Requirements for Securing a Marriage License
1. AGE REQUIREMENTS
SUBJECT TO PARAGRAPH 7 BELOW, THE AGE FOR MARRIAGE IN GEORGIA WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT IS 18 FOR BOTH PARTIES. (19-3-36) IF THE BRIDE OR GROOM IS 16 OR 17, THEY MAY MARRY IF THE CONSENT OF THE PARENTS OR GUARDIAN(S) OF THE UNDERAGE APPLICANT IS GIVEN. IF ONE PARENT HAS CUSTODY OF THE MINOR, THEY ARE REQUIRED TO BRING IN PROOF OF CUSTODY (DIVORCE DECREE SHOWING THE CHILD’S NAME). GUARDIAN(S) ARE ALSO REQUIRED TO SHOW PROOF OF CUSTODY (GUARDIANSHIP PAPERS). THE PARENT(S) OR GUARDIAN(S) MUST APPEAR IN PERSON TO GIVE CONSENT. THERE IS NO LONGER A WAITING PERIOD. (19-3-37) ACCORDING TO GEORGIA LAW, BLOOD TEST ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED.
BOTH THE BRIDE AND GROOM MUST APPLY IN PERSON IN ANY COUNTY IN GEORGIA, AS LONG AS ONE IS A RESIDENT OF GEORGIA. IF NEITHER ONE IS A RESIDENT OF GEORGIA, THEN THE COUPLE MUST APPLY IN THE COUNTY WHERE THE CEREMONY WILL BE PERFORMED. (19-3-30 (2)
3. PROOF OF AGE
GEORGIA LAW REQUIRES PROOF OF AGE BE PRESENTED AT THE TIME OF MAKING APPLICATION. BY LAW, ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF AGE IS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: BIRTH CERTIFICATE, DRIVER’S LICENSE, BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE, CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH REGISTRATION, SELECTIVE SERVICE CARD, COURT RECORD, PASSPORT, IMMIGRATION PAPERS, ALIEN PAPERS, CITIZENSHIP PAPERS, ARMED FORCES DISCHARGE PAPERS, ARMED FORCES IDENTIFICATION CARD, OR HOSPITAL ADMISSION CARD -- CONTAINING THE FULL NAME AND DATE OF BIRTH. (19-3-36)
4. PROOF OF DIVORCE
IF EITHER APPLICANT HAS RECEIVED A DIVORCE, HE OR SHE OR BOTH MUST SHOW A COPY OF THE FINAL JUDGMENT AND DECREE OF MOST RECENT DIVORCE. IT MUST SHOW THE JUDGE’S SIGNATURE AND DATE DIVORCE WAS GRANTED. (19-3-2 (3))
5. NAME AFTER MARRIAGE
GEORGIA LAW REQUIRES EACH APPLICANT TO DESIGNATE THE LEGAL SURNAME HE OR SHE WILL USE AFTER MARRIAGE. THE APPLICANT MAY CHOOSE (1) HIS OR HER PRESENT SURNAME (2) THE SURNAME OF A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE (3) SPOUSE’S SURNAME OR (4) A SURNAME AS PROVIDED IN (1) OR (2) OF THIS PARAGRAPH IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SURNAME OF THE OTHER SPOUSE. (19-3-33.1 (b))
6. PREGNANCY OR CHILD BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK
IF THE FEMALE APPLICANT IS PREGNANT, OR THE APPLICANTS ARE THE PARENTS OF A CHILD BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK, NO PARENTAL CONSENT IS REQUIRED. (19-3-36 (b)) THE COURT WILL NOTIFY THE PARENTS OF SUCH APPLICANT 17 YEARS OF AGE OR YOUNGER, THAT THE LICENSE HAS BEEN ISSUED. (19-3-38) IF THE FEMALE APPLICANT IS PREGNANT AND SHE OR THE GROOM ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18, THE APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT A STATEMENT FROM A LICENSED GEORGIA PHYSICIAN THAT SHE IS PREGNANT, AND THE APPROXIMATE DUE DATE. IF THE APPLICANTS ARE THE PARENTS OF A CHILD BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK, AND ONE OR BOTH ARE UNDERAGE, THEY SHOULD PRESENT A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOR THE CHILD AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION. THE CHILD’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE MUST SHOW BOTH PARENTS NAMES. (19-3-36 (b))
THE APPLICANTS MUST BE OF SOUND MIND AND CANNOT HAVE ANY UNDISSOLVED MARRIAGES. (19-3-2) ANY PERSON WHO MARRIES A PERSON TO WHOM HE OR SHE IS RELATED, EITHER BY BLOOD OR BY MARRIAGE, AS SET FORTH IN THIS PARAGRAPH, SHALL BE PUNISHED BY IMPRISONMENT FOR NOT LESS THAN ONE NOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS: (1) FATHER AND DAUGHTER OR STEP-DAUGHTER; (2) MOTHER AND SON OR STEP-SON; (3) BROTHER AND SISTER OF THE WHOLE BLOOD OR THE HALF BLOOD; (4) GRANDPARENT AND GRANDCHILD; (5) AUNT AND NEPHEW; OR (6) UNCLE AND NIECE. (19-3-3) MARRIAGES BETWEEN PERSONS OF THE SAME SEX ARE PROHIBITED. (19-3-3.1)
8. COSTS FOR APPLICATION AND CERTIFIED COPIES
THE COST OF EACH APPLICATION AND LICENSE FOR MARRIAGE IS $61.00 WHICH INCLUDES A CERTIFIED COPY. CASH ONLY. However, if the couple presents to the court at the time of making the application a certificate of completion of a premarital education program pursuant to Code Section 19-3-30.1, the $35.00 application fee is waived, and the total for all services will then be $26.00, instead of $61.00. In order to qualify for the reduced fee, the premarital education program: must have been completed within 12 months prior to the date of the application; must have been taken by the couple together; must have included not less than six hours of "instruction involving marital issues, which may include but not be limited to conflict management, communication skills, financial responsibilities, child and parenting responsibilities, and extended family roles"; and must have been provided by (1) a professional counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist licensed in Georgia, (2) a psychiatrist licensed in Georgia, (3) a psychologist licensed in Georgia, or (4) an active member of the clergy when in the course of his or her service as clergy or his or her designee, provided the designee is trained and skilled in premarital education. The court has a form for the certificate if the provider does not have a form.
There is an additional fee of $1.00 for the notification to parent(s) when an application is accepted from a pregnant female or a couple who are the parents of a living child. (If the parents of both applicants must be notified, the $1.00 fee applies to each set of parents.)
9. GETTING MARRIED AT THE COURTHOUSE
THE JUDGE OF THE PROBATE COURT WILL PERFORM WEDDINGS AT NO CHARGE DURING OFFICE HOURS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
BECAUSE OF THE LENGTH OF TIME INVOLVED IN COMPLETING THE APPLICATION, NO APPLICATION WILL BE COMMENCED AFTER 4:30 PM.