How to Obtain a Licence of Marriage

A marriage license is your ticket to legally getting married. If you’re planning to tie the knot, knowing how to obtain a licence of marriage is essential. This article will walk you through the necessary steps, required documents, and any important details to ensure your journey to ‘I do’ goes smoothly.

Key Takeaways

  • Florida offers a convenient marriage license application process, which can be completed online or in person, with no mandatory waiting period for non-residents.

  • Applicants must provide proper identification and relevant personal details, including a signed affidavit confirming acquaintance with the Family Law Handbook and, if applicable, information about previous marriages.

  • A certified copy of the marriage certificate can be requested online, by mail, or in-person, with the application process designed to accommodate special cases such as underage applicants and same-sex couples.

Introduction

Embarking on the journey of matrimony in Florida starts with a simple yet important document: the marriage license. This golden ticket to wedded bliss is your all-access pass to celebrate your union anywhere in the state, irrespective of where you decide to obtain it. And rest assured, the days of mandatory blood tests are long gone — Florida welcomes you to the altar free from such prerequisites.

For those visiting from afar, the Sunshine State rolls out the red carpet by waiving any waiting period, letting you savor your nuptials without delay. As you and your partner sign the affidavit stating your acquaintance with the Family Law Handbook, you’re not just completing a formality; you’re stepping closer to the day when you can exchange vows with confidence and legal peace of mind.

Remember, once your marriage license issued, it is valid for 60 days before the license expires, giving you ample time to plan and perfect every detail of your ceremony.

How to Apply for a Marriage License

Marriage License Application

The journey to the aisle begins with an important first step: applying for a marriage license. Couples have the convenience of completing their marriage license application through the modern marvel of the internet, making it possible to obtain a marriage license online or by visiting an office location in person — a testament to Florida’s commitment to accessibility. This essential piece of documentation is your gateway to legally binding matrimony, and it graciously ignores county lines, allowing you to obtain a marriage license and marry anywhere within the state’s embrace. Keep in mind that the clock starts ticking from the effective date, as your marriage license remains valid for a glorious 60 days — two months of anticipation leading up to the day when you and your partner say “I do”.

Non-residents, take note: Florida’s sun shines on you particularly favorably. If you’re from out of state, you’ll find yourself exempt from any waiting period, placing the sweet immediacy of marriage within your grasp. Whether you opt for a quaint beachside ceremony or an opulent ballroom extravaganza, the application process is your first shared step towards a legally recognized union. So gather your documents, set your sights on the horizon, and prepare to apply for a marriage license that marks the beginning of your forever after.

Required Documents for a Marriage License Application

As with any great endeavor, the quest for a marriage license comes with its own checklist of artifacts — documents that serve as testament to your identity and readiness to enter the sacred bond of marriage. The cornerstone of your application is proper identification, a beacon of your legal name, date of birth, and signature, which can take the form of a valid photo id such as a driver’s license, passport, military ID, or state identification card.

Your Social Security number or Alien Registration number also plays a crucial role, as it must be presented to ensure the integrity of the marriage license application process.

But beyond these identifiers lies another layer of solemn acknowledgment: an affidavit, signed by both parties, affirming that you have read the Family Law Handbook. It’s a shared declaration of understanding, a promise to uphold the tenets of marriage as recognized by the state.

Should this not be your first stroll down the aisle, the application will also require details of previous chapters in your life — the exact date of divorce, death, or annulment that closed the previous bond. With these documents in hand, you’re ready to forge ahead on the path to marital bliss.

Marriage License Fees and Waiting Period

In the tapestry of marriage, some threads are woven with practicality, such as the marriage license fee — a standard $86.00 in Florida, the price of making your union official. Residents of this sunlit state must choose between a contemplative waiting period of three days or the enlightening path of a premarital course, a decision that can significantly shape the journey to matrimony. However, visitors to Florida are graced with swift passage, as the waiting period vanishes like a mirage for those residing beyond the state’s shores.

Your marriage license, once issued, is a beacon of possibility, valid for a full 60 days. It is a window of time generously carved out for you to craft your ceremony, to weave the narrative of your special day without haste. Whether you spend those days in meticulous planning or in serene anticipation, Florida’s marriage license process is designed to honor the sanctity of your impending union while respecting the practicalities of time and finance.

Premarital Course Benefits

In the dance of matrimony, Florida offers an enlightening prelude — the premarital course. This optional rite for residents is a key that can unlock benefits such as bypassing the three-day waiting period and receiving a gracious $25 discount on the marriage license fee. It’s a journey through lessons that fortify your partnership, covering essential topics from conflict management to financial responsibilities, all wrapped in a minimum of four hours.

Completing this course offers several benefits:

  • It is a testament to your commitment

  • It is a practical step that yields a certificate

  • The certificate can be presented during the marriage license application process to signal your readiness to enter into marriage with knowledge and preparation

  • It is a path chosen by many couples who seek to deepen their understanding and set a strong foundation for the life they are about to build together.

Civil vs. Religious Marriage Ceremonies

With the administrative formalities behind you, the canvas of your wedding day awaits your creative touch. Florida’s marriage license paves the way for both civil and religious ceremonies, each with its own unique tapestry of traditions. In the realm of civil unions, Broward County presents a streamlined process, with no witnesses necessary, though their presence is a cherished addition to the ceremony. Here, the clerk of the court stands ready to solemnize your marriage, an official endorsement of your commitment.

