One of the frequent and most important questions we get asked by our clients is “how do we apply for our marriage license and what are the rules for obtaining the license?” Since this is a such a frequent question, we figured that we would share the answer with our readers.
The quick answer is, you must have a Florida marriage license if you plan to get married anywhere in the state. Couples wishing to get married in the State of Florida can apply and obtain a marriage license at any County Courthouse (or Government Center) in Florida for use anywhere in the State of Florida. Florida residents require a three-day waiting period unless you have attended a premarital class and can show certification of attendance (see below for more information), so you will want to take this into consideration when planning. Non-residents do not require a waiting period, so out-of-state couples can go to the Courthouse to obtain their license up to the day of their wedding, as long as it is not Saturday or Sunday, since the Clerk of Court’s office is closed.
In Monroe County, the Clerk of Court’s office is located at the Key West Courthouse. The Clerk of Court’s office also performs this service in Marathon (Marathon Branch Courthouse) and in Plantation Key at both the Clerk of Court Office and the Upper Keys Government Center (near mile marker 88.5). You can visit the Monroe County Clerk of Court website for the addresses and phone numbers of these locations.
Identification: Both of you must bring a picture ID. It can be a driver’s license, state ID, military ID or a valid passport. You may also be asked to show a certified copy of your birth certificate.
If you’re a U.S. citizen you must provide your social security number. If you’re not a U.S. citizen you must provide proof of an alien registration.
Proof of Age: You must be 18 years of age. Please check with the county clerk’s office where you are applying for more details.
Prior Marriages: If either applicant has been previously married, the exact date of the last death, divorce, or annulment must be provided. You should bring a copy of your divorce decree with you at the time of application.
Money: The fee for a Florida marriage license is $93.50. The exception is if both parties are Florida residents, and have both provided proof of a premarital class, then the cost is $61.00.
You must show up in person. Both of you must be present to apply, sign the application, and take an oath that you have given correct information.
Is a blood test required? No, Florida does not require a blood test for couples getting married.
Is there a waiting period? Like we mentioned above, no, there is no waiting period for non-residents of Florida. Residents of Florida have a three-day waiting period, so it is suggested that you visit the Clerk of Court’s office no later than three days prior to your wedding.
How long is the marriage license valid? Your license is valid for 60 days from the effective date of the license.
Who can marry us? Any ordained clergy, public notaries of the state of Florida, judicial officers (this includes retired judicial officers) and Clerks of the Circuit Courts, as well as Deputy Clerks.
After the marriage, the person who performed the ceremony must return the license, within ten (10) days, to the marriage license section, where it will then be recorded in the Official Records. Until that license is received, there is no record of the marriage. After recordation, a certified copy will be returned to the newlyweds, by mail. The original license is sent to the OFFICE OF VITAL STATISTICS in Jacksonville. The process takes approximately 3 weeks.
Fees, requirements, and locations are subject to change, so please visit the Monroe County Clerk of Court website (or whatever county you plan to obtain your license in) to verify the current information.
If you have any more question on obtaining a marriage license in the State of Florida or if we can assist you with planning your dream wedding, please let us know.
Until next time, remember to Just Save The Date…we’ll take of the rest!