Requirements for Minor Marriage License

Overview
If either of the applicants are a resident of the State of Georgia, the marriage license can be obtained from any Probate Court in any county in the State. It is not required that an application obtain their marriage license from the county in which they reside. If neither of the applicants are a resident of the State of Georgia, the license must be obtained in the county in which the ceremony is to be performed.

Blood Tests (Effective 7/2/2003)
Premarital blood tests are no longer required under Georgia law.

Proof of Age (Effective 7/1/2006, per O.C.G.A.19-3-37)
Both applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. Proof of age (birth certificate, driver's license, baptismal certificate, certificate of birth registration, selective service card, court record, passport, immigration papers, alien papers, citizenship papers, armed forces discharge papers, armed forces identification card, or hospital admission card containing the full name and date of birth) must be presented by every applicant who does not appear to the judge or clerk to be at least 25 years of age. If either applicant for marriage is 16 or 17 years of age, parental consent is required and a certified birth certificate for the minor will need to be presented. The certification must be within the last 45 days. Both parents MUST give written consent unless his/her rights have been terminated by an Order of a court.

"Parent" means:
  • Both parents if the parents are living together; or
  • The parent who has legal custody if the parents are divorced, separated, or widowed; or
  • Either parent if the parents are living together but one parent is unavailable because of illness or infirmity or because he is not within the boundaries of this state or because physical presence is impossible.

(b) When parental consent required; how obtained. In cases where the parties applying for a license are 16 or 17 years of age, their ages to be proved to the judge of the probate court as provided in Code Section 19-3-36, the parents or guardians of each underage applicant shall appear in person before the judge and consent to the proposed marriage, provided that if physical presence because of illness or infirmity is impossible, an affidavit by the incapacitated parent or guardian along with an affidavit signed by a licensed attending physician stating that the parent or guardian is physically incapable of being present shall suffice. The licensed attending physician shall include only those physicians licensed under Chapter 34 of Title 43 or under corresponding requirements pertaining to licensed attending physicians in sister states.

(c) Alternative methods for obtaining parental consent:
(1) When the parents or guardians of any underage applicants requiring parental consent reside within the state but in a county other than the county where the marriage license is to be issued, it shall not be necessary for the parents or guardians to appear in person before the judge of the probate court of the latter county and consent to the proposed marriage, if the parents or guardians appear in person and consent to the proposed marriage before the judge of the county in which they reside.

(2) Where the parents or guardians of any underage applicants requiring parental consent reside outside the state, it shall not be necessary for the parents or guardians to appear in person before the judge of the probate court and consent to the proposed marriage, if the parents or guardians appear in person before the judicial authority of their county who is authorized to issue marriage licenses and consent to the proposed marriage before the judicial authority. If the parents or guardians are physically incapable of being present because of illness or infirmity, the illness or infirmity may be attested to by an attending physician licensed in such state, as is provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section.

(3) Where the alternate provisions for parental consent are utilized under paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, the parents or guardians shall obtain a certificate from the judge of the probate court or the proper judicial officer before whom they have appeared with the seal and title of the official appearing thereon, the certificate containing information to the effect that the parents or guardians appeared before the judge or judicial officer and consented to the proposed marriage. If the parents were married and now are divorced, BOTH parents must give written consent. It does not matter if one or the other is the custodial parent as determined by the divorce agreement, the Law states both parents must give written consent for their minor?s marriage application.

If the parents were never married, the father will need to provide a certified copy of the Order legitimizing his child. This Order will be either from a Superior Court or a Juvenile Court. In this case BOTH parents must give written consent for their child to obtain a marriage license.

If the mother of the minor was not married and there is no father listed on the birth certificate, only consent from the mother will be needed.

If the minor has a legal guardian who wishes to consent to the marriage, the guardian will need to produce a certified copy of the Letters of Guardianship or Court Order which has been certified within the last 60 days. If there is more than one legal guardian, both guardians must written consent.

If any parent is unable to come to the Probate Court in person due to illness or infirmity, an affidavit by the incapacitated parent or guardian along with an affidavit signed by a licensed attending physician stating that the parent or guardian is physically incapable of being present shall suffice. (An affidavit is a notarized document).

In ALL cases, documentation MUST be presented. Valid picture identification and properly certified documents are required. Notarized documents must contain the expiration date of the notary.

Proof of Dissolution Of Prior Marriage
If either applicant has been previously married and the marriage was dissolved by divorce or annulment, a copy of the decree of divorce or annulment must be presented at the time of application. Applicants who have been married and divorced more than once need only provide certified copy of the decree dissolving the last previous marriage.

Fees (Effective 5/14/2010)
  • Marriage license issued to a minor without premarital certification $72.00
  • Marriage license issued to a minor with premarital certification (for Georgia Residents only) $28.00

The premarital certification must be presented to the court at the time of application in order to obtain the reduced fee. The certification must be issued in compliance with 19-3-30.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated in that it included at least 6 hours of instruction involving marital issues (which may include, but is not limited to, conflict management, communication skills, financial responsibilities, child and parenting responsibilities, and extended family roles). The couple must take the course together.

Surname
The applicants must designate on the application the legal surname that will be used after the marriage. An applicant may choose:
  • Given surname or surname as changed by order of the superior court
  • Surname from a previous marriage
  • Spouse's surname
  • Combination of given or court-changed surname, surname from a previous marriage and/or the spouse's surname

Required Items
  • Certified copy of death certificate for former deceased spouse
  • Certified, stamped copy of final divorce decree for most recent previous marriage.
  • Applicant's Georgia Driver's license, state issued picture identification, or a passport.