How to Get a Marriage License

SC Officiant Glynn Ferguson at 310 Lakeside

How to Get a Marriage License

Your wedded bliss won’t be official until you obtain your Florida marriage license. Here’s everything you need to know before you head to get yours.

by Victoria Lynne

We here at Sensational Ceremonies see the stresses that often accompany the wedding planning process.  In the middle of the crazy that swirls around the organizing your wedding and honeymoon plans, it’s surprisingly easy to forget that you actually have to get married legally. A marriage license is basically your permit for marital love—the legal confirmation that you and your partner are free and eligible to marry one another. Sure, it’s paperwork, but it’s still exciting (not to mention necessary). 

So, where do you even start? The internet will likely be your best bet here. Most, if not all, states have a government website with ample information on what materials and documents are required and the office’s contact information.

Once you know in which municipality (state, city, and county) your nuptials will take place, you’ll need to locate where to obtain the license.

Florida Marriage Licenses

In Florida, the local county Clerk of Courts office usually has all the answers that you will need.  The Clerk may be located in a city hall, or the local courthouse of the county, or vicinity you are getting married.  In some counties you can simply download a marriage license form, fill it out, and bring that with you when you go to get your license.   The license itself will be issued once you turn it in at the courthouse and pay your fee.

Other than the physical paperwork, it’s important to be wary of timing. The State of Florida requires a three-day waiting period between granting the license and your nuptials taking place, if you are a Florida resident. This waiting period can be waived by a couple completing a premarital counseling course, by someone with credentials on file with the Clerk of Courts office.  Also, most marriage licenses are only valid for a window of time—60 days—during which you must have the ceremony, have your officiant sign the marriage license, and return it to the Clerk of Courts office no later than 10 days after the ceremony takes place.

Another option in the state of Florida, is to use a marriage license procurement service such as Married by Mail.  They can save you the hassle renting a car, driving through traffic, and waiting in line to get your marriage license.  They deliver your marriage license to the person officiating the ceremony, someone you designate, or the wedding planner, before the day of the wedding.   

Georgia Marriage Licenses

In Georgia, both applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent.
Both applicants must appear in person to complete the application for a marriage license.
Both applicants must provide proper identification.
Premarital blood tests are no longer required under Georgia law.
There is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia.
Applicants can apply for a marriage license in any county Probate Court in Georgia, provided at least one of the applicants is a resident of the State of Georgia.
If neither applicant is a resident of the State of Georgia, the couple must apply in the county in which the ceremony is to be performed.
The Georgia marriage license does not have an expiration date.

Georgia marriage license fees are $56 without Premarital Education completed. $16 with Premarital Education. There is a $10 charge for the certified copy of the marriage license, which is mailed to the applicants after recording, and a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Please check with your local county Probate Court for more details.

Tennessee Marriage Licenses

In Tennessee, before a marriage can occur in Tennessee, a license must be obtained from the County Clerk. The fee is $97.50. The fee is reduced to $37.50 if the couple completes a Premarital Preparation Course. There is no waiting period, the marriage license is valid for thirty (30) days from issuance and is good for ceremonies performed anywhere in Tennessee.

·         Proof of date of birth (Certified Birth Certificate or Government Issued Photo Identification)

·         Social Security Number (for individuals that have been issued one)

·         Both parties must appear together.  If either party is under the age of 18, contact the county clerk for additional requirements. If either individual is incarcerated at the time, or has a disability which prevents the person from appearing, that person may submit a notarized statement. 

·         The fee is $97.50. Applicants who have completed a premarital preparation course within a year prior to the date of applying for the license are exempted from paying $60.00 of this fee. Applicants must present a Certificate of Completion completed and signed by the course provider. This document must be notarized and presented to our office at the time of payment and receipt of your license.

Getting married in Nashville? Meet the Sensational Ceremonies Team.

Ohio Marriage Licenses

In Ohio, before a marriage can occur a license must be obtained.

There is a minimum age of (16.)  An applicant under the age of 18 must get the consent of his or her parent or guardian and also have proof that he or she has received premarital counseling. 

There is no waiting period for the parties getting married in the state of Ohio and no blood test required for a marriage license. 

If you hare not a resident, but are getting married in Ohio, you must obtain a marriage license in the county where the ceremony will take place.  If you are a resident of Ohio, you must obtain your license in the county that either the bride or groom resides.

The fee for the marriage license varies from county to county and must be paid at the time of the application.

Lastly, witnesses are not required to sign the marriage license in the state of Ohio.

Louisiana Marriage Licenses

In Louisiana, the marriage license can be issued in any parish within the state.  (Reminder, Louisiana has parishes not counties.)

A Marriage license is issued solely by the Clerk of Courts office in each parish, the cost varies from parish to parish and there is a statewide waiting period of 24 hours.  Ministers with proper registration can have the waiting period waved and with premarital counseling the feel can be reduced.

The minimum age to be married in Louisiana is 16 and you will need consent from a parent of guardian to marry under 18 years of age.

Marriage licenses are to be filed with the parish in which they were received, and licenses not returned within 30 days are nullified.

Blood tests are not required for a marriage license to be issued.

You do not have to be a resident of the state to be issued a marriage license, but you must have (2) witnesses signed the licenses at the time of the ceremony.

Texas Marriage Licenses

In Texas, the marriage license is issued through the county Clerk of Courts office and can be used in any county in the State of Texas. The fee for a marriage license varies from county to county. 

A Texas marriage license is good for 89 days from issuance.  If it is not returned to the Clerk of Courts office at that time it will be considered null and void. 

The Minimum age of marriage is (16,) but under 18 years of age must have the long form of their birth certificate and be court- emancipated.

There is no blood test required to apply for a Texas marriage license, but there is a 3 day (72 hour) waiting period from the time the license is issued until a ceremony can take place. Note:  If you are recently divorced, you must wait 30 days to be married again in the State of Texas.

There are no residency requirements to get married in the state.  You will need to show a state issued ID (driver’s license,) birth certificate, or passport to have a license issued. 

Requirements do vary by state, but they all want to confirm the basics: that you have proper identification, that you’re not currently married to anyone else (if you previously were, you need proper divorce or widowhood papers if it i less than 5 years) and that you’re of legal age to marry. A good checklist of necessities includes:

•         Birth certificate

•         Parental consent if underage (usually under 18); you may also need court consent in this case

•         Photo identification (driver’s license, state ID card, or passport)

•         Social Security number

•         Divorce decree if divorced (if less than 5 years)

•         Death certificate if widowed (if less than 5 years)


In Summary

If you are changing your last name we highly recommend having that discussion before you file for your marriage license.  Of course, if you’d rather wait to decide, you can. In that case, work with a service like MissNowMrs to make the name change process as seamless as possible after the wedding.   Just don’t book honeymoon plans in your married name as most people will not have time to change their passport before the trip.