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Marriage License Law

Online Marriage ApplicationIn Florida, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is the issuing agent for marriage licenses.

Any couple, if one or both parties is a Florida resident, may take a 4-hour premarital preparation course or wait three (3) days before the marriage license goes into effect. To receive a waiver of the 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 standard fee.

View the Roster of Premarital Preparation Course Providers in Manatee County.

Additionally, the couple must read and sign a statement that they have read the Family Law handbook or Manual de Derecho Familiar.

If all of the course requirements are met on the day of application, the marriage license will be issued and 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 (3) days from the issue date. The expiration date will be sixty (60) days from the effective date and will appear on the license.

Notice: Florida Law Update FS 741.01
If you have a common child who was born in the State of Florida - there is an additional form that will be submitted to the Florida Department of Health . This will not be recorded and will be submitted along with your Marriage License once returned to our office. There is an additional fee of $2.00.

Who Can Apply for a Marriage License?

  • Any male or female 18 years of age or older. 
  • Applicants 17 years of age with specific requirements may apply to be married if the older party to the marriage is not more than 2 years older than the younger party to the marriage. In addition, the application to marriage must be approved by the Court.

What Do We Need to Bring When We Apply for a Marriage License?

Both applicants need to be present when applying for a marriage license. Depending on which category applies to you, you will need to bring the following information:

Applicants 18 years of age or older:

  • Valid government photo identification that shows the applicant's date of birth (driver's license, state ID, military ID, or passport)
  • You must know your Social Security Number or any other identification number for each person, if applicable.
  • If previously married, you must provide the day, month, and year the previous marriage ended.
  • Your signature will be required on the application.

Applicants 17 years of age must present EACH of the following:

  • Valid government photo identification that shows the applicant's date of birth (driver's license, state ID, military ID, or passport)
  • You must know your Social Security Number or any other identification number for each person, if applicable.
  • Certified copy of your birth certificate showing both parents' names.
  • Notarized consent form of both parents or consent of one parent in the case of divorce if the custodial parent has the authority to grant permission for the non-custodial parent. (This consent must be accompanied with a certified copy of the Court Order granting sole parental responsibility of the minor applicant to the custodial parent). If one or both parents of a minor are deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate is required. 

For Affirmation of Common Child(ren) born in Florida - You must attest and provide:

  • Child/s name as appears on Birth Certificate and date of birth
  • Birth Certificate number
  • Place of Birth/City and County in Florida