Today, we are pulling one from the archives! Normally, we are not ones to recycle information that we have already put out there, but because it is something that we answer on daily basis and, after speaking with a current client the other day who was thoroughly misinformed, we figured it could stand to be repeated and refreshed.
It might be the most important question we get asked by our clients~”how do we apply for our marriage license and what are the rules for obtaining the license?” Without this super-important piece of paper (ok…we know it is a official document, not just a piece of paper), your marriage will not be legal or officially recognized.
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.
General Information: In most counties in Florida, the Clerk of Courts Office is the issuing agent of Marriage License for the State of Florida. You can obtain your Marriage License from any county within the State. In Monroe County, the Clerk’s Office provides this service at the following locations:
Identification: Both of you must bring a valid photo ID with date of birth shown. It can be a driver’s license, passport, student ID card, state ID, military ID or Alien Registration Card. There is no residence or citizenship requirement.
Proof of Age: You must be 18 years of age. Sixteen (16), and Seventeen (17), year olds must have both parent’s consent. If you are younger, parent’s consent/consent of a County Judge, and proven pregnancy may apply, depending on the age and situation. Both applicants must appear in person at the time of application.
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.
Cost: 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.
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 4-6 weeks.
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.
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.