UPDATED: March 2, 2012
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Alabama marriage laws require couples to have a valid license to get married in Alabama. Age requirements also apply. Couples can seek recognition as a married couple under common law if they have not been formally married. The criteria for an Alabama common law marriage is set out below.
Alabama Marriage Consent Laws
- With Parental Consent: Generally, males and females may marry in Alabama at the age of 16 with parental consent. Other statutory requirements apply.
- Without Parental Consent: Generally, males and females may legally marry in Alabama at the age of 18 without parental consent.
Alabama Common Law Marriage
The state of Alabama recognizes common law marriages and will deem a man and woman married if they: 1) hold themselves out to be married (i.e. tell others that they are married, use the same last name, call each other husband and wife, file joint tax returns, etc.); 2) have the capacity to marry (the mental ability to agree to the marriage – the ability to understand the nature of marriage and a spouse’s responsibility towards his or her partner once the marriage has been entered into); 3) an agreement to be husband and wife; and 4) consummated the marital relationship.
Alabama Marriage License
- Residency: You do not have to be a resident of Alabama to obtain a marriage license there.
- Tests: None.
- Identification Required: Birth certificate or valid driver’s license and social security number.
- Appearance/Proxy: Proxy marriages are not allowed in Alabama. A proxy marriage is when someone other than you shows up in your place.
- Previous Marriages: If divorced within 6 months of wedding date, divorce decree will be required.
- Length of License: 30 days. Once the license is issued, you will have 30 days within which to finalize your marriage before an Officiant (see below).
- Fees: License fees vary. Generally, expect to pay about $43.35+ for a marriage license by itself and about $63+ for the license, ceremony and certified copy of the license. If you are paying by credit card, you may have to pay an additional $2 credit card fee.
- Authorized Alabama Officiants: Licensed ministers and pastors of any recognized religious society (according to the rules of that society) may officiate an Alabama wedding, in addition to current or retired Alabama judges. Officiants must provide a certificate of marriage to the judge of probate within one month following the marriage.