Randolph Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a sacred bond that unites two people in love, and getting married involves several legal steps, one of which is obtaining a marriage license. If you’re planning to tie the knot in the state of Georgia, understanding the marriage license requirements and fees is crucial. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about marriage license fees in Georgia.
Marriage is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, and it’s essential to ensure that all legal requirements are met. A crucial step in the process is obtaining a marriage license. This document legally authorizes you to get married and serves as proof of your marital status. Let’s delve into the details of how to obtain a marriage license in Georgia and what the associated fees are.
Marriage License Application Process
To apply for a marriage license in Georgia, couples must follow specific guidelines and provide necessary documentation. Here’s what you need to know:
Both applicants are required to present valid identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport. This ensures that the individuals applying for the license are who they claim to be.
If either applicant does not speak fluent English, a Court Approved Translator is required during the application process. This ensures accurate communication and understanding of the legal requirements.
Divorce and Death Documents
If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or a death certificate (if widowed) must be provided. This documentation helps verify the marital history of each individual.
Parent’s Birthplace and Maiden Name
Applicants are required to provide information about their parents’ birthplaces, including the city and state. Additionally, the mother’s maiden name is a vital piece of information for record-keeping.
Bride’s Name After Marriage
Each applicant must specify the legal surname they intend to use after marriage. This could include their present surname, a previous marriage surname, the spouse’s surname, or a combination of surnames.
Date and Place of Marriage
The intended date and location of the marriage must be stated during the application process.
The application fee for a marriage license in Georgia varies based on whether the couple has completed pre-marital counseling. The fee is $56 without counseling and $16 with counseling. Couples opting for pre-marital counseling must provide a certificate of completion.
Accepted Forms of ID
Georgia accepts various forms of identification to verify age and identity, including birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, selective service cards, and more.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirement
Georgia does not impose a waiting period for marriage, and couples do not need to be residents of the state to marry here.
If an applicant has been divorced, a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce is required.
Marriage License Fees
The fees associated with obtaining a marriage license in Georgia are as follows:
Without Premarital Education
For couples who do not complete pre-marital counseling, the marriage license application fee is $56.
With Premarital Education
Couples who complete pre-marital counseling can benefit from a reduced application fee of $16. It’s essential to provide a certificate of completion for this counseling.
Certified Copy Fees
In addition to the application fee, there is a $10 charge for a certified copy of the marriage license. This copy is mailed to the applicants after recording. There is also a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Georgia, meaning both parties must be present for the marriage ceremony. However, first and second cousins are legally permitted to marry.
Common Law Marriages
Georgia does not recognize common-law marriages created after January 1, 1997.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are not required for marriage in Georgia.
Name Change After Marriage
While getting a marriage license with your new name is a step, it doesn’t automatically change your name. An online marriage name change kit can assist in this process.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both applicants must be 18 years or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Those aged 16 or 17 can obtain a license with written parental consent.
Proof of Age
Georgia law mandates presenting proof of age, which can include a birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal certificate, and other forms of official identification.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed ministers, clergymen, pastors, and justices of the peace can officiate marriages in Georgia. Two witnesses may be required if the officiant does not complete the necessary form.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Georgia marriage licenses do not have an expiration date.
Couples can conveniently apply for their marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step in the journey towards marriage. Understanding the requirements, fees, and documentation needed ensures a smooth process. Whether you’re planning an elaborate wedding or an intimate ceremony, adhering to Georgia’s marriage license guidelines will set you on the path to a legally recognized union.
- Is there a waiting period for getting married in Georgia? No, Georgia does not have a waiting period for marriage.
- Can cousins marry in Georgia? Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in Georgia.
- Are blood tests required for marriage in Georgia? No, blood tests are not required for marriage in Georgia as of July 1, 2003.
- Do I need an appointment to apply for a marriage license? Some locales may require an appointment, so it’s advisable to contact your local Randolph County Probate Court in advance.
- How can I change my name after marriage? Getting a marriage license with your new name doesn’t automatically change it. An online marriage name change kit can assist in the process.