Pickens Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to tying the knot, there are numerous details to consider, and one of the most important is obtaining a marriage license. Marriage license fees and requirements can vary from state to state, and in this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of marriage license fees in Georgia.
Getting married is a significant life event, and it’s essential to be informed about the legal requirements and fees associated with obtaining a marriage license. In the state of Georgia, the process is straightforward, but there are some crucial details to keep in mind.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Georgia, couples need to meet certain criteria and provide specific documents. Here’s what you need to know:
- Identification: Both applicants must provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport.
- Language Requirement: If either applicant doesn’t speak fluent English, a court-approved translator is necessary.
- Previous Marriage Documentation: If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or death certificates must be provided.
- Parents’ Birthplace and Maiden Name: Information about the parents’ birthplace (city and state) and the mother’s maiden name is required.
Marriage License Fees
The cost of obtaining a marriage license in Georgia varies based on several factors. The following are the current fees:
- Without Premarital Education: The application fee is $56 if you don’t undergo premarital counseling.
- With Premarital Education: If you complete a premarital counseling course, the fee is reduced to $16. You must provide a certificate of completion for the course.
- Additional Charges: There’s a $10 charge for a certified copy of the marriage license, which will be mailed to you. Additionally, there’s a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Residency and Waiting Period
Unlike some states, Georgia doesn’t have a residency requirement. This means you don’t need to be a resident of Georgia to apply for a marriage license in the state.
The good news is that there’s no waiting period for getting married in Georgia. Once you obtain your marriage license, you’re free to have your wedding ceremony.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages, where one or both parties are not physically present at the ceremony, are not allowed in Georgia. Both parties must be present to apply for and receive the marriage license.
Interestingly, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in Georgia.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages, where a marriage is recognized without a formal ceremony, are not recognized in Georgia if established after January 1, 1997.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, Georgia no longer requires blood tests as part of the marriage license application process.
Name Change After Marriage
Options for Surname
Georgia law requires each applicant to select a legal surname for use after marriage. This can include:
- Their present surname
- The surname of a previous marriage
- Their spouse’s surname
Name Change Process
It’s important to note that obtaining a marriage license with a 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
Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. If either applicant is 16 or 17 years old, a license may be issued with the written consent of the parent(s).
Consent for Underage Applicants
If either applicant is under 16 years old, no marriage license can be issued.
Pregnancy and Consent
As of July 1, 2006, the pregnancy of a female applicant no longer authorizes the issuance of a license to a 16 or 17 year old without consent.
Proof of Age
Georgia law mandates providing proof of age when applying for a marriage license. Acceptable documents include a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, selective service card, court record, passport, immigration papers, alien papers, citizenship papers, armed forces discharge papers, armed forces identification card, or hospital admission card.
Marriage ceremonies can be officiated by licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace.
If the person performing the ceremony doesn’t complete the form, two witnesses are required during the ceremony to obtain the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Interestingly, the Georgia marriage license doesn’t have an expiration date.
Online Marriage Application
Couples can conveniently apply for their marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
In case you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Vital Records Office in Atlanta. The address and contact information are as follows:
Vital Records 2600 Skyland Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30319-3640 Phone: 404.679.4701
Navigating the intricacies of marriage license fees and requirements is crucial for a successful wedding. Whether you’re considering a wedding in Georgia or simply interested in the process, this comprehensive guide provides you with all the essential information you need to know.
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I’m not a resident of Georgia?
- Yes, there’s no residency requirement in Georgia.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Georgia?
- No, there’s no waiting period after obtaining the marriage license.
- Can I have a proxy marriage in Georgia?
- No, proxy marriages are not allowed in the state.