Yet, for those whose hearts yearn for a ceremony steeped in faith, religious ceremonies beckon with open arms. An ordained minister or recognized religious figure will be your guide, binding you and your partner in the eyes of both the state and your chosen faith. Whether your vows are exchanged in a hushed courthouse or echoed through the vaulted ceilings of a sanctuary, your Florida marriage license is the vessel that carries you forward into wedded life.

Obtaining a Certified Copy of Your Marriage Certificate

As the confetti settles and the echoes of celebration fade, securing a certified copy of your marriage certificate stands as a final, yet vital, step in commemorating your union. In Broward County, this process is as accessible as the warm Florida shore, with options to request copies online, by mail, or in person. Each copy, a tangible reminder of your special day, comes at a modest fee of $5, a small price for a lifelong memento.

Online requests whisk through the digital realm, promising a turnaround time of 5 to 7 business days — a swift testament to the efficiency of the Broward County Records, Taxes, and Treasury Division. Should you choose the mail route, remember to provide the necessary details: names of the married parties, marriage date, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return journey of your precious document. You can also include a money order for the required fee.

With this final piece in place, your marriage ceremony is not just a cherished memory but a legally documented reality, now marked by the divorce decree, indicating that you were once legally married.

Special Cases and Exceptions

Navigating the waters of matrimony sometimes requires special consideration, and Florida’s marriage license process is designed to accommodate these unique voyages. For young love, those aged 17 must bring more than just their hearts; they need the consent of both parents or a legal guardian, along with proof of age and identity, ensuring that their commitment is recognized and supported on all fronts. However, a narrow age gap is mandated; 17-year-olds may only marry partners no more than two years their senior, a safeguard for the tenderness of youth. It’s worth noting that for those under 17, marriage remains a distant shore, as Florida prohibits the issuance of marriage licenses to these young individuals.

Couples of all compositions will find Florida’s embrace equal and open. Same-sex couples follow the same starlit path to marriage as their opposite-sex counterparts, with no additional hurdles or detours.

For those whose love has already blossomed into a family, with children born in Florida, a completed Affirmation of Common Child(ren) Born in Florida form is the thread that weaves your existing family into the legal tapestry of your marriage license application.

Renewing Vows

bride, groom, wedding

In the symphony of life, the renewal of vows is a melodious encore, a reaffirmation of love and commitment that resonates through time. In Broward County, couples who have navigated the waters of matrimony can stand once again, hand in hand, to proclaim their enduring devotion, without the need for a new marriage license or the formalities of legal documentation. Whether you choose the regal setting of the Marriage Division or the convenience of a One Stop Division location, the act of renewing your vows is a testament to the journey you’ve shared and the future you continue to build together.

This ceremonial act, rich in symbolism and sentiment, can be tailored to your vision — from the grandeur of an elaborate affair to the intimacy of a quiet gathering. For a modest fee of $30, Broward County offers the setting for this heartfelt ceremony, a small investment in the celebration of a love that has stood the test of time. As you repeat the sacred words that once bound you together, remember that the power of marriage lies not just in the initial “I do,” but in the countless times you choose each other anew.

Searching for Marriage Records Online

In the digital age, the tapestry of your union is not just woven in memories, but also recorded in the virtual halls of history. Searching for marriage records online is a seamless process, allowing you to traverse the archives of matrimony with ease. Broward County’s online portal invites you to begin with the full names of either spouse, guiding you gently through the labyrinth of legal love stories.

The search can be refined with additional threads of information, such as dates of birth or the marriage license number, ensuring that your quest for records is as focused and fruitful as possible. Unsure of the exact wedding date? No need for concern — simply weave a date range into your search, and the system will reveal the records that match your query.

In the rare event that the digital search leaves you wanting, the office beckons, its doors open to assist you in finding the documentation that marks the beginning of your life together.

As you step onto Florida’s shores, the bonds of marriage you’ve forged in other lands remain steadfast and recognized. If you have previously declared your love and commitment in another state or country, rest assured that Florida honors these vows — there is no need to remarry within its borders. Since 2015, the state has embraced the diversity of marriages, celebrating unions from across seas and state lines with open arms.

This recognition is woven into the very fabric of Florida’s legal system, ensuring that your existing marriage carries the same weight and validity as if it were performed under the state’s sunny skies. However, should you seek to marry a different partner, remember that Florida’s heart is open only to those who are not already legally united to another. With these considerations in mind, you can walk with confidence, knowing that your marriage is as enduring as the state’s commitment to honoring love in all its forms.

Summary

As the sun sets on our guide to obtaining a marriage license in Florida, remember that your journey to the altar is paved with clear steps and helpful guidance. From the simplicity of the application process to the nuances of ceremonies and renewals, the path to declaring your love is both accessible and accommodating. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, a first-timer or renewing your vows, Florida’s marriage license process is designed to ensure that your big day is as seamless as it is special. With this knowledge in hand, step forward with your partner, ready to embrace the adventure of marriage under the endless Florida sky.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to get a blood test to obtain a marriage license in Florida?

No, there is no need for a blood test to obtain a marriage license in Florida.

Can I apply for a marriage license online if I’m a non-resident of Florida?

Yes, non-residents of Florida can apply for a marriage license online without a waiting period.

What are the benefits of taking a premarital course in Florida?

Taking a premarital course in Florida can waive the 3-day waiting period and provide a $25 discount on the marriage license fee for residents. This can help couples save time and money when getting married.

Are same-sex couples able to obtain a marriage license in Florida?

Yes, same-sex couples can obtain a marriage license in Florida through the same process as opposite-sex couples.

If I was married in another country, is my marriage recognized in Florida?

Yes, as long as your marriage is legally valid in the country it was performed, Florida recognizes your marriage without the need for you to remarry in the state.

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