Washington Probate Court Marriage License Requirements
When it comes to planning a wedding, there are countless details to consider, and one of the most important steps is obtaining a marriage license. This essential document legitimizes your union and allows you to officially tie the knot. In the state of Georgia, the process is straightforward, but there are certain requirements and fees you should be aware of. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of obtaining a marriage license in Georgia, covering everything from application fees to necessary documents. So, let’s get started with your journey to wedded bliss!
The Importance of a Marriage License
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details of obtaining a marriage license in Georgia, let’s take a moment to understand its significance. A marriage license is a legal document that permits you to enter into a marital union. It serves as proof of your marriage and is required for various purposes, including changing your last name, updating your identification documents, and even claiming certain benefits. Whether you’re planning an extravagant wedding or an intimate ceremony, a marriage license is the cornerstone of your marital journey.
Marriage License Application Process
When applying for a marriage license in Georgia, there are several steps and requirements you need to be aware of:
Both you and your partner will need to provide identification documents to prove your age and identity. Acceptable forms of identification include:
- Driver’s License
- State ID
- Resident Alien ID
- Military ID
If either you or your partner do not speak fluent English, a Court Approved Translator will be required during the application process. This ensures that both parties understand the proceedings and implications of obtaining a marriage license.
Divorce Papers and Death Certificate
If either you or your partner has been previously married, you’ll need to provide certified copies of divorce papers or a death certificate if widowed. This documentation is necessary to verify your marital status.
You’ll need to provide information about your parents’ birthplaces, including the city and state. Additionally, the mother’s maiden name will be required.
Marriage Date and Place
You’ll need to provide the planned date and place of your marriage. This helps the authorities keep track of weddings and ensures the legality of your union.
The application fee for a marriage license in Georgia is $56 without pre-marital counseling. However, if you complete a pre-marital counseling course, the fee reduces to $16. Make sure to bring the certificate of completion of the course.
Washington County Probate Court
Before applying for your marriage license, it’s essential to contact your local Washington County Probate Court. This step is crucial to determine the office’s working hours and the availability of the Clerk. Some locations may require appointments, so planning ahead is advisable.
Accepted Forms of Identification
The State of Georgia accepts various forms of identification to fulfill the age requirement for marriage. These include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more. Ensure you have one of these documents on hand when applying.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirements
Fortunately, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia. Additionally, you do not have to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license within the state.
Previous Marriages and Requirements
If you or your partner have previously been married, specific requirements apply. You must show a copy of the final judgment and decree of your most recent divorce, including the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Marriage License Fees
The fees for obtaining a marriage license in Washington County are as follows:
- $56 without Premarital Education completed
- $16 with Premarital Education
Furthermore, there’s a $10 charge for the certified copy of the marriage license, which will be mailed to you after recording. An additional $10 fee is applied for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Proxy Marriages and Cousin Marriages
In Georgia, proxy marriages are not recognized. Both parties must be physically present to apply for and receive a marriage license. However, first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in the state.
Common Law Marriages
While Georgia does not allow common law marriages created after January 1, 1997, those formed before this date are still recognized. If you’re unsure about your marriage’s legal status, consulting legal authorities is recommended.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia. This change simplifies the application process and removes the need for medical examinations.
Name After Marriage and Name Change
Georgia law requires each applicant to designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. You can choose to keep your present surname, use a previous marriage’s surname, or adopt your spouse’s surname. If you wish to change your last name, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
Marriage Age Requirements
To apply for a marriage license without parental consent in Georgia, both applicants must be 18 years or older. If either applicant is between 16 and 17 years of age, a license can be issued only with the written consent of the parent or parents. No license can be issued if either applicant is under 16 years old.
Proof of Age Documents
Georgia law requires acceptable proof of age to be presented during the application process. These documents include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, selective service cards, and more.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate marriages in Georgia. Witnesses are required only if the person performing the ceremony doesn’t complete the necessary forms.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Unlike some states, the marriage license in Georgia does not have an expiration date. This provides flexibility in planning your wedding ceremony.
Georgia Online Marriage Application
Applying for a marriage license in Georgia has been made even more convenient with the option to apply online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Vital Records Office
After your marriage, you can obtain a copy of your marriage license certificate from the Vital Records Office in Atlanta. The address and contact information for this office are as follows:
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License Vital Records 2600 Skyland Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30319-3640 Ph: 404.679.4701
In conclusion, obtaining a marriage license in Georgia involves a series of steps and requirements, each designed to ensure the legality and authenticity of your union. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can navigate the application process with ease, allowing you to focus on the joyous journey ahead as you embark on this new chapter of life together.
Q: Can I apply for a marriage license online in Georgia? A: Yes, you can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website, making the process more convenient.
Q: Are proxy marriages allowed in Georgia? A: No, proxy marriages are not recognized in Georgia. Both parties must be present to apply for and receive a marriage license.
Q: Is there a waiting period for getting married in Georgia? A: No, there is no waiting period for getting married in the State of Georgia.
Q: Do I need to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license? A: No, you do not have to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license within the state.
Q: Are blood tests required for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia? A: No, as of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia.