Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
Where can I get a marriage license?
You can apply for a marriage license at the probate court. It's typically located at the county courthouse. Some high population counties (400,000+) have extra satellite courthouses available.
Note: Your application will be processed by the probate court clerk, deputy, or judge.
How much does the marriage license cost?
A Georgia marriage license costs between $56 and $82, depending on the county.
How does my residency factor into applying?
Are you or your fiancé a Georgia resident?
If either you or your fiancé is a Georgia resident, you may apply for a marriage license at any Georgia probate court.
Are both you and your fiancé nonresidents of Georgia?
If neither you nor your fiancé is a Georgia resident, apply for a marriage license in the county where the marriage ceremony will take place.
Where can I use my marriage license?
If you or your fiancé is a Georgia resident, you can marry anywhere in the state. Otherwise, apply and marry in the county where the ceremony will occur.
What information do I have to provide on the application?
The marriage license application will ask for your current name, new last name after marriage, residence, date and place of birth, social security number, marital history, along with your parents' names, residences, and dates and places of birth.
What if I can't apply in person?
You must apply together, in person. Georgia does not offer the ability to submit an absentee marriage license application.
How old must I be to marry?
Aged 18 and over?
If you're 18 years old or over, parental consent to marry is unnecessary.
Aged 16 and 17?
If you're 16 or 17 years old, you can marry with the consent of your custodial parents or guardian. Consent is either granted face-to-face with the probate court judge or by affidavit.
Aged 15 and below?
Minors below the age of 16 are not allowed to marry.
What's to gain by taking a premarital education course?
Your marriage license fee will be reduced by $40 if you and your fiancé present a 6-hour premarital education course certificate of completion, signed by an authorized instructor within the past year.
When will my marriage license be issued?
Your marriage license will be issued immediately and can be used right away.
How long will my marriage license last?
Your marriage license will expire 60 days after it's been issued.
What ID must I bring?
Bring ID to confirm your age, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID card, military ID card, passport, birth certificate, immigration papers, or citizenship papers.
Note: Documents not written in English must be accompanied by a certified and notarized English translation.
Do I have to get a blood test?
You're not required to get a blood test before marriage. However, you'll be given brochures on AIDS and sickle cell disease that recommend getting tested.
What if I've been divorced?
There's a high likelihood you'll be asked to show a certified copy of your divorce decree from every prior divorce.
What if I'm a widow or widower?
Depending on the probate court, you may be asked to produce an obituary notice or certified copy of the death certificate for your late spouse.
Do I have to bring witnesses?
You do not have to bring witnesses to your marriage ceremony.
How do I change my name after marriage?
Your marriage certificate can be used to change your name with government institutions based on the new name you specify on the application. You can use a marriage name change service to prepare the forms before or after your marriage ceremony.
When must my license be returned?
Your marriage license must be returned to the probate court judge to be recorded no later than 30 days after your marriage ceremony.
How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
You can purchase a certified copy of your marriage certificate for roughly $10 from the probate court that issued and recorded your marriage license.
Can I establish a common-law marriage?
Georgia will only recognize a common-law marriage established before January 1, 1997.
Am I allowed to marry my cousin?
You can marry your first cousin, but no family relationship closer than that.
Can I get married by proxy?
You cannot get married by proxy in Georgia.
Where can I get married in a civil ceremony?
You can request the probate court judge preside over your civil ceremony. The fee is usually minor and sometimes even free. If you can't be scheduled in a timely manner due to lack of available appointments, you may be referred to a magistrate court.