Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a beautiful and significant milestone in many people’s lives. Before you embark on this journey of lifelong commitment, it’s essential to understand the legal aspects, including marriage license fees and requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining a marriage license in Florida.
Marriage is a legal union that involves more than just an emotional commitment. In Florida, obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step before you can say “I do.” This license grants you the legal right to marry and is an important document you’ll need throughout your marriage journey.
Marriage License Application
To apply for a marriage license in Florida, both applicants must be at least 18 years old. If either party is between 16 and 18 years old, they can apply with parental consent. Individuals under 16 years of age must seek a determination from a County Court Judge.
If an applicant is between 16 and 18 years old, they must provide a birth certificate, proof of identification, and a notarized written consent form from their parents or guardian.
County Court Judge Determination
Applicants under 16 years of age require approval from a County Court Judge to obtain a marriage license.
Unlike some states, Florida does not require a blood test as part of the marriage license application.
A fee of $93.50 is required when applying for a marriage license. However, this fee can be reduced to $61.00 if both applicants complete a premarital course.
Premarital Course Completion
Couples can benefit from a reduced fee by completing a premarital course from a registered premarital provider. This course must be conducted by an approved instructor, and a certificate of completion must be presented to receive the fee reduction.
Mandatory Reading: Family Law Handbook
Both applicants are required by law to read the “Family Law Handbook” before obtaining a marriage license.
Identification and Documentation
Applicants must provide valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or I-94 card.
Social Security Numbers
Both parties must provide their Social Security numbers but are not required to provide their Social Security Cards.
Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
You may be asked for a certified copy of your birth certificate as part of the application process.
Waiting Period and Exceptions
3-Day Waiting Period
Florida residents typically have a 3-day waiting period before the marriage license becomes valid. However, this waiting period is waived if both parties complete a 4-hour pre-marital course.
Premarital Counseling Discount
Non-Florida residents and those who haven’t completed the pre-marital course have a waiting period. Completing an accepted marriage preparation course can waive this waiting period and also provide a discount.
You do not need to be a resident of Florida to apply for a marriage license in Martin County.
If either party has been previously married, the date of divorce or spouse’s death must be supplied. A certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate is required if the event occurred within the past 30 days.
No Blood Test Required
Florida does not require a blood test as part of the marriage license application.
Marriage License Fees
The standard fee for a marriage license in Florida is $93.50.
Reduced Fee with Course Attendance
Florida residents who complete an approved marriage preparation course can benefit from a reduced fee of $61.00.
The preferred method of payment is cash, but other payment methods may be available.
Marriage Preparation Course Benefits
Florida residents who complete an approved marriage preparation course can receive a fee reduction.
Waived Waiting Period
Completing a premarital course can also waive the waiting period for both Florida residents and non-residents.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Florida, but first and second cousins are legally permitted to marry.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Florida.
Marriage Age Requirements
Without Parental Consent
The legal age for marriage without parental consent is 18 years.
With Parent’s Consent
With parental consent, individuals as young as 16 can marry.
Pregnancy and Marriage
Minors under 16 can marry if the bride is pregnant, with proper certification and parental consent.
Previously Married Minors
Minors who have been previously married can also apply for a marriage license.
Name Change After Marriage
Getting a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. For a name change, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriages can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
Witnesses are not required for a marriage ceremony in Florida.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license in Florida is valid for 60 days after issuance.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
For a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Department of Children and Families, Division of Vital Statistics.
In conclusion, understanding the marriage license fees and requirements in Florida is essential before embarking on your marital journey. From age requirements to waiting periods and fee reductions, this guide provides you with all the information you need to make the process smooth and hassle-free.
Q1: How much does a marriage license cost in Florida?
A1: The standard fee for a marriage license in Florida is $93.50, but it can be reduced to $61.00 with completion of an approved premarital course.
Q2: Do Florida residents have a waiting period for marriage?
A2: Yes, there is typically a 3-day waiting period for Florida residents. However, this can be waived with completion of a premarital course.
Q3: Can non-Florida residents also benefit from the premarital course discount?
A3: Yes, both Florida residents and non-residents can receive a discount on their marriage license fee by completing an approved premarital course.
Q4: Are proxy marriages allowed in Florida?
A4: No, proxy marriages are not allowed in Florida.
Q5: How long is a Florida marriage license valid?
A5: A marriage license in Florida is valid for 60 days after issuance.