Requirements for a Marriage Certificate in Florida

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Florida offers marriage licenses to both residents and non-residents.

Many couples who want to say "I do" dream of having a wedding in the tropical setting of Florida. The state has many requirements for couples when applying for a marriage license, but there is no residency requirement. Marriage licenses can be obtained at any county clerk's office, and couples do not need to be married in the county in which they purchase the license. Some counties have additional requirements and laws regarding marriage licenses.

  1. Identification

    • Both the bride and groom must apply for the marriage license in person and be able to provide proper photo identification. Identification accepted includes driver's license, state issued photo identification, military identification or passport. Couples will also need to bring their Social Security cards or an I-94 card when filling out an application.

    Waiting Period

    • Florida does not require couples to attend pre-marriage counseling courses, but the three-day waiting period is waived if couples chooses to attend. There is no waiting period for non-residents.

    Fees

    • As of 2010, the fee for a marriage license was $93.50, and it was valid for a period of 60 days. Application fees are reduced to $61 if the couple has attended an approved marriage counseling course. Each county has its own policy for which forms of payment are accepted, but most accept cash, check or credit cards. Some will accept traveler's checks or money orders for payment.

    Officiants and Witnesses

    • Florida is one of the few states which does not require a couple to have witnesses sign the marriage license after the ceremony. This makes private ceremonies on the beach much easier and more cost effective, since the bride, groom and officiant are the only people who need to be present.

      Couples can be married by ordained or licensed clergy, notaries public or justices of the peace. Notaries public are available at all county clerk's offices and provide a small private room where ceremonies are offered for nominal fees.

    Age Requirements

    • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a marriage license without parental permission. Those wishing to apply who are under the age requirement and older than 16 will need parental permission. Other age exceptions are made for minors applying for marriage licenses, but each situation is judged on the circumstances.

    Previous Marriages

    • If either the bride or groom, or both, have previously been married, additional paperwork may be required to show proof they are legally eligible to get re-married. When applying for a marriage license after previously being married, be sure to provide the date the divorce was finalized or the date of the previous spouse's death. The clerk's office needs to see a copy of the most recent divorce decree or death certificate from a previous marriage.

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  • Photo Credit the marriage image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

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