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Shelby County
Marriage Certificate Requirements

Are you planning to tie the knot in Shelby County, Alabama? Understanding the marriage certificate requirements is crucial to ensure a smooth and legally recognized union. In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential information you need to know before saying “I do” in Shelby County.


Getting married is a significant milestone, and understanding the legal requirements is vital to ensure your marriage is recognized by the law. In Shelby County, Alabama, there are specific rules and regulations that govern the process of obtaining a marriage certificate.

Legal Age and Consent

  • Legal Age with Parental Consent: Individuals as young as 16 can get married in Shelby County with parental consent.
  • Legal Age without Parental Consent: Without parental consent, the legal age for marriage is 18.

Same-Sex Marriage

Shelby County recognizes same-sex marriages, allowing all couples to experience the joy of matrimony.

Waiting Period and Certificate Validity

  • Waiting Period: There is no waiting period in Shelby County unless you have been divorced within the last 60 days.
  • Certificate Validity: Once issued, the marriage certificate remains valid for 30 days.

Blood Test and Residency

  • Blood Test: No longer required for marriage in Alabama.
  • Residency: You do not need to be a resident of Alabama to get married in Shelby County.


Unlike in some states, witnesses are not required for a marriage to be valid in Alabama.

Changes Under Alabama Act 2019-340

According to this act, the process of obtaining a marriage license has changed. Filing an application for a marriage license with the county probate court is no longer required, and marriage licenses will no longer be issued. Instead, Alabama probate courts will record marriage certificates.

See also  Montgomery County Marriage Certificate Requirements

Completing the Marriage Certificate Form

To complete the marriage certificate form, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
  2. Fully complete the form, providing the necessary information about both spouses.
  3. Have the form notarized by a qualified notary public.
  4. Submit the original, completed, and notarized form to the county Probate Judge’s office along with the filing fee.

Identification Requirements

Individuals aged 18 and older must provide one of the following forms of identification, along with their Social Security card:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Non-driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • Military identification
  • Certified school record

Marriage Residency

As mentioned earlier, there is no residency requirement in Shelby County. You can marry here regardless of where you live.

Waiting Period After Divorce

If you have been divorced, you must wait for 60 days from the date of the divorce before applying for a marriage license, unless you are remarrying your former spouse.

Marriage Certificate Fee

The fee for a marriage certificate in Shelby County is $75, and the preferred payment method is cash.

Name Change

Obtaining a marriage certificate with your 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

  • Minor Parties (Aged 16-17): Marriage is possible with parental or guardian consent.
  • Persons Aged 18 and Over: No parental consent is required.

Proxy Marriages

Proxy marriages are not permitted in Alabama. Both spouses must be present to apply for the marriage certificate.

See also  St. Clair County Marriage Certificate Requirements

Cousin Marriages

First and second cousins can legally marry in Alabama.

Common Law Marriages

Alabama recognizes common law marriages when there’s an agreement to be husband and wife, public recognition of the marriage, and consummation.

Marriage Officiants

Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama.

Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate

Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.

Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate

If you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics.


Navigating the requirements for obtaining a marriage certificate in Shelby County, Alabama, ensures that your union is legally recognized. Whether you’re a local resident or planning a destination wedding, understanding the procedures is essential for a hassle-free experience.

For further information and assistance, you can always seek advice from legal professionals or contact the local County Probate office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can individuals aged 16-17 marry without parental consent? Answer: No, parental or guardian consent is required for minors aged 16-17 to marry.

Question: Is a blood test required to get married in Shelby County? Answer: No, a premarital blood test is no longer required in Alabama.

Question: Can couples from out of state marry in Shelby County? Answer: Yes, there is no residency requirement for marriage in Shelby County.

Question: Can I change my name through the marriage certificate? Answer: No, obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name doesn’t automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the legal process for a name change.

Question: Are proxy marriages allowed in Alabama? Answer: No, proxy marriages are not permitted in Alabama. Both parties must be present to apply for a marriage certificate.

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