Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
How can I legally get married in Alabama?
The first and final step to getting married in Alabama is to submit a marriage certificate at any probate court.
Did Alabama stop issuing marriage licenses?
Starting on August 29, 2019, Alabama no longer issues marriage licenses. Instead, you must file a notarized marriage certificate form.
How does my residency impact the application process?
Some probate courts require a parent consenting to a minor's marriage to be a county-resident. Beyond that, there are no residency requirements.
How much will it cost to get married?
The cost to file and record a marriage certificate is between $70 and $104. The fee varies by county, but most charge around $70–75.
Where can my marriage take place?
Your marriage can take place anywhere in Alabama. You can register your marriage at any of the state's probate courts.
What information will I have to fill out?
The application will ask for your date of marriage, name, birth name, birthdate, birthplace, race, sex, residence, social security number, marital history, and parents' birth names.
What if I'm unable to apply in person?
You and your prospective spouse must register your marriage certificate in person, at the same time. Applying absentee or by proxy is not an option.
How old must I be to marry?
Aged 18 and over?
If you're at least 18 years old, mentally competent, and sober, you can marry without parental consent.
Aged 16 and 17?
If you're 16 or 17 years old, you can marry with the consent of your custodial parents or guardian, as well as approval from a probate court judge. However, if you've been married before, consent isn't required.
Aged 15 and under?
If you at or below the age of 15, you can't legally marry in Alabama.
Who specifically grants consent and how?
If you're a minor, whoever has full legal custody over you—be it one or both parents—must consent to your marriage in person before the probate judge or by written affidavit. One parent households must prove custody. Guardians must prove guardianship.
Is there a waiting period to get married?
There is no waiting period to marry. You may register your marriage at a probate court at once.
How soon must I register my marriage?
You must file your marriage certificate within 30 days of signing it.
ID for adults and minors?
All participants—adults, minors, consenting parents—must bring unexpired government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID card, military ID card, passport, citizenship papers, or immigration papers.
ID for minors?
In addition to photo ID, minors must also bring a certified copy of their birth certificate. Hospital and baptismal certificates won't be accepted.
Is my birth certificate required?
While minors must absolutely bring a certified copy of their birth certificate, some probate courts will ask it for adults.
Is my social security card required?
Some probate courts will ask for your social security card or other government document containing it, such as a W-2.
Do I have to get a blood test?
You do not have to submit to a premarital blood test?
What are the requirements for divorced applicants?
You can't marry within 60 days of divorce, unless you're remarrying your former spouse. For everyone else, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
What if my prior spouse died?
If your prior marriage ended with the death of your spouse, bring a certified copy of their death certificate.
How do I go about changing my name after marriage?
Your name doesn't change the moment you marry. You'll have to submit the necessary name change forms to officially transition. Update your social security card before moving onto other federal and state institutions.
Are witnesses required?
Witnesses are not required to be present at your marriage ceremony.
Who can officiate my ceremony?
You can be married by an active or retired judge, minister, or anyone authorized by a religious society (e.g., Quakers, Mennonites).
Can we preside over our own ceremony?
Effective August 29, 2019, Alabama law allows you to conduct a self-solemnized marriage ceremony.
Is a marriage ceremony still required to get married?
You are no longer required to go through a marriage ceremony to marry in Alabama. It's optional.
When does my marriage license need to be sent back?
Since Alabama no longer issues marriage licenses, there's nothing to send back.
When does my marriage certificate need to be registered?
You must register your marriage certificate form at any Alabama probate court within 30 days of the last signature.
How can I get an official copy of my marriage certificate?
Probate courts sell certified copies of marriage certificates for licenses they issued for about $3. The state's vital records office also sells them for $15.
Do I need a certified copy of my license or certificate?
In Alabama, a certified copy of your marriage license is the same thing as a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
Can I have someone stand-in for me at the ceremony?
You cannot have someone act as your proxy at the marriage ceremony. You must physically be there.
Can I marry my first cousin?
Alabama law doesn't explicitly permit nor forbid marriage among first cousins. The application won't inquire if you're related to one another.
Can I marry another family relation?
You can't marry anyone up or down your family line, as well as aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
Can I get married by common-law?
Effective January 1, 2017, Alabama no longer allows common-law marriage. However, any common-law marriage preceding this date will still be recognized.
