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Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Georgia, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the marriage license fees and requirements. Getting married involves more than just exchanging vows – there are legal steps to follow, and one of them is obtaining a marriage license. In this article, we’ll break down the essential information you need to know about marriage license fees, application requirements, and other important details. Let’s dive in!
Getting married is a significant life event, and obtaining a marriage license is an essential part of the process. Not only does it legally allow you to marry your partner, but it also signifies the beginning of a new chapter in your life together. Let’s explore the steps and requirements for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia.
Marriage License Application Process
Identifications and Documents
Before applying for a marriage license, there are certain documents you’ll need to provide. These include:
- ID for each Applicant: Both parties will need to present valid identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport.
- Certified Copies of Divorce Papers: If either applicant has been previously married and divorced, you’ll need to provide certified copies of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce.
- Certified Copy of Death Certificate: If either applicant is widowed, a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse is required.
- Parents’ Birth Place and Mother’s Maiden Name: You’ll need to know the city and state of your parents’ birthplaces, as well as your mother’s maiden name.
Marriage Application Fee
The cost of obtaining a marriage license varies depending on whether you’ve completed pre-marital counseling. The fees are as follows:
- $56 without Pre-Marital Counseling: If you choose not to undergo pre-marital counseling, the application fee is $56.
- $16 with Pre-Marital Counseling: If you complete a pre-marital counseling course, you’ll only need to pay an application fee of $16. Make sure to bring the certificate of completion of the course.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Unlike some states, Georgia does not have a waiting period for getting married. Additionally, you do not need to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license. This means that couples from out of state can also choose to get married in Georgia.
Previous Marriages and Legal Documents
If either applicant has had previous marriages, it’s important to provide the necessary legal documents. For instance, if you’ve been divorced, you’ll need to show a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce, including the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Marriage License Fees
As previously mentioned, the fees for a marriage license in Georgia are $56 without pre-marital counseling and $16 with pre-marital counseling. Additionally, there is a $10 charge for the certified copy of the marriage license, which is mailed to the applicants after recording. A $10 fee is also required for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Marriage License Copies and Name Change
Once your marriage is official, you can obtain a copy of the marriage certificate. Georgia law requires applicants to designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. This can be their present surname, the surname of a previous marriage, or the spouse’s surname.
Marriage Age and Proof of Age
Both applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Proof of age is required, which can be provided through various documents such as a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, or court record.
Authorized Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can perform marriage ceremonies in Georgia. While the officiant usually completes the marriage certificate form, if they don’t, you’ll need two witnesses to the ceremony to obtain the certificate.
Expiration Date and Online Application
Unlike some states, the Georgia marriage license does not have an expiration date. If you want a hassle-free application process, you can even apply for your marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
After the marriage is recorded, you can obtain a copy of the marriage certificate by contacting Vital Records. Their office is located at 2600 Skyland Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30319-3640. You can also reach them by phone at 404.679.4701.
Getting married is a beautiful journey, and obtaining a marriage license is an important step in that journey. By understanding the application process, fees, and requirements, you can ensure a smooth transition into married life. Remember to prepare the necessary documents and fulfill the legal obligations to make your union official.
1. Is pre-marital counseling mandatory to obtain a marriage license in Georgia? Pre-marital counseling is not mandatory, but it can significantly reduce the application fee if completed.
2. Can out-of-state couples get married in Georgia? Yes, Georgia does not have a residency requirement, so couples from out of state can get married there.
3. Are blood tests required for marriage in Georgia? As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for marriage in Georgia.
4. How do I change my name after marriage? While you can choose to change your name on your marriage license, it doesn’t automatically change your name. You can use an online marriage name change kit for that purpose.
5. Can minors get married in Georgia? Applicants must be 18 years old or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Minors aged 16 or 17 can obtain a license with parental consent.