Marriage Certificate Requirements
Are you considering tying the knot in Montgomery, Alabama? Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident, obtaining a marriage certificate is an essential step to make your union official. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about obtaining a marriage certificate in Montgomery County, Annex III, Alabama.
- Minor Parties Aged 16-17
- Parties Aged 18 and Over
- Proxy and Cousin Marriages
- Proxy Marriages: Not Permitted
- Cousin Marriages: Permitted
- Common Law Marriages
- Validity of Common Law Marriages
- Marriage Officiants
- Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
- Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
- Contact Information for Alabama Department of Public Health
The Montgomery County Courthouse, Annex III, located at 101 S Lawrence St, 2nd Floor, Montgomery, AL 36104, serves as the cornerstone of marriage registration and certification. The courthouse operates from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with exceptions on Court Approved Holidays.
Legal Requirements for Marriage in Alabama
In Alabama, individuals must meet certain legal requirements to obtain a marriage certificate. The key criteria include:
- Legal Age with Parental Consent: Individuals as young as 16 can marry with parental consent.
- Legal Age without Parental Consent: Individuals aged 18 and above can marry without parental consent.
- Same-Sex Marriage: Same-sex marriage is recognized and permitted in Alabama.
- Waiting Period: There is no waiting period except for individuals who have been divorced, in which case there is a 60-day waiting period.
- Certificate Validity: The marriage certificate is valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.
- Blood Test: A premarital blood test is not required.
- Residency: Residency in Alabama is not required to obtain a marriage certificate.
- Witnesses: Witnesses are not required for the marriage ceremony.
Changes in Marriage Laws
Under Alabama Act 2019-340, the process of obtaining a marriage license has changed. Applicants are no longer required to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court. Instead, the focus is on recording marriage certificates.
The Role of Marriage Certificates
The Alabama Marriage Certificate serves as a binding agreement between the marrying parties. Once both parties complete and deliver the certificate to the probate court for recording, the marriage becomes legally recognized. Solemnization is no longer mandatory for a recognized marriage in Alabama.
Obtaining a Marriage Certificate
To obtain a marriage certificate, follow these steps:
- Required Marriage Certificate Form: Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Completing the Form: Provide all required information about each spouse as requested on the form.
- Notarization and Submission: Take the completed form to a notary to witness the signatures. Notary services are not provided by the Probate Office.
- Filing Fees: Deliver the fully completed and notarized form, along with the filing fee, to the county Probate Judge’s office. The fee varies by county.
- Submission Timeline: Submit the form within 30 days of being signed.
Applicants aged 18 and older must present one of the following forms of identification, along with their Social Security card:
- Valid driver’s license
- Non-driver’s license
- Certified copy of birth certificate
- Military identification
- Certified school record
Applicants who have been divorced cannot apply for a marriage license within 60 days of their divorce unless they are remarrying their former spouse.
Residency and Waiting Period
There is no residency requirement in Alabama for obtaining a marriage certificate. As for the waiting period, there is none, except for individuals who have been divorced. Non-residents wanting to be married by a county marriage official may have to wait for three days. It’s advisable to contact the County Probate office to confirm any waiting period.
If you were divorced within the last 6 months before your wedding date, you’ll need to present a copy of your Divorce Decree. Alabama Code Section 30-2-10 imposes a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
Marriage Certificate Fee
The fee for obtaining a Montgomery marriage certificate is $70, and the preferred payment method is cash.
Marriage Blood Test
Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name doesn’t automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
For minor parties aged 16 to 17, a marriage certificate requires the consent of a parent or guardian. Adult parties aged 18 and over can apply for a marriage certificate.
Proxy and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriage is not permitted in Alabama, and parties cannot apply on behalf of each other. First and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in Alabama.
Common Law Marriages
A valid common law marriage exists in Alabama when there is a capacity to enter into a marriage, mutual agreement, public recognition, and consummation.
Solemnization is no longer mandatory for a recognized marriage in Alabama.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of signing.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
If you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics located at 434 Monroe St., Montgomery, Alabama 36130-3017. You can reach them at Ph: 334.613.5300 or Fx: 334.240.3097.
Obtaining a marriage certificate is a crucial step in making your union legally recognized in Montgomery, Alabama. With this comprehensive guide, you’re well-equipped to navigate the requirements and procedures involved. For any further inquiries or legal advice, you can consult local experts or reach out to Ask a Lawyer Online Now! Remember, a proper marriage certificate signifies not just a wedding ceremony, but a binding commitment that holds legal significance in the state of Alabama.
Q1: How do I obtain a copy of my marriage certificate? A: To obtain a copy, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Q2: Can same-sex couples marry in Alabama? A: Yes, same-sex marriage is recognized and permitted in Alabama.
Q3: Is a blood test required for a marriage certificate in Alabama? A: No, premarital blood tests are no longer required in Alabama.
Q4: Can I change my last name after obtaining a marriage certificate? A: While a marriage certificate with a new name doesn’t automatically change it, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Q5: Is proxy marriage allowed in Alabama? A: No, proxy marriage is not permitted in Alabama.