Beginning August 29, 2019, couples in Alabama began following a different path in the process of becoming legally married. Alabama lawmakers approved a bill in the 2019 legislative session that changes documents and proceedings necessary for a marriage to be valid.
Couples are no longer are required to come into the probate office to obtain a marriage license. Couples must now record a notarized marriage certificate with the probate office. The new marriage certificate can be viewed, filled-out and printed from the Alabama Department of Public Health website.
The probate office will also have forms available for your convenience. However, it is strongly encouraged that the fillable form on the Alabama Department of Public Health website be used if possible.
A couple desiring to marry simply have to do the following:
- Complete the form provided by the Alabama State Department of Public Health.
- Take the form to a notary to sign and have notarized.
- Deliver the form to the probate office for recording within 30 days of the last signature.
The form must be notarized before bringing it in for recording, and it must be recorded in the probate office within 30 days of being signed. The recording fee is $75.00. Other requirements surrounding marriage, such as being of minimum age and not presently married have not changed based on the new law. The information requested on the affidavit is also essentially the same as what couples previously had to provide, which is basic information about each spouse.
The Blount County Probate Office will provide a certified copy to couples for their personal records at the time of recording. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signatures of the spouses. Marriage ceremonies to commemorate the commitment of marriage are encouraged by Judge Green but are not required by the Laws of Alabama.