Thomas Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a significant milestone in a person’s life, marking the union of two individuals who choose to spend their lives together. However, before the wedding bells chime, there are essential legal processes that need to be followed. Obtaining a marriage license is one of these crucial steps, and it’s important to understand the details and requirements associated with it. In this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of marriage license fees in Thomas County, Georgia, and provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this process smoothly.
Marriage license requirements can vary from one jurisdiction to another. In Thomas County, Georgia, obtaining a marriage license involves specific steps and costs. Whether you’re a local resident or planning a destination wedding in Thomasville, understanding the process will ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Marriage License Application
To apply for a marriage license in Thomas County, both individuals intending to marry must complete an application. This application can typically be obtained from the local Thomas County Probate Court. It’s important to fill out this application accurately, as any discrepancies could lead to delays in the issuance of your license.
When applying for a marriage license, certain documents are necessary to establish your identity and eligibility. These documents may include valid photo IDs for both applicants, such as a driver’s license or passport. Additionally, if either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or death certificates may be required to verify marital status.
The cost of obtaining a marriage license is an important consideration. In Thomas County, Georgia, the application fee for a marriage license is $56 if pre-marital counseling is not completed. However, if the couple completes a pre-marital counseling course, the fee reduces to $16. It’s crucial to note that couples opting for pre-marital counseling must provide a certificate of completion of the course.
Marriage ID Requirement
Various forms of identification are acceptable when applying for a marriage license. These may include a driver’s license, state ID, resident alien ID, military ID, or passport. Providing the appropriate identification is vital to establish your identity and eligibility.
Marriage Waiting Period
Unlike some states that impose waiting periods before a marriage license becomes valid, there is no waiting period for getting married in the State of Georgia. This means that once you receive your marriage license, you can proceed with your wedding ceremony without delay.
Marriage Residency Requirement
If you’re planning a destination wedding, you’ll be pleased to know that Georgia does not have a residency requirement. This means that you do not need to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license in the state.
If either applicant has previously been married, certain steps are required to ensure the legality of the new marriage. In Georgia, you must provide a copy of the final judgment and decree of your most recent divorce if applicable. This document should show the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Marriage License Fees
The fees associated with a marriage license in Thomas County, Georgia, are as follows:
- $56 without pre-marital counseling
- $16 with pre-marital counseling
Additionally, there is a $10 charge for a certified copy of the marriage license, which is typically mailed to the applicants after the license is recorded. Another $10 fee is charged for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Proxy marriages, where one or both parties are not physically present during the ceremony, are not permitted in Georgia. Both parties must be present for the wedding to be legally recognized.
Georgia law allows first and second cousins to legally marry, unlike some states where such unions are prohibited.
Common Law Marriages
While common law marriages are not recognized in Georgia if created after January 1, 1997, marriages that existed before this date are still considered legally valid.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, Georgia no longer requires blood tests as part of the marriage license application process.
Name After Marriage
Georgia law requires each applicant to designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. This choice can include the present surname, the surname of a previous marriage, the spouse’s surname, or a combination of surnames.
Marriage Age Requirements
To apply for a marriage license without parental consent, both applicants must be 18 years or older. If either applicant is 16 or 17 years old, parental consent is required. However, as of July 1, 2006, pregnancy no longer serves as a basis for granting a marriage license to a minor.
Marriage Proof of Age
Proof of age is a necessary requirement when applying for a marriage license. Acceptable forms of proof include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and various other official documents.
In Georgia, licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace are authorized to officiate weddings.
If the person performing the ceremony does not complete the marriage certificate form, two witnesses are required to be present at the ceremony to obtain the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some states where marriage licenses have expiration dates, the marriage license issued in Georgia does not have a specific expiration date.
Georgia Online Marriage Application
For added convenience, the Georgia Probate Record website allows couples to apply for their marriage license online. This option can save time and streamline the application process.
For further inquiries and specific details regarding marriage license applications, you can contact the Thomas County Probate Court at:
225 North Broad Street Thomasville, GA 31799 Phone: (912) 225-4116 Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / Monday – Friday (except for Court Approved Holidays)
In conclusion, obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step on the path to marriage. Understanding the requirements, fees, and processes involved will help ensure a seamless and joyous wedding day. By following the guidelines provided in this article, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your journey to marital bliss.
- Can I apply for a marriage license online in Georgia? Yes, you can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website, adding convenience to the application process.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage in Georgia? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in the State of Georgia once you have obtained your marriage license.
- What documents are required for a marriage license application? Typically, you’ll need valid photo IDs for both applicants, and if either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or death certificates may be required.
- Are proxy marriages allowed in Georgia? No, proxy marriages, where one or both parties are not physically present during the ceremony, are not permitted in Georgia.
- Is common law marriage recognized in Georgia? Common law marriages created before January 1, 1997, are recognized in Georgia, but those created after this date are not legally valid.