OBTAINING A MARRIAGE LICENSE
IN FLORIDA
 
 
 
 

ELOPEMENTS

       Who may apply for a marriage license?

  • Any male or female age 18 or over.

  • A minor whose parents are deceased and no guardian is appointed.

  • Minors, who under oath, swear that they are parents or expectant parents of a child. In addition, a written statement of a licensed physician must verify the pregnancy. When the fact of pregnancy is verified by the written statement of a licensed physician, the county court judge may, in his/her
    discretion, issue a license to marry.

  • A previously married minor.

  • A person age 16 or 17 with parental or guardian consent.
     

       Is consent of both parents required?

  • Yes, unless the parents are divorced and the custody and control of the child is placed in one parent. Then only the parent having such custody and control will be required to give the written consent. All written consents must be acknowledged (notarized). If the consent form is completed in front of a Deputy Clerk, proper identification is required. If divorced, the parent must present a certified copy of the divorce papers.

  • What do I need to apply for a marriage license?

  • Both parties must come to the Clerk's office to apply together.

  • Each party must show a valid driver's license, a valid Florida State identification, a valid passport or valid Military identification.

  • Both parties must provide their Social Security numbers.

  • If either party has been previously married, the party must provide the date his or her last marriage ended.

  • Couples who reside in the State need to provide a certificate of completion of a premarital preparation course. If couples do not provide the certificate, the effective date of their license will be delayed three days.

  • Couples are required by law to read a handbook supplied by the Clerk and sign a statement acknowledging that they have read the handbook before applying for the license. This can be done the same day as applying for the license.
     

    Is there a waiting period for issuance of the license?

  • If only one of the couple is a Florida resident and the Florida resident takes the course, there is no waiting period. If both parties are out of state residents, there is no waiting period.

  • There is not a waiting period for couples who reside in the State of Florida and attend a premarital preparation course. These couples must provide a certificate to the Clerk upon making application. If the couple are state residents and do not attend a premarital preparation course, the effective date of the license is delayed 3 three days. Exceptions to the delayed effective date (3-day delay) are non-Florida residents. For individuals asserting hardship of the wait, a county court judge may waive the delayed
    effective date for good cause.
     

  • When do I take the premarital preparation course?

  • The premarital preparation course cannot be taken more than 1 year prior to the date of the application for a marriage license.

  • How do I find a course provider?

  • The Clerk of Court has a registry of providers.
     

    Who is qualified to be a provider?

  • A psychologist licensed under chapter 490.

  • A clinical social worker licensed under chapter 491.

  • A marriage and family therapist licensed under chapter 491.

  • A mental health counselor licensed under chapter 491.

  • An official representative of a religious institution, which is recognized under s496.404(20), if the representative has relevant training.

  • Any other provider designated by a judicial circuit, but not limited to, school counselors who are certified to offer such courses


    Are blood tests and physical exams required?

  • No. The law requiring these tests was abolished October 1, 1986.

  • Must I apply for a marriage license in the county where I live or in the county where the ceremony is going to be held?

  • No. A marriage license may be applied for and solemnized in any Florida county.
     

    Where can I apply for a marriage license?

  • A marriage license may be obtained Monday through Friday, except holidays, 8:00
    a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the following offices of the Clerk of the Court: Florida Clerks of the Court.
     

    How long is a marriage license valid once it is issued?

  • The marriage must be solemnized within sixty (60) days of issuance of the marriage license.

  • Who may perform marriage ceremonies?

    The following officials are authorized by Florida law to perform marriage ceremonies:

  • A regularly ordained minister or other ordained clergy; Elders in communion with some church; All judicial officers (judges) of the State of Florida; Clerks of the Circuit Courts and their deputized employees; Notary Public of the State of Florida.


    Who is a "regularly ordained minister"?

  • A "regularly ordained minister" is a minister who has been recognized in the manner required by the regulations of his or her respective religious denomination to perform marriage ceremonies.
     

    May a marriage be solemnized without a license?

  • No. Section 741.08, Florida Statutes, states that the party solemnizing the marriage shall require a properly issued license before performing the ceremony.
     

    When and who should return the license to the Clerk?

  • A marriage cannot be officially recorded until the license is returned to the Clerk. It should be returned within 10 days after the wedding. The party who performed the marriage is responsible for returning the completed license.


    What is the fee for a marriage license?

  • The fee for a marriage license is $93.50.

  • F. S. 741.01(05) The fee for each marriage license issued in the state shall be reduced by the sum of $32.50 for all couples who present valid certificates of completion of a premarital preparation course from a qualified course provider registered under s. 741.0305(5) for a course taken no more than 1 year prior to the date of application for a marriage license.


    How can I pay for my marriage license?

  • You may pay for your license with cash, money order, cashiers check, Visa, or MasterCard. Checks are not accepted.
     

    If you are interested in learning more:
    Call (239) 293-3310 or email me at russ.winn@yahoo.com to check my availability and to schedule a no-obligation Complimentary Consultation.

P.O. Box 3279
Bonita Springs, FL 34133

Tel:239-293-3310

russ.winn@yahoo.com

© 2017 by Southwest Florida Wedding Officiant

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