Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a joyous occasion, but there are practical and legal considerations to take into account, such as obtaining a marriage license. In the state of Florida, the process for obtaining a marriage license involves certain requirements and fees. In this article, we will walk you through the various aspects of marriage license fees in Florida, helping you navigate the process smoothly.
Getting married is a significant life event, and it all starts with obtaining a marriage license. Whether you’re a Florida resident or planning a destination wedding in the state, understanding the marriage license fees and requirements is crucial. Let’s delve into the details.
Minimum Age Requirements
To apply for a marriage license in Florida, both applicants must be at least 18 years old. If one of the applicants is between 16 and 18 years old, they can apply with parental consent and proper documentation. Applicants under 16 years old require a determination from a County Court Judge.
When applying for a marriage license, you’ll need to provide photo identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, valid passport, or I-94 card. Social Security numbers are also required, although the physical Social Security Cards are not necessary.
At the time of applying for a marriage license, there is a fee of $93.50. However, if both applicants have completed a premarital course from a registered provider, the fee is reduced to $61.00. Make sure to present a valid certificate of completion from the course.
Premarital Course Discount
Completing a premarital course not only enriches your understanding of marriage but also helps you save on the application fee. By attending a qualified course, both residents and non-residents can receive a $32.50 discount on their marriage license. The course must be completed within one year before applying.
Marriage Waiting Period
Florida residents typically have a three-day waiting period before they can use their marriage license. However, this waiting period is waived if both parties are Florida residents and have attended a 4-hour pre-marital course. Non-residents do not have a waiting period but are encouraged to read the “Family Law Handbook.”
You don’t need to be a Florida resident to apply for a marriage license in Polk County. The process is open to all, regardless of residency.
If either party has been previously married, the date of divorce or spouse’s death must be provided. A certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate is required if the event occurred within the last 30 days.
Blood Test Requirement
Unlike some states, Florida does not require a blood test to obtain a marriage license.
Accepted Payment Methods
The preferred payment method for the marriage license fee is cash. For other payment options, it’s advisable to check with your local Polk County Clerk’s Office.
Marriage Preparation Course
Taking a marriage preparation course offers benefits such as fee reductions and a waiver of the waiting period. Florida residents can avail a $32.50 discount and have the waiting period waived upon completing an approved course.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Florida. However, first and second cousins are legally permitted to marry.
Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages are not recognized in Florida.
Marriage Age Requirements
The legal age for marriage without parental consent is 18 years old. With parental consent, the legal age is 16. Special provisions apply if the bride is pregnant.
Obtaining a marriage license with your new name does not automatically change your name. To change your last name, you’ll need to follow the appropriate legal processes.
Marriages in Florida can be officiated by ordained or licensed clergy, notary publics, and justices of the peace.
Unlike some states, Florida does not require witnesses for a marriage ceremony.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
A marriage license in Florida is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.
Obtaining a Copy of the Marriage Certificate
To obtain a copy of the marriage certificate, contact the Department of Children and Families, Division of Vital Statistics.
Navigating the process of obtaining a marriage license in Florida involves various factors, from application fees to waiting periods. By understanding the requirements and fees, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience as you embark on this exciting journey of marriage.
- Can non-residents of Florida receive a fee reduction for completing a premarital course?
- Non-residents are not eligible for the fee reduction, but they can have the waiting period waived upon course completion.
- Is a blood test required to obtain a marriage license in Florida?
- No, Florida does not require a blood test.
- Can I apply for a marriage license if I’ve been previously married?
- Yes, as long as you provide the necessary documentation.
- Are witnesses required for a marriage ceremony in Florida?
- No, witnesses are not required.
- How long is a Florida marriage license valid?
- A marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.