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108 CommentsLeave a Comment
If I divorced in 2011 do I have to have proof of divorce
Yes, bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
If your precious husband introduces you as his wife much of the time to friends close and family still after divorced for 5 years and we still see each other from time to time and he sees no one and I don’t , but we still don’t have a relationship commitment like marriage is there a meaning to this for us? Please explain?! I still love him as he does me!
We do not live together since our divorce in 2014 but do go to all fictions like family would regularly! Nothing has changed and he always takes care of things when I need him to do so w/o even Questioning!!
Is there any rights to be married legally to this man as my husband consider Circumstances? Are we still husband and Wife? We were married in Maui Hawaii
Alabama abolished common-law marriage at the beginning of January 2017. However, any common-law marriage established beforehand will remain recognized. The state might recognize your relationship as a common-law marriage if it was established prior to this abolition date.
If you've carried yourselves as husband and wife for the past five years, your relationship may qualify as a common-law marriage.
It's obvious something happened in the marriage, making one or both of you afraid marriage commitment. Be adult enough to open the old wound, go through the process for real closure. So you guys can stop cheating yourself out of a happy and healthy relationship.
is there a fee to get married by a judge? And will they perform the marriage the same day you get your license?
Yes, there is a fee to have a courthouse wedding. Civil ceremony fees vary by probate court. Expect to pay approximately $100.
Appointments are typically required to get married by a probate court judge. If you know you want to get married on a certain day, schedule an time that follows shortly after your marriage license is issued.
Can you schedule a day ahead of time to see a judge we are wanting to get married Monday morning
That's entirely up to the probate court. They may allow you to schedule your appointment before applying for your marriage license.
Is there a way to find a officiant to marry my fiance and I on the beach?
Hi Hannah. A given county's probate court may maintain a list of officiant's for hire.
Do you require a appointment for a marriage licence we are wanting to do it Monday morning and try and get married the same day if possible or the next
Very unlikely. The vast majority of counties do not require an appointment be made to apply for a marriage license.
In the State of Alabama, can a friend, that has been certified as a minister through "Universal Life Church", marry us?
Yes, that's allowed.
Do you have to have a wedding in order to get married in the state of Alabama. I really don't wanna have a wedding I just want something small and simple like a courthouse ceremony.
Starting on August 29, 2019, Alabama marriage laws changed that ended the practice of applying for a marriage license. From now on, you'll simply register a marriage certificate form. Holding a marriage ceremony is now optional.
What do I need to do if I no longer have a copy of my divorce papers? We divorced in 2010.
You can order a certified copy of your Alabama divorce certificate from the Alabama Public Health vital records department.
How many guests can you have ?
Hi Roniesha. You'll have to contact the courthouse directly for capacity questions.
Basically the new method of marrying is:
Am I missing anything???
Get the form from the probate court where you'll be applying.
220 Courthouse Sq, Bay Minette, AL 36507, open 8-4:30pm Mon-Fri, (251) 937-0260
Make sure you bring photo ID. Some courts may also ask to see your birth certificate and social security card.
We are wanting to get married next Tuesday 12/10/2019, So if I understood correctly all I need to do Is go to the probate court pick up a form and immediately turn it in to who? Do we sign it there and are officially married at that point? Or do we have to wait till the certificate is signed by a judge? I'm really not understanding how this is working bc it sounds like all that is changed is ya'll don't do Ceremonies anymore.
Hi Ashley. You walk in, submit your paperwork, then walk out married. It's instant.
Can I get married in Texas and use my Alabama marriage application and then file it when I get back. Do I have to get married in Alabama for it to be legal?
Hi Tena. You can only get married in Texas with a Texas marriage license.
I have been divorced since, 2007. Will I need proof of this in order to get married again?
Hi Philip. You'll need to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree.
One pays $74 cash for marriage certificate and then has 30 days to us it, correct? Along with designated identification, etc. mentioned above about the latest marriage law in Alabama?
Keep in mind, the expiration date was 30 days even before the bizarre law change.
My man is in prison and we was told we could get married through Alabama. I got the paperwork all done and ready to be mailed. I'm just not sure where to mail it and how much money to send with it. Can u help me please
Hi Mayce. You'll have to make arrangements with the warden, who will coordinate with the chaplain, you, and your partner. They'll have to approve your request beforehand.
If I just moved to Alabama from Texas can I still get married here?
Hi Dee. Yes, that's fine. Alabama doesn't have a residency requirement.
How soon can we get a marriage license?
How do I get a marriage certificate?
You can download the alabama certificate.
There's no marriage license in Alabama; there's only a marriage certificate, which you must submit after you're married.
