A brief guide to obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama
For a marriage to be legally recognized, two spouses must make sure to obtain all proper documentation. Marriage certificates in Alabama are a record issued by your county court certifying that you have taken all the proper steps necessary to have your relationship legally recognized.
In order to be legally married, the first step is to apply for a marriage license. This document will be recorded as part of your marriage certificate in Alabama. If the people marrying are 16 or 17 years of age, their parents must come to the county court in person to sign a document affirming that they are permitting the marriage. American citizens who are 18 years or older only need their drivers' license in order to obtain marriage certificates in Alabama. Aliens will need to provide their passport as well as their visa in order to obtain this document.
A marriage must be performed within 30 days of receiving a license. If this period has expired and the ceremony has not been executed, you will need to apply for another license. This license will be documented on your marriage certificate in Alabama. Maintain copies of all documents related to your marriage. You will need copies of marriage certificates in Alabama if seeking a divorce or making a claim to a spouse's estate.
Alabama is one of only ten states that recognizes common law marriages. This means that couples which do not receive a marriage certificate in Alabama may still have their relationship legally recognized for tax purposes or other reasons. However, bear in mind that this will not apply if you and your spouse relocate to another state which does not recognize common law marriage. In such cases, you may want to be formally married for a marriage certificate in Alabama that will establish your relationship wherever you are.
People who wish to receive a copy of this document will need to get in touch with the Vital Records office of the Alabama Center for Health Statistics. This government office maintains copies of all marriage certificates in Alabama issued from 1936 onwards. Any person who can pay the $15 fee necessary for this search and provide all relevant information may conduct this search. If you are looking for copies of marriages certificates in Alabama issued before 1936, you will need to get in touch with the probate office in the county where the ceremony was performed.
You must provide enough information for this document to be located. In order to obtain a copy of a marriage certificate in Alabama, your request should include:
• The full names of both spouses
• The location where the ceremony was performed
• The date the ceremony was performed
• Your contact information, including an address and telephone number
There is a $6 fee for copies of marriage certificates in Alabama. You may request as many copies as are necessary. Requests for a search for marriage certificates in Alabama can be conducted in person at a county health department or by mail.