Universal Life Church

Florida Wedding Laws

This guide contains important information about how to obtain a legal marriage in the state of Florida. It is essential that couples being married, as well as a minister or officiant performing a marriage ceremony, have a comprehensive understanding of all applicable rules and regulations. Full compliance with all of the rules and regulations pertaining to licensing and marriage ceremonies will help to ensure that the marriage will be valid in the eyes of the law.

Florida Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 17 With Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

To apply for a marriage certificate, individuals must be at least 18 years old. Individuals who are 17 years old may submit an application if it is accompanied by written consent from a parent or legal guardian. Applications made by individuals who are 16 years old or younger and accompanied by the consent of a parent or guardian will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If an application is made on behalf of a person who is 16 years old or younger, a court will generally require that the person who he or she wishes to marry be no more than two years older.

Florida is a popular site for destination weddings. One does not need to be a resident of Florida in order to apply for a license to be married in the state.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Fla. Stat. § 741.04 Issuance of marriage license.—

    (1) A county court judge or clerk of the circuit court may not issue a license to marry to any person younger than 18 years of age, unless:

    (a) The person is at least 17 years of age and provides the written consent of his or her parents or legal guardian, which is acknowledged by an officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments and administer oaths; and

    (b) The older party to the marriage is not more than 2 years older than the younger party to the marriage.

    (2) A county court judge or clerk of the circuit court may not issue a license to marry until the parties to the marriage file with the county court judge or clerk of the court a written and signed affidavit, made and subscribed before a person authorized by law to administer an oath, which provides:

    (a) The social security number or any other available identification number for each person.

    (b) The respective ages of the parties.

    Fla. Stat. § 741.21 Incestuous marriages prohibited.—A man may not marry any woman to whom he is related by lineal consanguinity, nor his sister, nor his aunt, nor his niece. A woman may not marry any man to whom she is related by lineal consanguinity, nor her brother, nor her uncle, nor her nephew.

How to Get a Florida Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Florida
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
Varies by County
Accepted I.D. Types:
Standard Government Issued ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

Couples must apply for a marriage license in person at a county clerk’s office. They must prove their identities with a valid government-issued photo ID.

Florida imposes a three-day waiting period between the date that a completed application is submitted and the date on which a ceremony may take place. However, Florida residents who can demonstrate that they have completed a premarital preparation course will not be subject to the three-day period and may instead have a ceremony as soon as they obtain the license. Nonresidents who can show that they have attended a premarital counseling course may also request that the waiting period waived.

Fees for a marriage license vary by county. Unlike some other jurisdictions, a couple does not need to take blood tests to apply for a marriage license in the state of Florida. It is not necessary that a person who has previously been married provide any type of evidence that a previous marriage was legally dissolved.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Fla. Stat. § 741.01 County court judge or clerk of the circuit court to issue marriage license; fee.—

    (1) Every marriage license shall be issued by a county court judge or clerk of the circuit court under his or her hand and seal. The county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall issue such license, upon application for the license, if there appears to be no impediment to the marriage. An application for a marriage license must allow both parties to the marriage to state under oath in writing if they are the parents of a child born in this state and to identify any such child they have in common by name, date of birth, place of birth, and, if available, birth certificate number. The name of any child recorded by both parties must be transmitted to the Department of Health along with the original marriage license and endorsements. The county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall collect and receive a fee of $2 for receiving the application for the issuance of a marriage license.

    (2) The fee charged for each marriage license issued in the state shall be increased by the sum of $25. This fee shall be collected upon receipt of the application for the issuance of a marriage license and remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Domestic Violence Trust Fund. The Executive Office of the Governor shall establish a Domestic Violence Trust Fund for the purpose of collecting and disbursing funds generated from the increase in the marriage license fee. Such funds which are generated shall be directed to the Department of Children and Families for the specific purpose of funding domestic violence centers, and the funds shall be appropriated in a “grants-in-aid” category to the Department of Children and Families for the purpose of funding domestic violence centers. From the proceeds of the surcharge deposited into the Domestic Violence Trust Fund as required under s. 938.08, the Executive Office of the Governor may spend up to $500,000 each year for the purpose of administering a statewide public-awareness campaign regarding domestic violence.

    (3) An additional fee of $25 shall be paid to the clerk upon receipt of the application for issuance of a marriage license. Each month, the clerk shall remit the fee to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts Revenue Trust Fund.

    (4) The fee charged for each marriage license issued in the state shall be reduced by a sum of $25 for all couples who present valid certificates of completion of a premarital preparation course from a qualified course provider registered under s. 741.0305(5) for a course taken no more than 1 year prior to the date of application for a marriage license. For each license issued that is subject to the fee reduction of this subsection, the clerk is not required to transfer the sum of $25 to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the General Revenue Fund.

    Fla. Stat. § 741.02 Additional fee.—Upon the receipt of each application for the issuance of a marriage license, the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall, in addition to the fee allowed by s. 741.01, collect and receive an additional fee of $4, to be distributed as provided by s. 382.022.