Hello, if I want to get married in Alabama do my fiance and I need to go to the courthouse or are we able to mail in our notarized copy with payment also I'm not sure what the cost is. We will be doing this through Mobile County. Thank you
Just send the notarized marriage certificate. The fee is about $70.
I’m 18 and my partner is 17. So all we need to get married is:
Fill out form, Have his parents consent and available at the office when doing it (?) Bring ids and birth certificates Pay fee
We’re young but going through a situation where he needs to get out of his household without and legal ramifications. Is there anything else I need and how fast could we get married?
Hi Jennifer. That's about it. Some courts may ask to see a social security card or a government document that shows the SSN.
Who is the notary? And would there be one available at the probate office or do we need to find one beforehand?
Hi Jennifer. The probate court may have notaries available. Or you could hire one yourself.
We’re also in a different county so would it matter which private office we go to? It’d be Easier to do it at my county
Can I mail in my fee and notarized certificate?
Hi Lauren. It depends on the courthouse. Which county will you be making the return in?
If we got divorced and we want to remarry in those 6 months within the divorce was signed, but one of us cannot be physically present, his or her signature notarized and legalized would be enough?
It's 60 days, not six months. But this delay goes away if you're remarrying the spouse you divorced. If you're marrying someone else, the waiting period applies.
You don't have to get it notarized together. It's one form, but you can get it done on separate days. And even with different notaries.
Can we do it remotely with the new law since July 1st 2021 in Alabama?
Hi Billy. I'm not sure what you're referring to by "remotely." Please clarify.
I mean remote online notarization, RON, with the new law starting July 1st, 2021.
Hi Billy. Alabama's statutes doesn't distinguish or forbid notary types (online or in person). It simply states you must supply a "notarized affidavit" of your completed Alabama marriage certificate.
Hello I'm a US citizen but my fiancé is not but we would like to get married Certificate in Alabama where I'm from.
She has a US visa the plan is to get our Marriage certificate and live out side of the states is there a different form that I have to fill out and I've never done this. What all does she need to have for all of this to happen? Thank you for helping.
Hi Michael. There's nothing special your fiancé must do. The marriage process is the same for U.S. citizens and noncitizens.
When mailing in the marriage certificate and fee to the court do I need to mail any copies of our ID, social security card, birth certificates or proof that one of us is widowed?
Hi Jlee. You'll have to bring these documents in person. Yes, for ID. Birth certificates and death certificates are maybes. It varies by probate court. Same with your social security card. For those that request it, they'll often accept another document that shows your SSN, such as a W-2 form or paystub.
What is the mailing address so I can send in my marriage paper an will I also need to send in my divorce papers? And can I send in a money order?
Hi Meredith. Contact the probate court to make sure they'll accept a mailing or if they prefer in person submissions. You can use the office lookup tool on this page to find one.
If you're sending it by mail, contact the probate court to determine the fee and if they'll accept a money order. Include a copy of your divorce decree with your packet.
Hi I live in Wisconsin and my partner is incarcerated in Michigan. We both want to marry each other. What do you have to do for us to be legally married?
Hi Nicole. You should be reviewing the Michigan marriage license page. But, in short, you and your partner must contact the prison chaplain for instructions.
I'm a little confused. My fiancé and myself reside in AL, we are getting married June 4 in GA. Would we need to get the marriage License in AL? Or do we have to get the License and certificate in GA?
Hi F. Chapman. Since your marriage will take place in Georgia, you should get a Georgia marriage license.
Hi, I'm not sure how to word this question. We are getting married in Alabama but we reside in Wisconsin and will continue to live there after we are married. Now that Alabama does not issue marriage licenses, will the marriage certificate for Alabama be able to translate over to a Wisconsin marriage license?
There won't be a Wisconsin marriage license. Your marriage will take place in Alabama, so all your marriage records will originate from Alabama. Wisconsin won't come into play.
Can you mail a marriage application w/ a money order to receive a certificate?
Hi Anonymous. In Alabama, you don't mail an application. You'll mail a completed marriage certificate. After your marriage certificate is recorded you can purchase certified copies.
My brother is in jail an has been for 15 years and his girlfriend filled out the Alabama marriage certificate forms with all his info an signed his signature and had it notarized. So my question is even though she mailed it off I guess to the probate court is marriage legal or will he be required to be present to register the license?
Hi Denise. Your brother's girlfriend should be doing this in concert with the prison chaplain and warden.
Ok she has already filled the forms an signed her name an as well as his an got them notarized an sent to Alabama probate court so would this marriage be considered legal or would he have to be present to register the certificate since It’s an new process there?
