Monday, March 16, 2009

Q & A Monday: Getting your Marriage License

Question: What's the process I need to go through to get my marriage license?

Answer: This is a question that, understandably, we get asked VERY often.

The procedure is generally pretty harmless, but you'll definitely want to "know before you go" so you don't forget anything.
1) You and your fiance must go to a Florida Courthouse.
(Note 1: It can be ANY courthouse in the state of Florida -- it does NOT have to be the county you are planning on getting married in.)
(Note 2: You and your fiance BOTH must be present.)
2) Bring two forms of identification.
One must be a picture ID (Driver's License, Passport, etc.) The other must be your social security card.
3) Bring $93.50 in cash.
Some court houses have gotten online and are now accepting charge cards, but not all. So either call first or play it safe and bring the cash.
4) Remember the waiting period.
Florida residents must go through a three-day waiting period before the license is considered valid. This means that if you applied on a Tuesday, your license would not be valid until Saturday. The waiting period is waived for non-Florida residents.
5. If you were previously married, bring proof that your previous marriage has ended.
In some counties, the date your divorce was finalized is sufficient. Others will ask to see a certified copy of your divorce decree. If you were widowed, please be prepared to provide the date of the death of your spouse.
6. Don't let the license expire!
It is valid for 60 days. If you don't use it within those 60 days, it expires and you would need to get another one to have a legal marriage ceremony.
7. Consider counseling.
If you participate in a state-approved counseling program, not only can you have the waiting period waived, but your fee will also be reduced.
8. Know your citizenship status.
Non-American citizens will have different procedures concerning identification necessary. Please contact your Clerk of Court for more info.

If you still have questions, the best person to contact would be your Clerk of the Court. Here is a list of all Florida Clerks of Court, and their contact info.


KB {kathryn brown photography} said...

I love the tip on counseling! It is worth the time and helps couples better understand each other.

Flaire Weddings and Events said...

Kathryn -- I agree!! Unfortunately, when I got married almost 4 years ago, I didn't know at the time the counseling had to be through a state-approved program. So we did counseling through our pastor, and ended up not getting the discount! oh well. =)