Your marriage questions answered:

 

Questions about what to do now that the freedom to marry has arrived in Florida?

This guide includes information on what you need to know to get married or have your marriage recognized in Florida.

What do I need in order to obtain a marriage license?

To obtain a marriage license, both partners should bring a picture ID such as a driver’s license, state ID card, military ID card, or valid passport to your County Clerk of Court’s office.

Any individual who has been issued a Social Security Number must provide it, but individuals do not need to bring their Social Security Cards. An individual who is not a U.S. citizen may provide an “alien registration number” or another form of identification, such as a U.S. driver’s license number or foreign passport.

There is a fee of $93.50 for obtaining a marriage license. This can be reduced by completing a licensed pre-marital counseling course.

Where is my County Clerk’s office?

The State of Florida has put together this listing of the contact information for Florida’s 67 County Clerks of Court.

Do both persons need to appear in the clerk’s office to obtain the license?

Generally, the answer is yes. If one of the persons to be married is not able to go in person because of illness or other reason, he or she should contact the clerk in advance to see if special arrangements can be made.

Will I be able to marry right away when I receive my license?

Florida law requires that Florida residents wait three days between the issuance of a marriage license and the license becoming effective.  The 3-day waiting period does not apply if both applicants are non-residents.

The 3-day period can be waived by completing a premarital counseling course or by filing a motion with the County Court asserting hardship.

Can I get married any time after I receive my license?

A Florida marriage license is valid for 60 days after it is issued. The marriage ceremony must take place before this 60 days has expired.

Can I get married in any Florida county?

You should be able to. On January 1st, the U.S. District Judge in our marriage case issued an “Order on the Scope of the Preliminary Injunction” which clarifies that the Constitution requires all Florida clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples when the stay expires. The order is available here.

A Florida marriage license can be issued by any county, regardless of where you or your partner reside.

What if the clerk at my county turns me away or is not ready to issue licenses to same-sex couples as soon as the stay expires?

If your county clerk is unwilling to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples, please contact us using this form to let us know. The ACLU is committed to ensuring that lesbian and gay couples can get marriage licenses in all of Florida’s 67 counties. Moreover, if you are denied a marriage license, you can go to another Florida County to get a license.

Who can officiate my wedding?

According to Florida law, “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 perform a marriage.

We were married out of state but live in Florida. Do we need to marry again in Florida for the state to recognize our marriage?

No. If you were legally married in another state, you do not need to marry again in Florida. Our lawsuit specifically addressed the issue of recognizing marriages performed outside of Florida, and your marriage should be recognized in the state when the stay expires. To obtain certain benefits, however—such as adding your spouse to your health-insurance plan or making certain pension-benefit designations—you will need to take action (usually filling out and submitting a form), just as a different-sex couple would be required to do. The process for doing so will be the same as for a different-sex couple.

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