Alabama Marriage Laws

Alabama has its own set of state specific laws that address marriage, wedding licensing, and officiation. The following is a guide that includes the details of what you will need to know as the couple or as an officiant performing a wedding in the state. From the beginning to the end of the process we have you covered.

Requirements for the Couple

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

In the state of Alabama you can marry if you are 18 years of age and older, or a minor of at least 16 with parent or legal guardian consent. There are no exceptions for those younger than 16 in this state.

Alabama has no residency requirements for the couple. This means both members of the couple can reside in other states or even another country and still get married in Alabama.

Alabama honors marriage equality so it is legal for same-sex couples to wed.

Marriage License Requirements

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Alabama
Marriage License Pick-Up:
Digital
Cost of License:
Varies by County
Accepted I.D. Types:
Social Security Number
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Yes
Blood Test Required:
No

In Alabama the rules have recently changed so there is no need for the couple to submit a marriage license application or pick up a marriage license prior to the ceremony. They only need to print out a copy of the Alabama Marriage Certificate from the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website and fill it out.

Under the new law, a wedding ceremony is optional. A marriage is valid or “legal” when the properly completed, signed and notarized Alabama Marriage Certificate form is recorded by an Alabama probate court. The marriage form must be delivered to the probate court within 30 days of the latter of the dates of the spouses’ signatures for the marriage to be valid.

The couple may record an Alabama Marriage Certificate form in any Alabama county probate court. Every county probate court in Alabama sets its own fees for recording documents, and couples can check their sites for those prices.

No state requires blood tests from the couple in order to obtain the marriage license.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
Does Not Expire
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 30 Days of Signing

Couples are welcome, though no longer required, to have a religious or symbolic wedding ceremony to celebrate their wedding day. There are no requirements of the minister as far as registration in this state.

There is no waiting period in Alabama from when you get the wedding license online until the wedding can take place. It is possible for the couple to print the paperwork and sign it on the same day.

Two important details are that the document is required to be notarized, and it needs to be received by the Probate Court for filing within 30 days of the last spousal signature. That means if the members of the couple sign on different days, it is within 30 days of the latter signature. The license does not expire, but If it does not get filed within that 30 day time window, the couple will have to fill out another form.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Probate Court
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Not Applicable
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

There are no legal registration requirements for a minister performing a marriage in Alabama. There are no residency or age requirements either. It does not matter the religious affiliation of the officiant. The only thing that an officiant may want to help facilitate is making sure that both members of the couple sign the paperwork after the ceremony takes place.

Once notarized, the signed marriage license may be taken or mailed in to the probate court to be filed.

Though perhaps not explicitly required by law, many officiants in Alabama do choose to become ordained online and receive their ordination credentials, in the event they are asked to present them.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
No
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Not Applicable
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
No

The new law in Alabama removes the requirements for a minister or witnesses to sign the marriage license. This means that a wedding may be customized entirely to the preferences of the couple as no specific wording is required for a legally binding ceremony.

The only legal requirements are that they both sign the marriage license document, provide their social security numbers, get the document notarized, and make sure that it gets back to the Probate Court office to be filed within 30 days.

Final Steps

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

Once the wedding is over, there are only a few steps left to make sure it is legally binding.

On the copy of the marriage license, that can be printed from Alabama Department of Public Health’s website, the couple must sign and date the document to confirm their consent to marry. This document must be signed and notarized by a notary public for the state of Alabama. There is a full public list of notaries available to search on theAlabama Secretary of State’s office. They can also usually be found at a local bank branch.

The couple may mail or take the notarized document to any probate court in the state to be filed. They just need to be sure the document reaches the court before the 30 day window for filing is over.

The residency of the couple or where the wedding physically took place does not matter, the document can be filed in any Alabama state probate court. One consideration may be that each court sets their own pricing for the filing fee, so the couple will want to browse the county specific website to find pricing.

If you are a minister performing a marriage ceremony in Alabama, we recommend that you have a copy of your credential of ministry in your records and that you keep a log of any such ceremonies you perform in the case that there is even a question. This is especially the case if you are being paid for your services or there is any kind of contract for the occasion.

With this comprehensive guide to performing a wedding in Alabama you will have all the information you need to make the day a spectacular one!