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How To Get Legally Married in Florida

Chapter 741 of the Florida Statutes governs marriages within the state. You don’t have to be a resident of Florida to get married, but you must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license. However, you can get married if you’re 16 or 17 years old and a parent signs a consent form. Both spouses must a apply for a marriage license in person. After a marriage license has been obtained, the marriage ceremony can be performed. A brief civil ceremony can be performed by Federal and State Judges, Public Notaries, and a Deputy Clerk at the Central Marriage License Bureau or at any of the Marriage License Offices. The marriage ceremony must take place within 60 days of the issuance of the license.

A religious ceremony is a wedding that focuses on specific religious affiliation, traditions, and customs of the bridal couple. No matter what religion, the concept of uniting two individuals in matrimony is universal. This can be carried out in a simple, private ceremony with only a few witnesses, or a large traditional wedding. Your religious marriage ceremony may be performed by any of the following:

  • Any ordained minister, priest, rabbi or other ordained clergy

  • All judicial officers (Judges) of the State of Florida

  • Clerks of the Circuit Court and their deputies of the State of Florida while performing their duties

  • Public Notaries of the State of Florida

The state encourages all Florida residents to take a four-hour premarital course. If you’ve elected to take the premarital counseling course, Florida does not impose a waiting period between the time you receive your marriage license and when you can marry. Otherwise, there is a three-day wait. This does not apply to non-Florida residents. If you decline to take the course, you’ll receive a copy of the Florida’s family law handbook at the time you apply for your marriage license; you’re obligated to read it. If you do decide to take the course, you must do so within 12 months of your wedding. A directory of premarital course providers is available online or at all district court locations.

All applicants applying must present the following:

  • One (1) valid identification is requires with the applicant’s picture, signature, and date of birth, a Driver License issued by any state in the U.S., Passport, a U.S. Military ID, Alien Registration Card, or State of Florida ID issued by DMV are acceptable. Anyone issued a Social Security Card must provide their number.

  • All U.S. Citizens and residents must provide their Social Security Number.

  • Non-U.S. Citizens may provide one of the following valid Identifications: Alien Registration Card, US State issued Driver’s License, or Passport if they do not have a Social Security Number.

  • If either applicant has been previously married, the exact date of the last divorce, death or annulment must be provided. If the divorce took place in Miami-Dade County, you can go to the Family Online Case Search and view the docket link for the final judgment date which is date of divorce.

Once you’re married, you’ll need to change your name on all legal documents. Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed. If you need to change your last name, you can complete an application for a Social Security Card (SS-5). All documents must be originals or certified copies and you can mail or personally bring them into your local Social Security Administration office. If you change your name, you must update your Florida driver’s license or ID card within 10 days. If you are a non-U.S. Citizen, you must have your name changed on your immigration document. You can change your name in person at any local Florida Division of Driver Licenses office. You cannot apply for a name change online, by mail, or by phone. The following documents are needed to get a legal name change in Florida after marriage:

  • Proof of identification (driver’s license, state ID, or Passport)

  • Proof of age (adoption decree, hospital record, or birth certificate)

  • Certified marriage certificate

Your marriage will serve as your primary legal document for changing your name. After you get married, you will file your marriage license with the county court house, and then you should receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate by mail in about two weeks.