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How to Find Alabama Marriage Records
Alabama marriage records are documents containing information pertaining to marriage proceedings within state limits. A marriage record typically features information regarding the individuals involved as well as the license issuance and marriage dates. There are different types of marriage records provided by the state. Where and how to obtain these records vary depending on the type of record requested. The Alabama Center for Health Statistics maintains the records of marriages held in the state from December 1936 to date. Marriage records generated before December 1936 are available from Alabama Probate Courts in counties where the respective marriage licenses were issued. Per state law, these records are categorized as Alabama public records and can be provided to interested persons. However, only Alabama public marriage records are provided to members of the public. Certified copies bearing a raised seal are accessible to persons who satisfy the state's eligibility requirements.
Are Alabama Marriage Records Public?
Yes, Alabama marriage records are generally considered public records. This means they are available to anyone that can provide sufficient information to facilitate a marriage record search.
How to Find Out if Someone is Married in Alabama
Interested persons can find out if someone is married in Alabama by perusing the individuals vital or personal records maintained in the county where they are resident. Since Alabama marriage law considers marriage records to be public records, requestors can query the relevant custodian to find Alabama marriage licenses or Alabama marriage certificates issued to the individuals. Queries may be directed to the Alabama department of public health or the county clerk in the judicial district where they are resident.
How to Check Marriage Status Online
To check marriage status online, interested persons may visit the website of the county clerk of the county where the individual is resident or peruse the online court dockets maintained by the county court clerk. Both custodians maintain an online database of documents that members of the public may search to find proof of an individual's marital status. The documents of interest, in this case, include; the marriage license, marriage dissolution records, marriage certificates, divorce decree, or related divorce record information. The following information may be used to search for a marriage record of interest:
- The names of the subjects of the record
- The place and date the marriage license was issued
- The subjects birth date
- The place and date of the marriage
- The marriage license number
What are Alabama Marriage Records?
Alabama marriage records are official documents proving that couples are legally married in the state. The two types of marriage records recognized in Alabama are marriage licenses and marriage certificates. Although these records serve different purposes, they share similar features and provide the following information:
- Full names of the parties involved in the unions recorded
- Where and when the recorded marriages occurred
Both government websites and organizations may offer divorce certificates in Alabama and marriage records. Similarly, third-party public record websites can also provide these types of records. But because third-party organizations are not operated or sponsored by the government, record availability may vary. Further, marriage and dissolution of marriage records are considered highly private and are often sealed, meaning the availability of these types of records cannot be guaranteed.
How to Find Public Marriage Records For Free
While requestors will likely be unable to find public marriage records for free, they may be able to view these records at minimal cost. To do so, the inquirer may visit the county courthouse in the county where the marriage license was issued and use the self-service computers available (if applicable to the county). The databases can be searched using relevant search queries and personal information pertaining to the individual of interest. However, if the requestor requires a copy of the marriage record, they will be required to pay a fee to cover the cost of copies; fees may be paid in cash orvia money order payable to the custodian.
What are Alabama Marriage Certificates?
Marriage certificates in Alabama are documents issued to couples after conducting marriage ceremonies. Marriage certificates can be certified or uncertified. The availability of both types varies. Certified copies of marriage certificates are primarily available to couples named on these records. Other eligible persons include the couples’ first-degree relatives and designated legal representatives. Certified copies are not available to third parties because they can be used to establish identity when applying for legal name changes, family insurances, dual citizenship, joint taxations, and loan applications.
How Do I Get a Marriage Certificate Form in Alabama?
Prospective couples can obtain marriage certificate forms in five simple steps:
- Print and carefully complete the Marriage Certificate Form provided on the Alabama Center for Health Statistics website
- Provide a government-issued photo ID as proof of identification
- Present the form and valid ID to a Notary Public for authentication
- Within 30 days of notarization, visit the probate court located in the county of choice and submit the completed form
- Pay applicable filing/recording fees
Minors between 16 and 17 years must submit completed affidavit of consent forms alongside their marriage certificate forms. Additional requirements that may be requested by some county probate courts include consenting parents’ IDs and proof of residency.
