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Alabama Marriage Laws


State of Alabama Marriage Laws and Alabama Marriage License Requirements

Are you in the process of planning a destination wedding in Alabama? Are you thinking of taking a long weekend to elope in Gulf Shores? Maybe you are planning a romantic wedding with a honeymoon at one of the 5 star spas nestled in the rolling hills of Birmingham. But, before you get to the fun of planning your dream wedding you will want to make sure you meet all the requirements for obtaining an Alabama marriage license. Below is a high level overview of marriage laws and Alabama Marriage License Requirements for the state. Once you have decided in what county you will be getting married in you will want to call the County Clerk’s office to make sure everything is in order. Once all the legal requirements are out of the way you can begin the fun of planning your special wedding day.

Valid US ID

Alabama requires that you have a social security number in order to receive an Alabama marriage license. Along with the SSN you will need either to have a Driver’s license, resident ID, Passport or a birth certificate.

Residency

You do not have to be a resident of Alabama to receive and license in that state.

Waiting Period

There is no waiting period in the state of Alabama other than a 60 day waiting period for those who are recently divorced. Once the County Clerk’s office has issued you a license your wedding ceremony can commence.

Length Marriage License is Valid

Once the County Clerk’s office has issued you a Alabama marriage license you have 30 days before it expires. Once the license has expired you will have to re-file with the Clerk’s office and pay for the coast of the marriage license again.

Medical and Other Tests

There are no medical exams or blood test required in the state of Alabama.

Age Requirements

Age 18 Years and Older
Once the bride and groom are 18 there is no parental consent needed to receive your marriage license.
Age 16 or 17
If you are under the age of 18 you will need a certified copy of your birth certificate. Both parents must give their consent to the marriage.
Under Age 16
No one under the age of 16 may marry in the state of Alabama.

Marriages by Proxy

Alabama marriage laws do not provide for a proxy wedding.

Previously Married

You will have to present a death or a divorce decree if you were previously married. If the marriage ended in a divorce then there is an Alabama marriage law that requires a 60 day waiting period from the date your divorce was finalized.

Fees and Taxes

You will need to contact the county clerk’s office for exact fees for getting your marriage license. The starting price for a license is $43 dollars and some Clerk’s offices will accept credit cards though, most will have a surcharge charge for using a credit card. In Alabama you may get married in most court houses for an additional charge. Starting price is $63 for the Alabama marriage license, ceremony and a certified copy of the marriage license. It only takes one missing item for you to have to make a second trip to the County Clerk’s office so make sure you call ahead if you are planning to elope in Alabama.

Marrying a Cousin

You are allowed to marry a first cousin in the state of Alabama.

Common Law

Alabama marriage laws do provided for a common law marriage.

Same Sex Marriages

There are no same sex marriages in Alabama. In June 2006 over 80% of Alabama voters, approved a constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex marriage.

Wedding Officiants

Other than current or retired Alabama judges, only licensed ministers, pastors of recognized religious societies, or clergy members my officiate a wedding in Alabama.

Miscellaneous

Please remember that marriage laws very from county to county, so make sure you contact the particular county you wish to marry in for exact details. Also make sure you ask if you have any questions because chances are the county clerk will only give you the very basics as far as requirements go. If you have any questions or concerns then you will have to ask some very direct question.

Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate

To receive a copy of your marriage certificate you will need to write the Alabama department of Pubic Health in Montgomery requesting a copy.

Alabama Department of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics

434 Monroe St.
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-3017
Phone: 334-613-5300
Fax: 334-240-3097

Premarital Counseling

In spite of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Alabama does not officially endorse premarital counseling.

Topics: Alabama | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Alabama Marriage Laws”

  1. Milsey Rodriguez Says:
    August 7th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Can a legal and an ilegal person marry in Alabama

  2. admin Says:
    August 7th, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Wow! Good question. Just pick a random County in Alabama and then call the County Clerk’s office. My feeling is as long as you have the needed documentation that you would be able to marry. Almost all states allow for destination weddings so people coming from out of the country can marry on their vacation. If you do find out, then please come back by and leave a comment. I would love to know the details.

  3. Chad White Says:
    August 24th, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Can a licensed minister from another state officiate a wedding in Alabama?

  4. Leslie Says:
    September 18th, 2007 at 1:13 am

    As of July 1st 2007, the State of Alabama requires a valid social security number to apply for a marrige certificate. This is seen as a specific (but unacknowledged) attempt to stop illegal immigrants from gaining legal residence status by marrying a US citizen.

  5. Leslie Says:
    September 18th, 2007 at 1:18 am

    However, since Alabama recognizes a legal marrige from all US states and territories, as well as legal marriges from many foreign countries (as long as they are not same sex marriges under the DOMA) You can head for a state that does not require a SSN. You can also get married in your home country and then enter the US “legally” as the spouse of a US citizen and apply for permanent residence status upon arrival.

  6. admin Says:
    September 18th, 2007 at 3:53 am

    Thanks for the comments Leslie. I had not heard about the July 2007 changes to the marriage laws. I will have to do some more research.

    Thanks again.

  7. Joan Moores Says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I have friends wanting to get married on the beach behind a house they’re renting. They plan to contact a minister in Gulf Shores to perform the ceremony. They’ve been told they have to go thru one of the beach wedding companies and must have a wedding planner to do this. Is this correct?

  8. Kim Jacobs Says:
    March 8th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I live in Jefferson County, but am getting married in Baldwin County. Do I have to get my marriage license in Baldwin County or can I do it in Jefferson County?

  9. Stephanie Says:
    March 15th, 2010 at 7:06 am

    If one party is oversea active duty and wishes to get married to a us citizen in the state of alamaba can this be done. A marriage by proxy.

  10. Lin Says:
    May 7th, 2010 at 5:53 am

    i want to marry in Gulf Shores but want it to be legal in Louisiana where we reside…
    what do i need to do or how do i make that happen

  11. Liz Serpa Says:
    January 13th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Please note that in the “fees and taxes” section the word “sir” charge should be surcharge.
    Thanks.

  12. Kristin Price Says:
    October 11th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    If you are still in High School, and get married at the age of 18, can you move out ?