Florida Marriage License: Your Essential Guide

Mar 9, 2024 | Florida Prenuptial Agreements, marriage, Uncategorized

Are you planning to tie the knot in the Sunshine State? Congratulations! Before you walk down the aisle, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of obtaining a Florida marriage license. From the process to the fees, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Florida marriage licenses. Without further ado, let’s dive into all things Florida marriages. 


What is a marriage license? 

A marriage license is a legal document that permits couples to marry. It legally allows you to get married officially. In other words, it acknowledges that you have met the legal requirements for marriage in Florida and ensures that the state recognizes your union. Without a valid marriage license, your marriage would not be legally binding. Furthermore, marriage licenses typically have expiration dates on them, meaning you must officially have a marriage ceremony (whether it’s a civil ceremony at a courthouse or a grandiose wedding) before the expiration of the marriage license. In Florida, a marriage license is good for 60 days, which means you must get married within 60 days of obtaining the license. 


How do you get a Florida marriage license? 

Individual Florida counties distribute FL marriage licenses. However, you can get a marriage license in any FL county and then get married in a different county. For example, if you live in Miami-Dade County but are getting married in Fort Lauderdale, you could apply for a marriage license in any FL county. On the other hand, if you are from FL but plan on getting married in California, then you need to get a marriage license in CA.

In some FL counties, you may actually apply for a marriage license online, such as in Broward County. Otherwise, you typically need to go to the county clerk’s office in person to apply for a marriage license. Some counties accept walk-ins for marriage license applications, while others require an appointment, so make sure to check with your county’s rules. 

Don’t forget that both of you need to go to the marriage license application appointment together–not separately. In addition, make sure you both bring a valid form of ID, such as a passport or U.S. driver’s license. 


The application process

The actual application process is fairly straightforward. You’ll typically need to fill out pre-appointment paperwork, which includes questions about your general information, such as name and residency. You can see an example of Miami-Dade County’s pre-application here and Broward County’s pre-application here. Once you have filled out your pre-application and go in person (or online) to finalize the application, you will have to sign off on some paperwork stating that you have followed the proper steps, such as reading a Family Law Handbook.


Eligibility criteria for a Florida marriage license

To obtain a marriage license in Florida, both parties must be at least 18 years old. However, if either party is a minor, additional requirements apply. Both individuals must be present to apply for the license and provide valid identification. In addition, if not waiting the three-day waiting period time, then must show proof of premarital counseling course completion. 

To sum it up, here are the things you need to get a FL marriage license: 

  • Be 18 years old.
  • If not 18, you may be 17 years old (and no younger), but then you have additional requirements, which include bringing parental consent forms, birth certificates showing parents’ names, and parents must be present at the application appointment with valid IDs. 
  • Both parties must be present at the application appointment. 
  • Both parties are required to read the Florida Family Law Handbook.


Documentation required for a Florida marriage license 

When applying for a marriage license, you’ll need to present certain documents, including proof of identity (such as a driver’s license or passport) and proof of any previous marriages being dissolved (if applicable). In addition, if you want the cheaper price of $61 for the marriage license and/or you also want to skip the three-day waiting period, you’ll need to bring a certificate of completion from your premarital counseling course. 


Florida marriage license waiting period

For FL residents, there is a general mandatory waiting period of three (3) days between obtaining a marriage license and the actual wedding ceremony. There is a way to get around the three-day waiting period, which is completing a Florida premarital course. However, if you’re not a Florida resident, you won’t have to wait at all to get your marriage license. There is no waiting period for you. 


Florida marriage license fees

There are fees associated with obtaining a marriage license in Florida. The cost varies by county but is typically between about $60 to $90. It’s advisable to check the specific fee requirements of the county where you plan to get your marriage license. 

We broke down some of the marriage license fees in some FL counties for you below: 

The good news is all of these prices can be dropped down to $61 if you complete the premarital course and can show proof of completion with a formal certificate. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Florida Marriage Licenses

Still have questions? Keep reading to see the answers to the most frequently asked questions about obtaining a FL marriage license.

Q: How long does it take to obtain a marriage license in Florida?

A: The processing time for a marriage license varies by county but typically ranges from a few minutes to a few days.

Q: Can we apply for a marriage license online in Florida?

A: Yes, in some counties, you may be able to do your marriage license application virtually. Check online at your local clerk of court’s website to see if your county does online applications.

Q: Is a blood test required to obtain a marriage license in Florida?

A: No, Florida does not require couples to undergo a blood test to obtain a marriage license.

Q: Can we get married the same day we obtain the marriage license?

A: There is a three-day waiting period for FL residents, although it may be waived if both parties of the couple attend a premarital counseling course

Q: Can non-residents marry in Florida?

A: Yes, non-residents can marry in Florida as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and comply with the requirements for obtaining a marriage license.


Closing thoughts

Obtaining a marriage license is an essential step to becoming legally married. Step 1: Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria, such as age. Step 2: Fill out the pre-application in your county online. Step 3: Prepare the proper documentation, including taking the premarital course, if desired. Step 4: Go in person (or online if available) to finish the application process. Step 5: Potentially wait the three day waiting period if it applies to you. Step 6: Voila–you have yourself a marriage license! Now you have 60 days to go get married! By familiarizing yourself with the process and requirements for obtaining a marriage license in your FL county, you can ensure that your special day goes off without a hitch.

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