Getting married?

New process soon to be in place

Special to Atmore News

The following information was provided by Escambia County Probate Judge Doug Agerton’s office:
Beginning August 29, 2019, couples in Alabama will begin following a different path in the process of becoming legally married, as lawmakers approved a bill in the 2019 legislative session that changes documents and proceedings necessary for a marriage to be valid.
The new law removes the need for a marriage license to be obtained in advance. Additionally, while couples certainly may have a ceremony if they wish, a ceremony will no longer be required.
As of August 29, 2019, a couple desiring to marry simply have to do the following:
• Complete the form provided by the State
• Take the form to a notary to sign and have notarized
• Deliver the form to the Probate Office for recording, along with the recording fee, within 30 days of the signatures
The form must be notarized before bringing it in for recording, and it must be filed in the Probate Office within 30 days of being signed. The fee remains at $75. Other requirements surrounding marriage, such as being of minimum age and not presently married, have not changed based on the new law. The information requested on the affidavit is also essentially the same as what couples previously had to provide, which is basic information about each spouse.
The Probate Office must receive and file the original form, but the Escambia County Probate office will provide a certified copy to the couple for their personal records. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signatures of the spouses.
The required form and instructions will be available online through the Department of Public Health.
The current licenses issued for marriage are valid through August 28. If a couple plans to get married August 29, 2019 or later, they will need to comply with the new law and procedure.