The facts about the new Alabama Marriage Law
On August 29, 2019, the State of Alabama radically changed its marriage laws. Before that date, the state required couples seeking marriage to physically go to the local Probate Judge’s office together and be issued a marriage license. The cost was about $70 (depending on the county) and the license was good for 30 days from the date it was issued. After the wedding, the couple had to return the marriage license bearing the officiant’s signature to the Probate Judge. At that point, the marriage was legal.
The new marriage laws did away with the marriage license altogether. No longer are couples required (or allowed) to go to the Probate Judge’s office to apply for a marriage license. Instead, couples must fill in, download and print a “Marriage Certificate” online. Once completed, the couple must sign the marriage certificate in the presence of a Notary Public and return (by mail or in person) the certificate to any Alabama Probate Judge with a money order or cashier’s check in the amount specified by the county. It is usually about $70 plus $3 for a required “certified copy” necessary to change names or prove marriage. A “certified copy request form” is required.
The new law in Alabama means the following:
1. Any couple from any U.S. state or foreign country may be married by Alabama. There are NO requirements for residency or citizenship in either Alabama or the United States.
2. Any couple may be married in any U.S. state or foreign country simply by completing the necessary marriage certificate online, having it notarized and returned to any Alabama Probate Judge with the required fees.
3. The marriage is legal on the day the last person’s signature is notarized on the Marriage Certificate. Therefore, it is best to ensure your Minister or Officiant is a Notary Public!
4. The marriage is legal in every U.S. state and, by international law, country in the world.
5. The accuracy (including paper size and text position) of the Marriage Certificate falls on the shoulders of the couple. If it is incorrectly filled out (in form or content) or printed incorrectly it may be rejected. Even minor content corrections require an additional $70 fee by the state.
For Bama Weddings Clients, this means:
1. If you would like to be married in Florida with the Alabama Marriage Certificate, we encourage you to do so. Florida marriage licenses are more expensive, time consuming and unnecessary.
2. It is best to let us handle your paperwork for you. We have extensive experience and guarantee it will not be rejected due to form. (Stress Free Package). (Obviously, we cannot guarantee that the information you provide us is accurate. For example: If you say your mother’s middle name is “Bob”, we take your word for it.)
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