Before you can get married, you need to apply for and receive a marriage license. This is the document in your state that allows you to officially tie the knot under the law.
When you apply for your license, you'll not only need a proof of identification and age, will need to provide any information about previous marriages, and will need to pay a nominal fee. The bride will need to know what her married name will be before she signs the marriage certificate. You'll have to write that name on the application.
And, believe it or not, just because you have your marriage license sent to you in the mail does not mean you are officially married. You need to have a justice of the peace or a religious clergyman sign the document. On your wedding day, you'll give your chaplain your marriage license, then after the ceremony, he'll sign it and send it to the proper government agency for validation.
Obtaining a marriage license is simple. The prospective groom and bride should come to the Probate Judge's office to fill out a Marriage Application. Alternatively you can download and print out the Marriage Application Here. You will then need to bring the application to the Probate Judge’s Office along with the following items necessary to complete the application and the supplement-marriage report::
After the marriage license application has been issued, the couple may be married at any time. There is no waiting period.
Additional Georgia Marriage Requirements
ID Requirement: Valid forms of identification and proof of age include 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. In the event an applicant does not possess any of the above but appears to the judge to be at least 25 years of age, the applicant, in lieu of furnishing the judge with one of the above, may give an affidavit to the judge stating the applicant's age.
Residency Requirement: Do not have to be a resident of Georgia. However, if not a resident, you must apply in the county where the marriage is to be performed.
Pre-marital Education: Under House Bill 378, a “qualifying premarital education program” shall include at least 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.” The program must have been completed within 12 months prior to the application and the couple must have undergone the premarital education together. To qualify, the premarital education must have been performed by: (1) a professional counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist; (2) a psychiatrist; (3) a psychologist; or (4) an active member of the clergy when in the course of his or her service as clergy, or the designee of such active member of the clergy, provided the designee is skilled and trained in premarital education.
To qualify for the reduced fee, the couple must provide the Court a signed and dated certificate of completion of a qualifying premarital education program. The Court has an acceptable Certificate which you may take to the premarital education provider.
Application Requirement: Both the bride and groom must appear in person at the time of applying.
Previous Marriage: You will need to show a copy of your divorce decree.
Waiting Period: No waiting period.
Other Tests: As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required in Georgia.
Under 18: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may apply if accompanied by both parents who will give written consent
Proxy Marriages: No.
Cousin Marriages: Yes.
Common Law Marriages: Yes.
Same Sex Marriages: No.
Officiant: Any minister who is authorized by his or her church may perform marriages. Ministers must complete a certificate of marriage and return it to the ordinary within 30 days after the marriage.
Valid: License has no specified time frame. The license can only be used within the State of Georgia. Please Note: State and county marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. It is important that you verify all information before making any wedding or travel plans.