Requirements for the Couple
- Min. Age of Couple:
- Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
- Not Required
- Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
- First Cousins
- Marriage Equality:
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.
Ala. Code § 30-1-4
Minimum age for contracting marriage.
A person under the age of 16 years is incapable of contracting marriage.
(Code 1852, §1944; Code 1867, §2333; Code 1876, §2672; Code 1886, §2309; Code 1896, §2839; Code 1907, §4879; Code 1923, §8993; Code 1940, T. 34, §4; Act 2003-150, p. 454, §1.)
Ala. Code § 30-1-5
Consent of parents and bond required for marriage of certain minors.
If the person intending to marry is at least 16 years of age and under 18 years of age and has not had a former wife or husband, the judge of probate shall require the consent of the parents or guardians of the minor to the marriage, to be given either personally or in writing, and, if the latter, the execution thereof shall be proved. The judge of probate shall also require a bond to be executed in the penal sum of two hundred dollars ($200), payable to the State of Alabama, with condition to be void if there is no lawful cause why such marriage should not be celebrated.
(Code 1852, §1950; Code 1867, §2339; Code 1876, §2678; Code 1886, §2315; Code 1896, §2845; Code 1907, §4885; Code 1923, §8999; Code 1940, T. 34, §10; Act 2003-150, p. 454, §1.)
Ala. Code § 13A-13-3
(a) A person commits incest if he marries or engages in sexual intercourse with a person he knows to be, either legitimately or illegitimately:
(1) His ancestor or descendant by blood or adoption; or
(2) His brother or sister of the whole or half-blood or by adoption; or
(3) His stepchild or stepparent, while the marriage creating the relationship exists; or
(4) His aunt, uncle, nephew or niece of the whole or half-blood.
(b) A person shall not be convicted of incest or of an attempt to commit incest upon the uncorroborated testimony of the person with whom the offense is alleged to have been committed.
(c) Incest is a Class C felony.
Marriage License Requirements
- Who Picks Up License:
- The Couple
- Where License is Valid:
- Any County in Alabama
- Marriage License Pick-Up:
- Cost of License:
- Varies by County
- Accepted I.D. Types:
- Social Security Number
- Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
- Blood Test Required:
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.
Ala. Code § 30-1-9.1 Requirements for marriage; validity; construction with other laws.
(a) On August 29, 2019, and thereafter, the only requirement for a marriage in this state shall be for parties who are otherwise legally authorized to be married to enter into a marriage as provided in this section. However, the judge of probate shall continue to collect the recording fee provided for in subdivision (32) of subsection (b) of Section 12-19-90 for each marriage recorded with the judge of probate. Furthermore, at the time the marriage is recorded, the judge of probate shall also collect the fee provided for in Section 30-6-11, to be distributed as provided in that section.
(b) The marriage document required to be executed by the parties shall contain information to identify the parties as set forth in Section 22-9A-6, as well as the following minimum information:
(1) The full legal names of both of the parties.
(2) A notarized affidavit from each party declaring all of the following:
a. The affiant is not currently married.
b.1. The affiant is at least 18 years of age; or
- The affiant is at least 16 and under 18 years of age and has the consent of a parent or guardian.
c. The affiant is legally competent to enter into a marriage.
d. The parties are not related by blood or adoption such that the marriage would violate Section 13A-13-3.
e. The affiant is entering into the marriage voluntarily and of his or her own free will and not under duress or undue influence.
(3) The signatures of the parties.
(c) A marriage conforming to the requirements of this section shall be valid on the date the marriage is executed by both parties, provided the affidavits, forms, and data are recorded in the office of the judge of probate within 30 days of the date of the last party's signature in accordance with Section 22-9A-17.
(d) A civil and independent or religious ceremony of marriage, celebration of marriage, solemnization of marriage, or any other officiation, or administration of the vows of marriage may be conducted or engaged in by the parties by an officiant or other presiding person to be selected by the persons entering into the marriage. The state shall have no requirement for any ceremony or proceeding and whether or not a ceremony or proceeding is performed or not performed shall have no legal effect on the validity of the marriage.
(e) The affidavits, forms, and data shall be filed in the office of the judge of probate and shall constitute a legal record of the marriage of the parties. A copy of the form provided by the Office of Vital Statistics shall be transmitted by the office of the judge of probate to the Office of Vital Statistics and made a part of its record.
(f) This section shall not affect any other legal aspects of marriage in this state, including, but not limited to, divorce, spousal support, child custody, or child support.
(g) All requirements to obtain a marriage license by the State of Alabama are abolished and repealed. The requirement of a ceremony of marriage to solemnize the marriage is abolished.
(h) The Alabama Law Institute, a division of the Legislative Services Agency, in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, shall prepare a form to meet the minimum requirements of Act 2019-340.
Ala. Code § 12-19-90 Judge of probate – Schedule of fees.
(b) Fees for services other than those specified in subsection (a) shall be:
(32) Issuing and recording marriage license ..... 10.00
Marriage License Facts
- ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
- Mandatory Waiting Period:
- 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
- Not Required
- Document(s) Required:
- Varies by County
- Online Ordination Recognized:
- Relevant Office of Registration:
- Probate Court
- Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
- Not Applicable
- Minister I.D. # Issued:
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:
- Minister Required to be Present:
- Number of Witnesses Required:
- Min. Age of Witnesses:
- Not Applicable
- Couple's Consent Required:
- Pronouncement Required:
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.
- Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
- 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!
"The judge of probate must keep a book, in which shall be registered all marriages filed in the office. The judge of probate shall record, in a permanent record, all marriages presented to the probate court and shall forward the original documentation to the Office of Vital Statistics in accordance with Section 22-9A-17.