Requirements for a marriage license

weddingAre you thinking about getting married?   Do you wonder how complicated it is to obtain the proper paperwork to get a marriage license?  In the movies and on TV, couples are seen hopping in a car and racing off to elope.  How realistic is that?  Can you get legally married at the drop of a hat or is there a waiting period?  Let’s check it out.

Fifty years ago, many states required couples to get a blood test prior to obtaining a marriage license.  This was an effort to minimize birth defects in any newborn resulting from the marriage due to measles.  If the mother was not immune to measles, a vaccination would occur.  It was also used to detect any sexual transmitted diseases.  These blood tests are not normally done anymore.

To obtain a marriage license in Florida, the process is relatively simple.  Marriage licenses can be obtained by any county court judge or circuit court clerk.  All that is needed is a picture ID and know your social security number.  The fee is $93.50 but can be reduced if the couple has attended a licenses pre-marital course for Florida.  The amount can be reduced up to $32.50.  There is a three day wait after the license is issued before the ceremony can take place.  This eliminates those spontaneous, romantic elopements.  But don’t take too much time; these licenses in Florida are only valid for 60 days.

Florida has found that those couples who complete the pre-marital preparation course are better able to deal with the conflicts and problems that occur in any marriage.  The class deals with communication skills, financial planning, conflict resolution, and parenting responsibilities.  The classes are taught by social workers and/or psychiatrists.  The course is not mandatory, but is definitely a plus for those who want to be prepared for the sometimes rocky road of marriage.

Marriage laws in Florida allow persons from 16 years of age to marry.  Those between 16 and 18 are eligible to obtain a marriage license if they have written permission from a parent or guardian.  The exceptions to this rule would be if the person under 18 years of age was previously married or if they are the expectant parent of a child.

Obtaining a marriage license is not complicated at all.  Have the proper paperwork, the fee and wait three days and you are good to go.

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