Q. Who may Issue a Marriage License?
A. Every marriage license shall be issued by a county judge or clerk of the Circuit Court under his hand and seal. The county judge or clerk of the circuit court shall issue such license, upon application for the license, if there appears to be no impediments to the marriage.
Q. What is needed to get a marriage license?
A. All that is required for single adults to obtain a marriage license is for them to come in person to the Clerk’s office, bring their driver license or other acceptable identification card and be prepared to pay the fee. A recent change in the law also requires both applicants to provide either their Social Security number, naturalization number, immigration number or passport number.
Q, Do I have to pay the marriage license fee in cash?
A. No. Payment may be made by cashier’s check, certified check, money order, or credit card. Please refer to Fees & Charges on your County Court’s home page for the cost of a marriage license.
Q. Do both parties have to be present at the clerk’s office to apply for a license?
A. Yes. However, exceptions can be made only when there is good cause in extreme circumstances.
Q. Are we required to have a blood test to apply for a license?
A. No. Blood tests for marriages in Florida are no longer required.
Q. How long is the marriage license valid?
A. Florida marriage licenses are valid for 60 days from date of issuance. The marriage license form must be returned to the Clerk’s Office for recording within 10 days after the marriage is performed.
Q. Do I need my divorce papers or spouse’s death certificate in order to apply for a marriage license?
A. No. You do not need the documents, but the application does require you to note when and how your last marriage ended (divorce, annulment or death).
Q. How long does it usually take to get a certified copy of our marriage record?
A. Certified copies are normally received within 14 days after the completed marriage certificate is returned to the clerk’s office for recording in the county’s official records.
Q. Do one or both of the marriage license applicants have to be American citizens?
A. No. There is no citizenship requirement.
Q. What are the age restrictions for obtaining a marriage license?
A. To obtain a license without parental consent, both the male and female must be at least 18 years of age. The 18-year minimum age does not apply for individuals who have been married previously. The age requirement can be waived by a county judge for applicants who can prove they are parents or expectant parents.
Q. Can an individual who is younger than 16 get a marriage license from the Clerk’s Office with parental permission?
A. No. With or without parental permission, a marriage license to anyone under age 16 can only be issued by a county judge.
Q. Is the signature of just one parent sufficient to qualify as parental permission for a minor to marry?
A. No. Permission of one parent is only sufficient if that parent has sole legal custody of the minor or if the other parent is deceased.
Q. How long does it take to get a license?
A. The license is issued immediately when the application is filed. The process normally takes no more than 15 minutes. However, there is a three-day waiting period before the license becomes valid for use, if both parties are Florida residents and both parties have not completed a state sanctioned marriage preparation course.
Q. Is there a waiting period before our ceremony can be performed?
A. For Florida residents who file certification that they both have completed a state sanctioned marriage preparation course within the past 12 months, there is no waiting period. For Florida residents who have not both taken the course, there is a three-day waiting period between issuance of the license and the time it becomes valid for use. (Note: The parties may have taken the course separately. They are not required to have taken it together, but both must have taken it in order to qualify for the discounted fee and no-waiting period.)
Q. Does the waiting period apply to nonresidents of Florida?
A. No. If either party is a nonresident of this state, no waiting period is required.
Q. Can there be exceptions to the waiting period requirement?
A. The law provides for waiving the three-day waiting period if the parties declare there is a specific “hardship” in their situation.
Q. Who may perform Marriages?
A. All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law.
Q. When must a license be filed?
A. A license must be certified and filed with the Clerk’s office within 10 days of the ceremony.
Q. Can people obtain licenses to marry partners of their own gender?
A. No. Florida law specifies that one applicant must be male and the other female.
Although the marriage license application does not specifically ask about possible relationship of the parties, Florida law prohibits close blood relations from legally marrying. These include such relationships as parent-child; brother-sister, uncle-niece, aunt-nephew. The nearest degree of relations who may legally marry in the state of Florida is first cousins.
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