Marriage Certificate Requirements
When it comes to getting married, there are certain legal requirements that couples need to fulfill. One essential document is the marriage certificate, which solidifies the marital bond and provides legal recognition to the union. In this article, we will delve into the process of obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama, specifically focusing on the fee, requirements, and other essential details. So, let’s get started!
Applying for a Marriage Certificate in Alabama
Legal Age with Parental Consent: 16
In Alabama, individuals who are 16 years old can apply for a marriage certificate with the consent of their parents or legal guardians.
Legal Age without Parental Consent: 18
For those who are 18 years and older, parental consent is not required to apply for a marriage certificate.
Same-Sex Marriage: Yes
Alabama recognizes and permits same-sex marriages, providing equal rights to all couples.
Waiting Period: None
Unlike some states, there is no waiting period in Alabama, which means you can get married as soon as you obtain the marriage certificate.
Certificate Validity: 30 Days
Once issued, the marriage certificate is valid for 30 days from the date of being signed by the spouses.
Blood Test: Not Required
Alabama does not require couples to undergo a premarital blood test.
Residency: Not Required
You do not need to be a resident of Alabama to obtain a marriage certificate in the state.
Witnesses: Not Required
Unlike some states that require witnesses to be present during the wedding ceremony, Alabama does not have such a requirement.
Changes in Alabama Marriage Laws
Alabama Act 2019-340 brought significant changes to the state’s marriage laws. Previously, couples were required to apply for a marriage license with the county probate court. However, under the new law, couples are no longer required to file an application for a marriage license. Instead, they must complete a standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state or county probate judge’s office.
The completed and notarized marriage certificate form should be delivered to the county probate judge’s office for recording. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signature of the spouses. Once properly completed and recorded, the marriage becomes legally valid. A formal wedding ceremony is not required for a recognized marriage in Alabama.
Marriage Certificate Requirements in Alabama
To obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama, the following steps should be followed:
- Obtain the Marriage Certificate Form: Couples can obtain the standardized marriage certificate form from the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Fully Complete the Form: Both parties must complete the form, providing the required information about each spouse.
- Notarize the Form: The completed form should be taken to a notary to witness the signatures of the spouses. Notary services are not provided by the Probate Office.
- Submit the Form to the Probate Judge’s Office: Deliver the original, fully completed, and notarized form to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording, along with the required filing fee.
- Submit the Form within 30 Days: The completed form must be submitted within 30 days of being signed by the spouses.
It is essential to verify all information with your local County Probate office before visiting to purchase your marriage certificate. The form should be printed on 8.5 x 11 inch white or light paper, front side only, to ensure legibility and proper recording.
Identification Requirements for Marriage Certificate Application
If you are 18 years or older, you must provide one of the following forms of identification along with your Social Security card:
- A valid driver’s license
- Non-Driver’s license
- A copy of your birth certificate certified by the State or County
- A military identification
- A certified school record
If you have been divorced, you cannot apply for a marriage license within 60 days after your divorce was granted, unless you are remarrying your former spouse.
Proxy marriages, where one party is absent, are not permitted in Alabama. No other party can apply on behalf of either spouse.
Alabama allows first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages
Alabama recognizes common law marriages if there is capacity to enter into a marriage, present agreement or consent to be husband and wife, public recognition of the existence of the marriage, and consummation.
Licensed ministers or pastors of recognized religious societies, and current or retired Alabama judges can officiate weddings.
Getting a marriage certificate is an important step in legalizing a marital union. Fortunately, Alabama offers a straightforward process for obtaining a marriage certificate. Remember to adhere to the legal requirements and guidelines set by the state to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. With the information provided in this article, you can now confidently apply for your marriage certificate and embark on your journey of love and commitment.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage in Alabama? There is no waiting period in Alabama, except for individuals who have been divorced. In such cases, a 60-day waiting period is imposed after the divorce is finalized.
- Do I need to be a resident of Alabama to get a marriage certificate? No, residency is not required to obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama. Couples from any state can apply.
- Are witnesses required during the wedding ceremony in Alabama? No, witnesses are not required during the wedding ceremony in Alabama.
- Can first cousins marry in Alabama? Yes, Alabama allows first cousins to legally marry.
- How long is the marriage certificate valid? The marriage certificate is valid for 30 days from the date of being signed by the spouses.