Meriwether Probate Court Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is an exciting journey, and one of the essential steps in this process is obtaining a marriage license. In the state of Georgia, the process is straightforward, but there are certain requirements and fees associated with it. This article will guide you through the marriage license application process, the necessary documents, fees, and other important details to make your wedding planning smooth and hassle-free.
What is a Marriage License?
A marriage license is a legal document that allows a couple to get married. It signifies that the couple meets the legal requirements to enter into a marriage contract. In Georgia, you can obtain a marriage license from the county probate court. The license is valid throughout the entire state.
Marriage License Application Process
When applying for a marriage license, both applicants must present valid identification. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport.
Translation Services for Non-English Speakers
If either applicant does not speak fluent English, a court-approved translator will be required to apply for the marriage license.
Documents for Previously Married Individuals
If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or a death certificate (if widowed) must be provided.
Marriage License Fees in Georgia
Standard Application Fee
The application fee for a marriage license in Georgia is $56. This fee applies if you’re not participating in pre-marital counseling.
Reduced Fee with Pre-Marital Counseling
If you choose to complete pre-marital counseling, you can enjoy a reduced application fee of $16. You’ll need to provide a certificate of completion for the counseling course.
There’s a $10 charge for a certified copy of the marriage license, which will be mailed to you after recording. Additionally, there’s a $10 fee for a certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirements
There’s no waiting period to get married in Georgia. You do not have to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license.
Previous Marriages and Divorce Records
If either applicant has previously been divorced, you’ll need to provide a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce.
Acceptable Forms of Identification
Proof of age is required for all applicants. Acceptable documents include a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, court record, passport, and more.
Proxy Marriages, Cousin Marriages, and Common Law Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Georgia. However, first and second cousins can legally marry. Common-law marriages are recognized if created before January 1, 1997.
Marriage Blood Test Requirements
Georgia no longer requires blood tests for marriage.
Designating a Name After Marriage
Georgia law requires applicants to designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. This can be the present surname, the surname of a previous marriage, or the spouse’s surname.
Age Requirements for Marriage
Both applicants must be 18 or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. If either applicant is 16 or 17, parental consent is required. As of July 1, 2006, pregnancy no longer authorizes the issuance of a license to underage applicants.
Proof of Age Documentation
Applicants must provide proof of age when applying for a marriage license. This can include a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, and more.
Who Can Officiate a Marriage?
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia.
Witnesses for Your Wedding Ceremony
If the officiant does not complete the marriage certificate, you’ll need two witnesses at the ceremony to obtain the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
The marriage license in Georgia does not have an expiration date.
Applying for a Marriage License Online
Georgia residents can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Where to Obtain a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
To obtain a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Vital Records office in Atlanta.
Obtaining a marriage license in Georgia involves several steps, from providing necessary documentation to paying the required fees. Understanding these details will ensure a smooth and stress-free process as you prepare for your special day. Remember that it’s essential to verify all information with your local county probate court to make sure you have accurate and up-to-date information for your wedding plans.
- Can I apply for a marriage license online in Georgia? Yes, Georgia residents can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Georgia? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in the state of Georgia.
- Can cousins marry in Georgia? Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in Georgia.
- Are blood tests required for marriage in Georgia? No, blood tests are not required for marriage in Georgia as of July 1, 2003.
- Can I change my name after getting married in Georgia? Yes, Georgia law allows you to choose a new legal surname after marriage, including the option to use your spouse’s surname.