Marriage Certificate Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in the charming city of Monroeville, Alabama? Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! To make your marriage official, you’ll need to obtain a marriage certificate. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of the marriage certificate process, requirements, fees, and much more. Let’s get started on this exciting journey!
- Age Restrictions
- Proxy Marriages and Cousins
- Common Law Marriages in Alabama
- Expiration Date and Copy of Marriage Certificate
- Validity and Effective Date
- Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
- How much is the marriage certificate fee in Monroe County?
- Is a blood test required to obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama?
- Can first cousins legally marry in Alabama?
- What is the process for changing my name after marriage?
- How long is a marriage certificate valid in Alabama?
Getting married is a joyful and momentous occasion, and obtaining a marriage certificate is a crucial step in the process. It’s the official document that legally binds two individuals in matrimony. Whether you’re planning a grand celebration or an intimate gathering, understanding the marriage certificate process is essential.
Parental Consent and Legal Age
In Alabama, individuals can legally marry at the age of 18 without parental consent. However, if you’re 16 or 17 years old, you can still marry with parental consent. This legal provision ensures that young couples can embark on the journey of marriage while having the support of their families.
Great news for same-sex couples: Alabama recognizes and permits same-sex marriages. Love knows no boundaries, and this progressive step by the state ensures that all couples, regardless of gender, can celebrate their love and commitment through marriage.
Waiting Period and Certificate Validity
Unlike some states, Alabama has no waiting period after obtaining a divorce. This means you can remarry immediately after your divorce is finalized. Additionally, the marriage certificate remains valid for 30 days from the date of signing.
Blood Test and Residency
Gone are the days of mandatory blood tests for marriage in Alabama. The state has eliminated this requirement, making the process smoother and more convenient. Furthermore, there is no residency requirement, meaning you don’t have to be an Alabama resident to get married in the state.
In Alabama, witnesses are not required to solemnize a marriage. This streamlined approach allows couples to focus on their special day without additional formalities.
The Alabama Marriage Certificate
New Changes Under Alabama Act 2019-340
A significant change has occurred in Alabama’s marriage laws under Act 2019-340. Previously, couples were required to apply for a marriage license with the county probate court. However, this step has been eliminated. Instead, couples need to complete and deliver a standardized marriage certificate form to the probate court for recording. This change simplifies the process while still ensuring the legality of the marriage.
The Significance of the Marriage Certificate
The Alabama Marriage Certificate is more than just a piece of paper. It symbolizes the commitment between two individuals and represents a contractual agreement. While a wedding ceremony is optional, properly completing and recording the marriage certificate is what makes your union legally valid.
Wedding Officiants in Alabama
Finding the Perfect Wedding Officiant
Choosing the right wedding officiant is a crucial decision. Whether you opt for a religious or non-religious ceremony, a professional officiant will guide you through the exchange of vows and ensure your wedding is a memorable experience.
Making Your Ceremony Unique
Your wedding officiant plays a pivotal role in creating a personalized ceremony. Share your love story, preferences, and any special requests with them to make your wedding truly unique and reflective of your relationship.
Steps to Obtain a Marriage Certificate
To kickstart the marriage certificate process, obtain a standardized marriage certificate form. You can get this form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
Completing the Form
Carefully complete the marriage certificate form, providing accurate and legible information about both spouses. This information is essential for recording the marriage correctly.
Notarization and Submission
Before submitting the form, take it to a notary to witness the signatures. Notary services are not provided by the Probate Office, so ensure this step is completed accurately. Once notarized, deliver the original, fully completed form to the county Probate Judge’s office along with the applicable filing fee.
Accepted Forms of Identification
When applying for a marriage certificate, you’ll need to provide valid identification. Accepted forms include a driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, certified birth certificate, military identification, or certified school record. It’s important to verify the specific requirements with your local County Probate office.
Special Cases: Divorce and Name Change
If you’ve been divorced, make sure to disclose this information during the application process. There is a waiting period of 60 days after a divorce is granted before you can apply for a new marriage license. Additionally, obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name does not automatically change your name; you may need to go through a separate name change process.
Residency and Waiting Period
Alabama welcomes couples from all over, and you do not need to be a resident of the state to marry here. Whether you’re a local or from out of town, Alabama provides a picturesque setting for your special day.
Waiting Period Exceptions
While there is no waiting period for most couples, non-residents seeking to be married by a county marriage official might have to wait three days. To confirm if you’re subject to a waiting period, get in touch with your local County Probate office.
The Marriage Certificate Fee
To obtain a marriage certificate in Monroe County, Alabama, there is a fee of $78. While various payment methods might be accepted, cash is often the preferred option. This fee contributes to the administrative processes and legal recording of your marriage.
Dispelling Myths: Blood Test and Name Change
No Blood Test Required
In line with modern practices, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test. This change reflects a more efficient and contemporary approach to marriage requirements.
Changing Your Name After Marriage
It’s essential to note that receiving a marriage certificate with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name on official documents. If you wish to change your last name, you can explore online marriage name change kits or follow the necessary legal steps.
Age Requirements and Proxy Marriages
Alabama allows individuals aged 18 and over to marry without parental consent. However, if you’re between the ages of 16 and 17, you can still marry with the consent of a parent or guardian.
Proxy Marriages and Cousins
Proxy marriages, where one party is absent and another stands in their place, are not permitted in Alabama. On the other hand, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in the state.
Common Law Marriages in Alabama
Yes, Alabama recognizes common law marriages. For a common law marriage to be valid, there must be capacity to enter into a marriage, an agreement or consent to be spouses, public recognition of the marriage, and consummation.
Expiration Date and Copy of Marriage Certificate
Validity and Effective Date
Once your marriage certificate is properly completed and recorded by the probate court, it remains valid for 30 days from the date of signing. The effective date of the marriage is determined by the signature dates of the spouses.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
Should you require a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. This step is especially important if you need to provide proof of marriage for legal or administrative purposes.
Obtaining a marriage certificate is a significant milestone in your journey toward a lifelong partnership. Alabama’s marriage laws have evolved to simplify the process while ensuring the legality and sanctity of your union. As you plan your dream wedding, keep these requirements and guidelines in mind to make your celebration of love even more special.
How much is the marriage certificate fee in Monroe County?
The marriage certificate fee in Monroe County, Alabama, is $78.
Is a blood test required to obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama?
No, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test.
Can first cousins legally marry in Alabama?
Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in Alabama.
What is the process for changing my name after marriage?
Obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name does not automatically change your name. If you want to change your last name, consider using an online marriage name change kit or following the appropriate legal steps.
How long is a marriage certificate valid in Alabama?
A marriage certificate in Alabama is valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.