    741.04 Issuance of marriage license.— (2) A county court judge or clerk of the circuit court may not issue a license to marry until the parties to the marriage file with the county court judge or clerk of the court a written and signed affidavit, made and subscribed before a person authorized by law to administer an oath, which provides:

    (a) The social security number or any other available identification number for each person.

    (b) The respective ages of the parties.

    Fla. Stat. § 28.24 Service charges.—The clerk of the circuit court shall charge for services rendered manually or electronically by the clerk’s office in recording documents and instruments and in performing other specified duties. These charges may not exceed those specified in this section, except as provided in s. 28.345.

    (23) Upon receipt of an application for a marriage license, for preparing and administering of oath; issuing, sealing, and recording of the marriage license; and providing a certified copy..........30.00

Applying For a Marriage License in Florida

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
3 Days for FL Residents, None for Non-Residents
License Valid For:
60 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 10 Days of Ceremony

A marriage license shall stipulate whether a marriage ceremony is religious or civil. This categorization depends on whether the ceremony is performed by a religious officer or clerk. A marriage performed by a minister ordained by the Universal Life Church shall be categorized as religious even if the ceremony does not have any traditional religious elements.

A marriage license will remain valid for 60 days. The ceremony must be performed within that time; there are no permissible exceptions to this requirement. If a ceremony has not been performed within 60 days, a couple must reapply for a certificate before they may be married. After the ceremony, the license must be returned to the Clerk within 10 days. A license returned more than 10 days after the ceremony will not be accepted.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Fla. Stat. § 741.041 Marriage license application valid for 60 days.—Marriage licenses shall be valid only for a period of 60 days after issuance, and no person shall perform any ceremony of marriage after the expiration date of such license. The county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall recite on each marriage license the final date that the license is valid.

    Fla. Stat. § 741.08 Marriage not to be solemnized without a license.—Before any of the persons named in s. 741.07 shall solemnize any marriage, he or she shall require of the parties a marriage license issued according to the requirements of s. 741.01, and within 10 days after solemnizing the marriage he or she shall make a certificate thereof on the license, and shall transmit the same to the office of the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court from which it issued.

    Fla. Stat. § 741.04 Issuance of marriage license.—

    (5) If a couple does not submit to the clerk of the circuit court valid certificates of completion of a premarital preparation course, the clerk shall delay the effective date of the marriage license by 3 days from the date of application, and the effective date must be printed on the marriage license in bold type. If a couple submits valid certificates of completion of a premarital preparation course, the effective date of the marriage license may not be delayed. The clerk shall grant exceptions to the delayed effective date requirement to non-Florida residents and to couples asserting hardship. Marriage license fee waivers are available to all eligible couples. A county court judge issuing a marriage license may waive the delayed effective date requirement for Florida residents who demonstrate good cause.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Florida

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

Florida law requires that a minister be at least 18 years old to perform a wedding ceremony. Ministers may be a member of any faith, and it does not matter whether the minister resides in the state of Florida. The supporting documentation that a minister must provide is determined by the county in which the marriage certificate is obtained. It is advisable that the minister contact the clerk’s office directly to find out what documentation, if any, must be provided. Typically, it is a good practice for ministers performing ceremonies to have a copy of their ordination credentials on hand.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Fla. Stat. § 741.07 Persons authorized to solemnize matrimony.—

    (1) All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law. Nothing in this section shall make invalid a marriage which was solemnized by any member of the clergy, or as otherwise provided by law prior to July 1, 1978.

    (2) Any marriage which may be had and solemnized among the people called “Quakers,” or “Friends,” in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies, according to their rites and ceremonies, shall be good and valid in law; and wherever the words “minister” and “elder” are used in this chapter, they shall be held to include all of the persons connected with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who perform or have charge of the marriage ceremony according to their rites and ceremonies.

Getting Married in Florida

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
N/A
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Florida law does not mandate that witnesses be present at a ceremony. The couple and the person officiating the ceremony must be present. They must also be physically present to complete and sign the marriage license. Florida does not permit marriage by proxy.

There are only two essential elements of a legal ceremony in Florida. First, the couple must make a clear verbal consent to enter into marriage. Second, the person officiating the ceremony must formally pronounce that the couple is married. The rest of the ceremony may contain any recitations that the couple wishes to have, and they may make vows in any form that they choose. A minister should review the basic elements of a ceremony with a couple and ask them if they would like to have any substitutions or additions.

Finalizing the Union

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

A minister or other officiant performing a ceremony must fill out his or her portion of the marriage certificate completely and accurately. It is essential that the license be completed without mistakes; an error or omission may require that a new license be issued. Also, a license must be returned within 10 days of the date of the wedding ceremony or it shall be null.

The section of the marriage certificate that the minister or officiant completes shall include his or her name, which shall be his or her full legal name without any title. There is a separate field where a person will write his or her title. If the officiant is a minister, then he or she should write “minister.” If there is a field to write the address of a church and the minister does not perform services at a church, then he or she should write his or her home address.

Good record keeping is important for all ministers who have performed a ceremony. It is a advisable for them to keep a copy of any document that they have completed, which would include important information such as the names of the people being wed and the date of the wedding.