As you plan your wedding, be sure to read up on all the legal requirements for marriage. In order to get married in Florida, you'll need to apply for and receive a marriage license.
You and your future spouse must apply in person at the County Clerk's office. Make sure to have some form of identification and your Social Security numbers. If either person has been married previously, he or she needs to have the date when the divorce was final or proof of the divorce if it was granted recently.
To be valid, an official listed in the Family Code must perform the ceremony, such as an ordained minister, a Florida judge, or clerk of the court.
The officiant must complete the marriage certificate form and return it to the county clerk within 10 days after the marriage ceremony.
Premarital Education Courses
In Florida, couples are required to take a four-hour premarital education course or wait three days for the marriage license to be effective. Non-residents don't have to take this course.
Premarital training can be provided by a psychologist, a clinical social worker, a marriage and family therapist, a mental health counselor, or an official representative of a religious institution if the representative has relevant training. Also, the course providers need to be registered with their county clerk prior to providing the marriage preparation.
The following table highlights the main provisions of the Florida's marriage laws. See Marriage Laws Overview, Prenuptial Agreements, Tips for Marriage, and Marriage FAQs for more general information.
|Code Section||Chapter Section 741 and sections that follow.|
|Where to Obtain a License||County Clerk's Office|
|Age Requirements||18 years old, otherwise, 16 or 17 with both parents present, the minor's birth certificate, and a parental consent form. If an applicant is under 16 years of age, he or she must swear an oath they are expecting a child (written statement from a licensed physician) or already have one (provide a birth certificate).|
|Identification Requirements||One valid form of ID such as driver's license, certified copy of your birth certificate, U.S. passport, military ID card, and your Social Security number.
|Same Sex Marriage||Not currently legal|
|Waiting Period||72 hours after applying for the license, unless both partners take a four-hour premarital education course.|
|How Long is the License Valid?||60 days from date of issuance. If you miss the deadline, you have to reapply.|
|Marriage License Cost||The total cost for a license (including county and state fees) is $93.50. However, couples who have attended an approved premarital preparation class pay only $61.00.|
Because marriage laws can sometimes get complicated, it may also be a good idea to consult an experienced Florida family law attorney or your legal aid service provider (PDF) if you have questions about your specific situation.
Contact a qualified attorney.