Wilkinson Probate Court
Marriage License Requirements
Getting married is a significant life event that requires careful planning and preparation. One of the essential steps in this process is obtaining a marriage license. In the state of Georgia, the process of acquiring a marriage license involves various requirements, fees, and documentation. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to marriage license fees in Georgia, ensuring you have all the information you need to make your marriage journey smooth and hassle-free.
Before you say “I do,” there are essential legal aspects you need to consider when getting married. Securing a marriage license is one of these crucial steps, and understanding the associated fees and requirements is vital.
Marriage License Application Requirements
To apply for a marriage license in Georgia, there are specific documents and information you’ll need to provide:
- ID for each Applicant: A valid identification document is required for each applicant.
- Certified Copies of Divorce Papers: If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers are necessary.
- Certified Copy of Death Certificate: If an applicant is widowed, a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse is required.
- Parents’ Birth Place: Information about the birthplace of both applicants’ parents is needed.
- Mother’s Maiden Name: The maiden name of the bride’s mother is required.
- The Bride’s Full Name After Marriage: This information is necessary for updating legal documents post-marriage.
- Date and Place of Marriage: Details about the planned date and location of the marriage are needed.
Marriage ID Requirements
To verify your identity, you can present one of the following identification documents:
- Driver’s License
- State ID
- Resident Alien ID
- Military ID
Marriage Waiting Period
Unlike some states, Georgia does not have a waiting period for getting married. Once you have your marriage license, you can proceed with the ceremony at your chosen time.
Marriage Residency Requirement
You do not need to be a resident of Georgia to apply for a marriage license within the state.
If either applicant has been divorced, they must provide a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce, including the judge’s signature and date of divorce.
Marriage License Fees
The cost of obtaining a marriage license in Georgia varies depending on whether you complete pre-marital counseling:
- Application fee is $56 without pre-marital counseling.
- Application fee is $16 with pre-marital counseling (certificate of completion required).
Proxy marriages are not allowed in Georgia; both parties must be present to apply for a marriage license.
Georgia permits first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages
While Georgia does not allow common-law marriages created after January 1, 1997, it recognizes those established before this date.
Marriage Blood Test
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required to obtain a marriage license in Georgia.
Name After Marriage
Applicants must choose the legal surname they will use after marriage. Options include the present surname, a previous marriage surname, or the spouse’s surname.
Obtaining a marriage license with a new name does not automatically change your name. For a name change, an online marriage name change kit can be used.
Marriage Age Requirements
Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Those aged 16 or 17 require written parental consent.
Marriage Proof of Age
Acceptable proof of age for a marriage license includes documents like birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, and more.
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate weddings in Georgia.
If the officiant does not complete the form, two witnesses are required for the ceremony to obtain the marriage certificate.
Expiration Date of Marriage License
Georgia marriage licenses do not have expiration dates.
Georgia Online Marriage Application
Couples can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Copy of Certificate of Marriage License
For a copy of the marriage license certificate, contact the Vital Records office in Atlanta.
Securing a marriage license is a crucial step in the journey to wedded bliss. By understanding the requirements, fees, and procedures involved in obtaining a marriage license in Georgia, you’re better prepared to embark on this exciting chapter of your life.
- 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.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage in Georgia? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia.
- Can cousins marry in Georgia? Yes, first and second cousins can legally marry in Georgia.
- Are blood tests required for a marriage license in Georgia? No, blood tests are not required as of July 1, 2003, to obtain a marriage license in Georgia.
- Can I change my name through a marriage license in Georgia? While obtaining a marriage license with a new name is possible, it does not automatically change your name. You can use an online marriage name change kit for this purpose.