Marriage Certificate Requirements
Are you planning to tie the knot in Alabama? Ensuring that all the legalities are in order is crucial before embarking on your journey of marital bliss. One essential aspect of this process is obtaining a marriage certificate. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the ins and outs of acquiring a marriage certificate in Alabama, including fees, requirements, and procedures.
Getting married is an exciting chapter in one’s life, and it’s essential to have all the legal aspects covered. In Alabama, a marriage certificate is a crucial document that signifies the union between two individuals. This certificate serves as a legal agreement and is recorded by the probate court. Here’s a detailed guide to obtaining your marriage certificate in Alabama.
Obtaining a Marriage Certificate in Alabama
To obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama, several steps must be followed:
Standardized Marriage Certificate Form
Couples looking to get married in Alabama need to obtain a standardized marriage certificate form. This form is usually provided by the state, county probate judge’s office, or can even be accessed online.
Notary Witness Signatures
After fully completing the form, the next step is to have it notarized. It’s important to note that the probate office does not provide notary services for this purpose. Therefore, you’ll need to find a notary to witness the signatures on the form.
Submitting the Form and Filing Fee
Once the form is properly completed and notarized, it must be submitted to the county Probate Judge’s office. Along with the form, you’ll also need to pay the filing fee, which varies from county to county.
Timeframe for Submission
The completed and notarized form must be submitted within 30 days of being signed. The effective date of the marriage will be based on the dates of the spouses’ signatures.
Valid Forms of Identification
When applying for a marriage certificate in Alabama, you need to provide valid forms of identification. These include:
- Valid driver’s license
- Non-driver’s license
- Certified copy of your birth certificate
- Military identification
- Certified school record
If you’ve been divorced, you may need to wait 60 days after your divorce is final before applying for a marriage license.
Residency and Waiting Period Requirements
Unlike some states, Alabama does not require couples to be residents of the state to get married there. Additionally, there is generally no waiting period in Alabama, except for individuals who have been divorced. In that case, a 60-day waiting period is imposed after the divorce is finalized.
Previous Marriages and Restrictions
If you’ve been divorced within the last 6 months before your wedding date, you’ll need to show a copy of your Divorce Decree. According to Section 30-2-10 of the Alabama Code, there is a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
The Marriage Certificate Fee
In Talladega County, the marriage certificate fee is $75. This fee can be paid in cash and is a preferred method of payment.
Name Change After Marriage
Obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name on it does not automatically change your name. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
Marriage age requirements in Alabama vary:
- Minor parties aged 16 to 17 require the consent of a parent or guardian.
- Parties aged 18 and over have their own marriage certificate form.
First and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in Alabama, but proxy marriages are not permitted.
Common Law Marriages in Alabama
Alabama recognizes common law marriages when certain conditions are met, including public recognition, consent, and consummation.
Marriage Officiants in Alabama
Solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. Couples have the freedom to choose an officiant for their wedding or vow renewal ceremony.
Expiration Date of Marriage Certificate
Marriage certificates are valid for 30 days from the date of being signed. The effective date of the marriage is determined by the dates of the spouses’ signatures.
Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate
To obtain a copy of your marriage certificate, you can contact the Alabama Department of Public Health. The certificate can be requested from the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Acquiring a marriage certificate in Alabama is a crucial step in the process of getting married. By following the outlined steps, you can ensure that your union is legally recognized and recorded. Remember to verify all information with your local County Probate office before proceeding.
- Can non-residents get married in Alabama? Yes, residency in Alabama is not a requirement for getting married there.
- Is there a waiting period to get married in Alabama? Generally, there is no waiting period except for individuals who have been divorced. They may need to wait 60 days after their divorce is final.
- Can cousins marry in Alabama? Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in Alabama.
- Is a premarital blood test required in Alabama? No, Alabama no longer requires a premarital blood test.
- Can I change my name after obtaining a marriage certificate? While obtaining a marriage certificate with your new name is possible, it does not automatically change your name. You’ll need to follow the proper legal procedures to change your name officially.