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your journey as a married couple.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Can I apply for a marriage certificate if I’m under 18? A: Yes, with parental consent. Individuals as young as 16 can apply for a marriage certificate in Alabama.
Q2: Is there a waiting period for getting married in Alabama? A: There is generally no waiting period, except for individuals remarrying within 60 days after a divorce.
Q3: What is the fee for a marriage certificate in Marion County? A: The fee for a marriage certificate in Marion County is $70, payable in cash.
Q4: Do I need a blood test to get married in Alabama? A: No, a premarital blood test is no longer required in Alabama.
Q5: Can I change my last name through a marriage certificate? A: While obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name is possible, it doesn’t automatically change your name. You may need to follow additional steps.