IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT 3-DAY WAITING PERIOD FOR FLORIDA RESIDENTS OBTAINING A FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE:
The State of Florida has a mandatory 3-day waiting period from the day the Florida marriage license is issued until the effective date UNLESS you present a valid certificate showing that you have completed a valid 4-hour Florida Premarital Course. (The certificate is valid for 1 year from the date it is issued.)
This 3-day waiting period does NOT apply to couples who are both non-residents. If ONE of you IS a legal Florida resident and the other is NOT, check with the Clerk of the Court’s Marriage License Department in the county where you plan to get your marriage license. Some counties require only the Florida resident to take the course. However, other counties require that the non-resident partner also take the course. Don’t guess. Ask.
You will receive a discount of $32.50 on your marriage license
This discount reimburses you for the cost of our Florida premarital courses.) That means you essentially do the course for FREE.
WHEN SHOULD I GET MY FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE?
Your Florida marriage license requires that you have your wedding or marriage ceremony within a 60 day period starting on the effective date of the license. If either of you want to avoid the 3-day waiting period, be sure to do the Florida Premarital Course. Factor that into your planning.
WHERE DO I APPLY FOR MY FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE:
You apply at a branch of the Clerk of the Court in the county where you want to obtain your marriage license anywhere in Florida. (Many counties have options to fill out the application online or download a PDF application that you can fill out in advance to save time. ) Once you have your Florida marriage license, you can then get married anyplace in Florida. For example, you may get your marriage license in Orlando, and then have your ceremony in Key West. (Your officiant will have to file paperwork from your marriage ceremony with the same Clerk’s office where you obtained your license no later than 10 days after your ceremony.)
HOW OLD DO YOU NEED TO BE TO GET A FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE:
• Anyone 18 years old or older can obtain a marriage license in Florida.
• Minors where one is 16-17 years of age may marry, but will need the following in addition to normal requirements:
• Photo ID as required by everyone (see section below on ID) PLUS your birth certificate showing the name of both parents.
• Parental consent of both parents. (If your parents are divorced and one parent had legal custody of you, that parent should sign. You would need a certified copy of the Court Order showing that sole custody was granted to that parent.) If both parents are deceased, you need a certified copy of the death certificates.
• If you already have children together or are expecting a child, you must swear before a judge who can then grant permission. (Check to see if you are required to bring proof from a physician.)
(If you are under 16, you must also present a certificate from a licensed physician that the female is pregnant.)
• An affidavit that the couple are the parents of an unborn child or an affidavit that the child is already born along with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate.
ALWAYS double-check with your county’s Clerk of the Court to make sure you have everything they require.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
ID: You need to each bring one of the following:
• Photo ID — driver’s license issued in the United States, OR
• Federal or state ID card (military ID, official Florida ID or other state ID card, etc.) (If you have a question about your ID, check with the Clerk of the Court in the county where you plan to get your marriage license.) OR
• Valid passport showing your name and date of birth (green cards are not accepted)
Birth certificates are not needed unless you are under the age of 18.
If either of you were married before:
You need to give the exact date the marriage ended by death or divorce. (Most counties do not require that you bring the document, but check with your county.)
Whether or not you do the Florida Premarital Course, all couples need to read the 11-page Family Law Handbook. You will be asked to sign a sworn affidavit at the Clerk’s office affirming that you completed it.
If you plan to get married at the Courthouse, check to see if you need to make reservations in advance. Some require it, some don’t. They cost usually runs about $30. Some counties may offer a little ‘package’ option. For example I know that Palm Beach offers the marriage license, a ceremony in a specially decorated room, 4 digital photos on a CD plus one 8 x 10 print, a commemorative certificate and a free online wedding announcement for under $150. See more tips about managing costs of your wedding.
WHO CAN PERFORM YOUR CEREMONY:
According to Florida law, persons authorized to solemnize matrimony include:
• All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church
• Other ordained clergy (rabbi, imam, etc.) ,
• All judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state
(2) Any marriage which may be had and solemnized among the people called “Quakers,” or “Friends,” in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies, according to their rites and ceremonies, shall be good and valid in law. The words “minister” and “elder” includes all of the persons connected with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who perform or have charge of the marriage ceremony according to their rites and ceremonies.