A good place to begin is with licensing. You must obtain a Florida Marriage License to marry legally in Florida. The County Clerks issue marriage licenses. The application for a license and explanation of the process is available at each County website. Click Here for the county you wish.
If you are BOTH from out of state or out of country, you may want to look into Florida Marriage License by Mail and procure your license beforehand. Also, most County Clerks of Courts provide some type of by mail licensing but do not mention it on their websites. You will have to send an email from their website or call.
Applying for a Marriage License
A couple wishing to be married must be prepared to provide their Social Security numbers or any other available identifications numbers, such as driver license numbers or other photo IDs (passport, military ID) to the Clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license.
What if I have been married before?
If either applicant has been previously married, the exact date of divorce, death or annulment must be presented as well as the state and county where the divorce took place.
What are the procedures for underage marriages?
Applicants must be18 years old to apply for a marriage license. Underage applicants must have parental consent from both parents unless the court has given one parent sole custody. The order would need to be presented at the time of application. Applicants under the age of 16 must have court approval.
New Marriage Law as of January 1999
Any couple, if one or both parties are a Florida resident, must take a four hour premarital preparation course or wait three days before the marriage license goes into effect. To receive a waiver of the new three-day waiting period, a premarital preparation course must be completed within one year prior to obtaining a marriage license and a valid certificate of completion must be presented to the Clerk’s office. Taking the premarital preparation course also lowers the application fee.
If all of the course requirements are met on the day of application, the marriage license will be issued and will also be effective the same day. If the course requirements are not met on the date of application, the marriage license will be issued but will not be effective until three days from the issue date. The expiration date will be 60 days from the issued date and will appear on the license.
Recording of License
After the court issues the marriage license, the license is valid for 60 days. The marriage ceremony must be held within that 60 day timeframe for the license to be valid. After the ceremony is preformed the marriage license must be sent or brought to the court, usually that is done by the person who preformed the ceremony. It will then be recorded in the Official Records and an official copy sent to the new couple.
The fee for a marriage license is $93.50. There is an exception if both parties are Florida residents and have provided proof of a premarital class with a certified provider. The fee is reduced to $61.