Provided IDs must be government-issued. They include but are not limited to, a valid driver’s license, passport, original birth certificate, national ID card, and any state-issued photo ID which provides satisfactory evidence that applicants’ names and faces match their IDs.
Essentially, the fee schedule for recording marriage certificate forms varies among counties. For instance, Jefferson County Probate Court charges $84.50 while Mobile County charges $70 for the same purpose. However, in most counties, the applicable fees do not exceed $100.
Family Court records can include marriage records and divorce records. These records contain personal information of those involved and their maintenance is critical should anyone involved wish to make changes. Because of this both marriage and divorce records can be considered more difficult to locate and obtain than other public records, and may not be available through government sources or third-party public record websites.
How Do I Obtain a Copy of My Marriage Certificate in Alabama?
Order marriage certificates from the Alabama Center for Vital Statistics by physically visiting the office or sending a mail.
Visit the Office of the Alabama Center for Vital Statistics with important information about the record in question. Also, bring along the appropriate fees and required documents. The applicable search/copying fee is $15 for the first copy and $6 for each additional copy of the same certificate ordered at the same time. Pay the total fee with a check or money order made payable to the “State Board of Health”. Deliver these to the requested room located at:
Alabama Department of Public Health
Center for Health Statistics
The RSA Tower
201 Monroe Street, Suite 1150
Montgomery, AL 36104
To make a marriage certificate request by mail, download, print, and complete the Marriage Section of the Vital Records Application Form provided on the Alabama Center for Vital Statistics webpage. This form is also available in Spanish. Send the completed form along with appropriate fees, government-issued ID, and a self-addressed envelope to:
Alabama Vital Records
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625
The first copy of a marriage certificate is $15 and each additional copy costs $6. The fee must be paid by check or money order made out to the “State Board of Health”
What are Alabama Marriage Licenses?
Marriage licenses in the State of Alabama are written authorizations that permit intending couples to marry formally. In the past, a marriage license must be obtained before a marriage ceremony is performed, and a certificate is officially issued. However, this is no longer the case in Alabama. In August 2019, marriage licenses were abolished and replaced with marriage certificate forms. As such, a license is no longer required for a marriage to be legally authorized in the state.
How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Alabama
Parties can apply for a name change after marriage in Alabama with an official Alabama marriage certificate. After obtaining the marriage certificate, the applicant must inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they intend to change their name after marriage. This process is essential as it makes the name change official. The requirements for applying for a name change with the SSA include:
- Completing a form SS-5 application
- Providing proof of name change, that is, a certified copy of the couple's marriage certificate.
- Submitting proof of identity
It can take up to three weeks for the SSA to process an application for a name change. Driver's license, state-issued identification, and other documents will also need to be updated. Parties changing their name after marriage should visit a local probate office, licensing office, or Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Driver License Office to do this. The necessary documents include a completed application for a duplicate license form, proof of social security name change, and proof of identity.
Alabama Public Marriage Licenses
Formal marriage licenses are the widely known traditional documents issued to eligible applicants by the state’s Probate Courts. These documents give prospective couples the right to perform marriage ceremonies. Given that marriage licenses are no longer valid in the State of Alabama, intending couples must procure marriage certificate forms for the same purpose. While these forms are issued at the state level by the Alabama Department of Public Health, they must be completed in the presence of a public notary and then submitted to the Probate Court located in the county of choice. To be legally authorized to obtain a marriage certificate form, both parties must be 18 years or older, not related by blood, and not in any current marriage. Minors between 16 and 17 years are eligible after receiving parental consent.
Alabama Common Law Marriage Licenses
Usually, a marriage license is not a prerequisite for a common law marriage to be legally recognized. A common law marriage in the state of Alabama is a marriage entered by cohabitants without a marriage license, ceremony, or solemnization. However, effective as of January 2017, common-law marriages were abolished and no longer considered valid in Alabama. Persons already in common law marriages before this date are exempt and still considered married by law.
Are Prenups Public Record in Alabama?
No. Prenups are considered private agreements signed by two intending parties ready for marriage. Hence, the agreement is not available to the public. However, in selected cases, these records may be subpoenaed from the office county clerk if it is relevant in a legal matter.