Oconee Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Georgia, understanding the intricacies of obtaining a marriage license is essential. From fees and requirements to application procedures, this guide will walk you through the process step by step. Whether you’re a local resident or coming from out of town, here’s everything you need to know about marriage license fees and regulations in Georgia.
Marriage License Fees in Detail
Obtaining a marriage license in Georgia comes with associated fees that depend on a few factors. If you choose not to participate in premarital counseling, the application fee is $56. However, if you opt for premarital counseling and can provide a certificate of completion, the fee reduces to $16. This is a substantial difference that incentivizes couples to engage in premarital education.
Application Process and Requirements
When applying for a marriage license, make sure you have proper identification for each applicant. Additionally, if one or both applicants do not speak fluent English, a court-approved translator will be needed. Depending on your marital history, you might need to provide certified copies of divorce papers or death certificates. Alongside these documents, you’ll need to disclose parents’ birthplace, mother’s maiden name, and your full name after marriage.
Marriage Waiting Period and Residency Requirements
One notable advantage of getting married in Georgia is that there is no waiting period. You can obtain your marriage license and proceed with the ceremony without any delay. Furthermore, you don’t have to be a resident of Georgia to marry in the state, making it an attractive destination for out-of-state couples.
Previous Marriages and Legal Documentation
If either applicant has undergone a divorce, you’ll need to show a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce. This document should include the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted. For individuals with previous marriages, this requirement ensures the legal validity of the new marriage.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Georgia recognizes licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace as eligible marriage officiants. However, if the officiant does not complete the marriage certificate, you’ll need two witnesses present at the ceremony to obtain the marriage certificate.
Marriage Blood Test and Name Change
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia. This change simplifies the application process. If you’re planning to change your last name after marriage, keep in mind that obtaining a marriage license with your new name on it doesn’t automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the appropriate legal procedures for changing your name.
Marriage Age Proof and Documentation
Georgia law mandates that both applicants must be 18 years or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. If either applicant is 16 or 17 years old, parental consent is required. As of July 1, 2006, a female applicant’s pregnancy no longer authorizes the issuance of a license to a 16 or 17-year-old without consent. Acceptable proof of age includes documents like birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some states, the marriage license issued in Georgia does not have an expiration date. This means that once you obtain your license, you can proceed with your wedding ceremony at your convenience without worrying about the validity of the license.
Online Application and Vital Records
To make the process even more convenient, Georgia offers an online application for marriage licenses. This option allows you to apply for your license from the comfort of your home. Additionally, if you need copies of your marriage certificate, you can obtain them from the Vital Records office in Atlanta.
In conclusion, getting married in Georgia involves a clear process with specific requirements. By understanding the marriage license fees, application procedures, and associated documents, you can ensure a smooth journey to your special day.
- Can we apply for a marriage license online in Georgia? Yes, Georgia offers an online application option for marriage licenses, making the process more convenient.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Georgia? No, Georgia does not have a waiting period for getting married.
- Do we need to be residents of Georgia to get married there? No, you do not need to be a resident of Georgia to marry in the state.
- What documents are needed for proof of age when applying for a marriage license? Acceptable proof of age includes documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more.
- Is a blood test required for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia? No, blood tests are no longer required for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia as of July 1, 2003.