The marriage becomes legal once the probate court records the marriage certificate. It must be recorded within 30 days of signing.
Oh my well thank you I see this is an legal issue of fraud due to he’s incarcerated an did not sign these papers but thank you again for the answers
That depends on if permission was granted to sign someone else's signature to the notary's satisfaction and Alabama law. Such as a power of attorney.
To the editor thank you so much but I talked to him today so there was no written power of attorney in place at all therefore the signing of his signature without that is illegal an he was not present at notary because he is in state prison but thank you my mom an I will proceed through Alabama legal system.
Once you complete the marriage certificate an mail it in… Do both parties have to be present to registered the marriage certificate or once you mail it that’s it?
Hi Sharon. You'll want to check with the probate court to make sure that location requires attendance or will accept mailed certificates with payment. If they do accept mailings, you're done after dispatching your paperwork.
Wow no Id or nothing required to show true identity
The notary confirms identity. One thing to keep in mind is that most (if not all) probate courts will accept mailed certificates. They rely on the notary's seal and signature to keep order.
Hi, do we need to have the marriage certificate before we get married and then send it in, or after we get married?
Hi Marquita. You send in your marriage certificate after you're married, as you must document the date of marriage. It must also be notarized.
I'm 18. Can I get married without prenatal consent?
Hi Lilly. Yes, you can get married without parental consent in Alabama if you're 18 years old or older.
So what I have gathered from these questions is : You print out the marriage certificate on this website. Fill it out. Get married/go through ceremony. Have a notary confirm the Identity of you and your spouse and then they will use their seal and sign it. Then mail the certificate back to the county clerk once it is filled out with the required payment.
If you do not have a notary you can go into the local probate office and they will check your identity using your ID, SSN, and potentially your birth certificate. Then they will notarize your certificate.
Once this is done they will file the certificate then You can go and pay for a legal copy of the certificate.
Is this all correct? I don’t have to go to the probate office or county clerk prior to my wedding if I have access to a notary?
To add to my question. Does the notary that signs the certificate have to be based out of Alabama? Or can they be Mississippi resident/notary?
Background: I am a Mississippi resident getting married in Mobile county.
Yes, they must be registered with a South Carolina probate court.
They must be a resident of South Carolina.
That depends on the probate court, but you shouldn't assume that.
That's right. And it doesn't matter which probate court you dispatch your paperwork to.
What if you do not have proof of divorce but your former spouse has married twice since?
Hi KT. You can contact the probate court to determine if they'll waive the need to see the divorce decree.
So how do u get one online without having to go to probate office?
Hi. You can download a universal form or contact the probate office and ask that they email you a PDF as an attachment or postal mail you one.
If my man is in Madison county jail, how can we get married? Walk me thru the steps I need to get this done.
Hi Brady. Contact the warden or jail administrator. They'll make the arrangements for you.
Does the marriage certificate have to be signed and notarized on the day of the wedding to have the wedding date on the official certificate?
Your wedding ceremony and notarization date do not have to fall on the same day. The date your application is notarized is considered your effective date of marriage.
I was divorced in Missouri after my return from Vietnam in 1967. I was later married and my wife passed in 2008. What documents are required for me to get married in Dec 2022 in Alabama?
Hi Wilbur. You'll want to bring a certified copy of your late wife's death certificate when filing your marriage certificate.
If my stepdaughter doesn't have a father on her birth certificate, can she put me on her marriage application if I have not legally adopted her.
I am in the military and she is listed in DEERS and everything. She is 20 and has been my daughter since she was 4 when her mother and I were married.
Hi Chris. If your stepdaughter is required to show a birth certificate due to her age, specifying a parent's name other than what's on the certificate might bubble up as an issue. Beyond that, vetting such information is beyond the probate court's purview.
Can a Florida resident obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama and get married in the court house?
Hi Kristi. Yes, a Floridian can get married in Alabama, but the concept of courthouse marriages or ceremonies no longer exist in Alabama. Just get your marriage certificate form notarized and file it with the probate court.
Can I sign the document physically with my partner in another country and have them bring it back to Alabama to be notarized and submitted? Or notarized in another country?
Hi CMC. It doesn't matter where your marriage certificate is notarized.
Can I have an officiant from another state perform the ceremony? We live in Mississippi and getting married in Alabama, do we need to do anything different from the application?
It doesn't matter who performs you ceremony. You may even perform your own ceremony.