Marriage Certificate Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Morgan County, Alabama, it’s essential to know the requirements and procedures for obtaining a marriage certificate. Getting married is an exciting milestone, and having all the necessary paperwork in order is crucial for a smooth process. This article will guide you through the process of applying for a marriage certificate, the fees involved, and other important details you should be aware of.
Getting married is a significant event in anyone’s life, and the first step is to obtain a marriage certificate. The marriage certificate serves as a legal document that recognizes the contractual agreement between the parties involved. In Alabama, the process for obtaining a marriage certificate has undergone some changes under the Alabama Act 2019-340.
The Alabama Marriage Certificate
Under the Alabama Act 2019-340, the process for obtaining a marriage certificate has been modified. Couples are no longer required to apply for a marriage license through the county probate court. Instead, they need to complete a standardized marriage certificate form, which is then recorded by the probate court, making the marriage legally valid.
Obtaining the Marriage Certificate Form
To start the process, the couple must obtain a standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state, county probate judge’s office, or available online. It’s important to ensure that the form is printed on 8.5 x 11 inch white or light paper, front side only, and not “fit to page” or modified in size. Handwritten forms will not be accepted to ensure legibility and proper recording.
Completing the Form
The marriage certificate form requests basic information about each spouse, similar to the information used in previous marriage licenses. The couple needs to fully complete the form and then have their signatures witnessed by a notary public. The probate office does not provide notary services for the form.
For individuals aged 18 and older, the following identification documents are acceptable when applying for a marriage certificate in Alabama:
- Valid driver’s license
- Non-Driver’s license
- Certified copy of birth certificate
- Military identification
- Certified school record
For individuals aged 16-17, parental or guardian consent is required to enter into marriage. The consent can be obtained using specific forms designed for this purpose.
Residency and Waiting Period
Alabama does not have a residency requirement for getting married in the state. There is also no waiting period except for individuals who have been divorced. In such cases, there is a 60-day waiting period after the divorce is final before they can apply for a new marriage certificate.
Non-residents who wish 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 determine if there is a waiting period.
If either spouse has been divorced within the last six months of the intended wedding date, a copy of the Divorce Decree must be provided. According to Section 30-2-10 of the Alabama Code, there is a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
Marriage Certificate Fee
The marriage certificate fee in Morgan County, Alabama, is $78. It is essential to note that the preferred method of payment is cash.
Blood Test and Name Change
Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test for marriage. It’s important to know that obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name does not automatically change the name. If the couple wishes to change their last name, they can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Individuals aged 18 and above can complete the marriage certificate form. However, for minors aged 16-17, parental or guardian consent is required to enter into marriage. Specific instructions and forms are available for minor applicants.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages, where another party applies on behalf of one of the spouses, are not permitted in Alabama. However, first and second cousins may legally marry in the state.
Common Law Marriages
Alabama recognizes common law marriages under specific conditions, including the capacity to enter into a marriage, agreement to be husband and wife, public recognition of the marriage, and consummation.
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. The state allows couples to choose from a variety of wedding officiants for their ceremony.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
Marriage certificates in Alabama are valid for 30 days from the date they are signed by the spouses. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the spouses’ signatures.
Obtaining a marriage certificate is a crucial step in legalizing your marriage in Morgan County, Alabama. Following the outlined procedure and providing the required documents will ensure a smooth and successful process. Congratulations on your upcoming union!
- Is a waiting period required for getting married in Alabama? There is no waiting period, except for individuals who have been divorced. In such cases, a 60-day waiting period is imposed after the divorce is finalized.
- What is the marriage certificate fee in Morgan County, Alabama? The marriage certificate fee in Morgan County is $78, and the preferred method of payment is cash.
- Do I need a blood test to get married in Alabama? No, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test for marriage.
- Can first cousins get married in Alabama? Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in Alabama.
- Is proxy marriage allowed in Alabama? No, proxy marriage is not permitted in Alabama, so no other party may apply on behalf of either spouse.