Okaloosa County Marriage License Requirements
If you’re planning to tie the knot in the beautiful state of Florida, understanding the intricacies of marriage license fees is essential. From premarital course discounts to age requirements, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining a marriage license in Florida.
Florida is a popular destination for weddings, offering stunning venues and a pleasant climate. However, before you say “I do,” you need to navigate the process of obtaining a marriage license. Understanding the fees and requirements is crucial to ensure your special day goes off without a hitch.
Marriage License Application Process
Applying for a marriage license in Florida involves several steps. It’s important to note that the application process takes place at the local county Clerk’s Office. Both parties must be present during the application, and you can usually apply during regular office hours.
Age Requirements and Consent
To apply for a marriage license without parental consent, both parties must be at least 18 years old. If either applicant is between 16 and 18 years old, they will need to provide a birth certificate, proof of identification, and a notarized written consent form from parents or guardians. Applicants under 16 years old must obtain a determination from a County Court Judge.
Premarital Course and Fee Reduction
Florida offers a fee reduction for couples who complete a premarital course conducted by a registered premarital provider. The standard marriage license fee of $93.50 is reduced to $61.00 upon presentation of a valid certificate of completion from an approved course.
Applicants must provide photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, and their Social Security numbers. Non-Florida residents may also need a certified copy of their birth certificate. It’s advisable to contact your local Clerk’s Office for specific document requirements.
Waiting Periods for Florida Residents
Florida residents typically have a 3-day waiting period before the marriage license becomes valid. However, this waiting period is waived if both parties attend a 4-hour pre-marital course.
Waiting Periods for Non-Florida Residents
Non-Florida residents do not have a waiting period for obtaining a marriage license. However, they are encouraged to read the Family Law Handbook, and completing an approved premarital course can also waive the waiting period.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You do not need to be a resident of Florida to apply for a marriage license in the state. Okaloosa County welcomes couples from all over.
Previous Marriages and Divorce Records
If you or your spouse have been previously married, you’ll need to provide the date of divorce or the date of your spouse’s death. If these events occurred within the past 30 days, certified documentation is required.
Blood Test and Health Requirements
Unlike in the past, Florida does not require a blood test for marriage license applicants. This simplifies the process for couples seeking to wed.
Marriage License Fees
The standard fee for a marriage license is $93.50, which is payable in cash. However, with completion of an approved premarital course, Florida residents can enjoy a reduced fee of $61.00.
Marriage Preparation Course Benefits
Completing a marriage preparation course can offer significant benefits for Florida residents. Along with the fee reduction, the three-day waiting period is waived for couples who have attended the course within the last twelve months.
Proxy Marriages and Cousins Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Florida, and first and second cousins are legally permitted to marry.
Common Law Marriages and Age Requirements
Common law marriages are not recognized in Florida. The legal age for marriage without parental consent is 18, while those aged 16 or 17 require parental consent.
Name Change After Marriage
While obtaining a marriage license with your new name is an important step, it does not automatically change your name. If you plan to change your last name, consider using an online marriage name change kit.
Authorized Marriage Officiants
Marriage officiants in Florida include ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
Witnesses and Expiration Date
Witnesses are not required in Florida for a marriage ceremony. A marriage license is valid for 60 days after issuance, and the ceremony must occur within this time frame.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
After the wedding, you can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate from the Department of Children and Families, Division of Vital Statistics.
Navigating the process of obtaining a marriage license in Florida involves understanding various requirements and fees. By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this article, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your marital journey in the Sunshine State.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can non-Florida residents marry in Florida? Yes, non-Florida residents can apply for a marriage license in Florida.
- Is there a waiting period for Florida residents? Yes, there is a 3-day waiting period, but it can be waived with completion of a premarital course.
- Can I change my last name immediately after marriage? No, changing your name requires a separate process.
- Are blood tests required for marriage in Florida? No, blood tests are not required for marriage in Florida.
- How long is a Florida marriage license valid? A Florida marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.