Georgia Marriage License

If you're getting married in Georgia, you must first apply for a marriage license. It'll cost you $56.00 to $82.00, plus you'll have an unlimited amount of time to use it, as it won't expire.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

Georgia marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the Probate Court, by the Clerk of the Probate Court.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can be used throughout the state, regardless of which Probate Court you get it from.

Your license is only valid within the borders of Georgia. For instance, you can't get a marriage license from the neighboring state of North Carolina, then use it here—and vice versa.

Costs

How much is a marriage license in Georgia?

There are two different price points:

Price 1: Default cost

A marriage license costs approximately $56.00 to 82.00 USD. The cost can vary between each Probate Court, as each county is allowed to set its own price.

Price 2: Cost after taking a premarital education counseling

If you're willing to undergo a premarital education counseling that the state of Georgia recognizes, a marriage license costs approximately $16.00 to 50.00 USD. This is a savings of up to $40.00; a 71% markdown below the regular fee.

I've changed my mind; can I get my money back?

Probate Courts will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Attendance

Must we both be present when applying?

Both parties to the marriage must appear together when applying for a marriage license.

Waiting periods

Is there a waiting period to get a marriage license?

There is no waiting period to get a Georgia marriage license. You'll get your license the same day you apply for it.

How soon can I get married after getting a license?

You can get married immediately after you receive your marriage license. There is no post-issuance waiting period to abide by before you can have your marriage ceremony.

Expiration dates

When will my marriage license expire?

Surprisingly, Georgia marriage licenses do not expire after they've been handed out. Georgia's one of the few states that won't invalidate an unused marriage license after a certain period of time has passed.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

There are multiple residency rules, only of which some may apply to you. They are as follows.

Residency rule 1

If one of you is a resident of Georgia, you can apply for a marriage license anywhere in the state. You can then get married anywhere within the state.

Residency rule 2

If neither of you are residents of Georgia, you must apply for a marriage license in the county where the marriage will take place. Your marriage ceremony must be held in the same county where you applied for your marriage license.

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

You must be 18 years old (or above) to get married in Georgia without parental consent.

16 to 17 years old

You must obtain the consent of both parents or legal guardians. It's not sufficient if only one parent/guardian acquiesces—both must agree.

Identification requirements

What forms of ID must I bring?

There are multiple types of identification to consider bringing when applying for a marriage license at your local Probate Court. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • State-issued Identification
  • Passport
    • Issued by any U.S. or foreign government body
  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy
    • Non-English document must be translated into English
    • Non-English document must be notarized
  • Baptismal Record
    • Original or certified copy
    • Non-English document must be translated into English
    • Non-English document must be notarized
  • Certificate of Birth Registration
    • Non-English document must be translated into English
    • Non-English document must be notarized
    • Not to be confused with a "birth certificate"; merely states a birth has been registered
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Discharge Papers
    • Also referred to as DD Form 214, Certificate of Release, and Discharge from Active Duty
  • Selective Service Registration Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
    • Issued by USCIS
    • Also referred to as an Alien Registration Card, Green Card, and Permanent Visa
  • Temporary Resident Card
  • Voter Registration Card
    • Must show your current address
  • Hospital Admission Card
    • Must show your full name
    • Must show your date of birth

Provide the following:

  • Social Security Number
    • Issued by the SSA
    • You don't need to bring you card; just know your number
    • It's understood that non-U.S. citizens are unlikely to have a SSN

Unacceptable documents (for the sake of clarity):

  • Social Security Card
    • Issued by the SSA
  • School Identification Card
  • Work Identification Card

Name Change

How do I go about changing my name due to marriage?

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of Georgia (or any other state) involves notifying various government and non-government institutions. You'll typically start with updating your Social Security Card, driver's license, passport, and other federal/state/non-governmental institutions.

Keep in mind, your name does not automatically and legally change just because you get married or obtain a marriage license or marriage certificate; you must go through the steps of updating your identification documents, whether it's through an online name change service, or contacting the SSA, State Dept. and GA DDS directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, Georgia does not require you, nor your partner, to get a blood test as a condition for getting a marriage license.

Divorced

What if I've been previously divorced?

If you've been previously divorced, or have had an annulment or dissolution, there are extra bits of information that you must provide the Clerk of the Probate Court when applying.

For your last divorce, annulment, or dissolution, provide the following:

Things you must bring

You will need to provide a copy of your divorce decree (aka divorce certificate). It must be an original or certified copy—not a photocopy. If your divorce certificate is written in a language other than English, then it must be translated into English. The Clerk of the Probate Court will not keep your certificate; it just needs to be examined for authenticity, and to confirm your previous marriage is over.

What if I'm separated from my spouse, but not yet divorced?

Georgia law forbids a marriage license be granted to anyone who is currently married or separated from their spouse. You must have your divorce finalized, or marriage annulled, before getting married again.

Widowed

What if I'm currently a widow or widower?

If your previous marriage left you as a widow or widower, the Probate Court will need to solicit basic information regarding the death of your spouse. You only need to provide information for your last spouse who passed away.

Things you must bring

You must bring the original or certified copy of the death certificate for review. If the death certificate is written in a language other than English, then it must be translated into English. The Clerk of the Probate Court will hand the death certificate back to you once it's been looked over.

Solemnization

Who's allowed to marry me?

Georgia law recognizes several types of officiants who may legally officiate (i.e., preside over) your marriage. They are as follows:

Religious officiants

  • Minister

Nonreligious officiants

  • Judge
    • Current

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

Georgia does not require witnesses attend your ceremony. This is a convenience, as most other states do require at least one or two witnesses be present.

Can (or should) I still have witnesses attend?

While you can still have one or more witnesses be present, they won't serve any official purpose or role (during or after the ceremony) in concert with the officiant.

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