NEW Marriage Process
Alabama Act 2019-340
Effective August 29, 2019, the process for entering into a legal marriage in Alabama changes, pursuant to Ala. Act 2019-340. Beginning August 29, 2019, couples in Alabama will need to comply with a new process to become legally married.
Under the new law, persons wishing to become married are no longer required to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court, and the courts will no longer issue marriage licenses. Furthermore, all Alabama probate courts will now be required to record marriage certificates.
The Alabama Marriage Certificate form represents a contractual agreement between the parties to the marriage, completed by both parties and delivered to the probate court for recording. Once properly completed and recorded, the marriage is valid. A wedding ceremony may be performed for the parties, but solemnization is no longer required for a recognized marriage in Alabama.
As of August 29, 2019, a couple desiring to marry must do the following:
- Fully complete the standardized Marriage Certificate Form provided by the state
The fillable form will be available on the Alabama Department of Health Website via Alabama Department of Public Health
The completed form must be typewritten. The Madison County Probate Office will not accept handwritten forms to ensure that all information is legible, and the document is properly recorded
2.Take the Marriage Certificate Form to a notary to witness signatures
Notary services for the form will not be provided by the Probate Office
3. Deliver the original, fully completed, and notarized Marriage Certificate Form to the Probate Office for recording - along with the filing fee of $89.00 - within 30 days of the latter of the dates of the signatures of the spouses.
The filing fee must be paid via cash or credit card only
Delivery by mail accepted; however, payments received via mail must be in the form of certified check or cashier’s check only
4. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signatures of the spouses.
Other requirements surrounding marriage, such as being of minimum age and not presently married, have not changed. The information requested on the marriage form is essentially the same as what couples previously had to provide, which includes basic information about each spouse.
Hours for Recording Marriage Certificate Forms:
- Recording hours are 8:30 until 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
- Filing Fee for Marriage Certificate Form, $89.00 per certificate
- Certified copies, $2.00 per copy
Additional Information, Forms and Instructions:
Information and Answers to Commonly Asked Questions: