The following is a summary of Florida's marriage laws. It explains what you need to bring with you, and what you need to know about the Florida marriage laws before filling out the Florida marriage license form. In order to get married, you need to apply and receive a marriage license. This is the document in your state that allows you to officially get married under the law. The rules for acquiring your marriage license varies from state to state, so you should check with your city's marriage bureau at your clerk of court's office to find out what your local rules are.
You'll typically need to apply for your marriage license at least one month before your wedding ceremony. You'll traditionally need to send in your birth certificates, tax information, and other official documents. You don't, however, want to apply for your marriage license too early. In some states, the licenses do expire, if you don't get married within a few months.
When you apply for your license, you'll not only need a proof of identification and age, will need to provide any information about previous marriages, and will need to pay a nominal fee. You will also need to have a witness when you sign the application, so plan on bringing your maid of honor or best man with you. The bride will need to know what her married name will be before she signs the marriage certificate. You'll have to write that name on the application.
And, believe it or not, just because you have your marriage license sent to you in the mail does not mean you are officially married. You need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman sign the document. On your wedding day, you'll give your officiant your marriage license, then after the ceremony, he'll sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.
ID Requirement: Picture ID such as a driver's license and your Social Security card or a valid passport number or I-94 card.
Residency Requirement: Do not have to be a resident of Florida. The waiting period does not apply to non-Florida residents.
Application Requirement: Both the bride and groom must appear in person at the time of applying.
Waiting Period: No waiting period for Florida residents who have both completed a state sanctioned marriage preparation course within the last 12 months. There is a three-day waiting period for Florida residents who have not taken the course.
If Divorced: If previously married, the date of divorce or date of spouse's death must be supplied. If the divorce or spouse's death occurred within the past 30 days, a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate is required.
Fees: $93.50 - cash only. Couples who have completed a state-sanctioned marriage preparation course within the past 12 months are entitled to a discount of $32.50. The provider of the class must be listed with the Clerks office.
The Florida Premarital Preparation, is a course provided by a qualified instructor registered with the Clerk of the Circuit Court consisting of not less than 4 hours. The course may include instruction regarding conflict management, communication skills, financial responsibilities, children and parenting responsibilities on actual case data compiled from information reported by married couples who seek counseling. The course may be provided by personal instruction, videotape instruction, instructions via other electronic medium or a combination of these methods. A roster is available in any Clerk's Office issuing marriage licenses.
Other Tests: No blood test requirement.
Under 18: If an individual is under 18 years of age, but older than 16 years of age, a marriage license can be obtained with parental consent. If a parent has sole custody or the other parent is dead, the permission of one parent is sufficient. If a person is under the age of 16, the marriage license has to be issued by a county judge, with or without parental permission. If a minor's parents are both deceased and there is not an appointed guardian, he/she may apply for a marriage license. A minor who has been previously married may also apply for a license. A minor who swears that they have a child or are expecting a baby, can apply for a license if the pregnancy has been verfied by a written statement from a licensed physician. A county court judge may at his/her discretion issue or not issue a license for them to marry.
Proxy Marriages: Not allowed in Florida. Officiants: All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel in communion with some church may perform marriages. Ministers must complete a certificate of marriage on the marriage license and return it to the office from which it was issued.
Valid: License is valid for 60 days. The license can only be used within the State of Florida.
Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.