FREQUENT QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Please take the time to read through this page or click on one of the questions. It may have the answer you’re looking for.

1. How do we obtain a Florida Marriage License?

2. What is “legally Married”?

3. Do we have to get married in a church?

4. Do you require premarital counseling?

5. Can we write our own vows?

6. What can we consider for a customized wedding ceremony?

7. What do you wear for the ceremony?

8. Will you travel?

9. What is included?

10. What do you charge?

11. Do you supply a sound system?

12. Do you participate in the rehearsal?

13. Do you require to be included in the reception?

14. What is a re-commitment Ceremony?

15. No one knows we were married,or we just want to retake our vows. Can we get married again in a ceremony with our friends and family?

16. Do you accept credit card payments?

Q. What are the Florida Marriage License Laws?

A: In Florida, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is the issuing agent for marriage licenses. We also have the ability and authority to get your Florida Marriage License Application issued through the State of Florida’s Marriage Licence By Mail Program.

Any couple, if one or both parties is a Florida resident, may take a 4-hour premarital preparation course or wait three (3) days before the marriage license goes into effect. To receive a waiver of the three-day waiting period, a premarital preparation course must be completed within one year prior to obtaining a marriage license and a valid certificate of completion must be presented to the Clerk’s Office.

Taking the premarital preparation course also lowers the standard fee.View the Roster of Premarital Preparation Course Providers in Manatee County. (Listed under Debbie Rivera)

Q. Do you provide premarital preparation courses?

A: Yes, we offer Florida premarital courses online, through tele-conference call, group seminars by phone, Skype, and in person. This will save you money on your marriage license and you will avoid the waiting period for Florida Residents through completing this course.

WE PROVIDE PREMARITAL MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSES AND ARE APPROVED AND LISTED ON THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES : Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties

Additionally, the couple must read and sign a statement that they have read the Family Law handbook or Manual de Derecho Familiar before completing the Florida Marriage Licence Application.

If all of the course requirements are met on the day of application, the marriage license will be issued and also be effective the same day. If the course requirements are not met on the date of application, the marriage license will be issued but will not be effective until three (3) days from the issue date. The expiration date will be sixty (60) days from the effective date and will appear on the license.

Notice: Florida Law Update FS 741.01
If you have a common child who was born in the State of Florida – there is an additional form that will be submitted to the Florida Department of Health . This will not be recorded and will be submitted along with your Marriage License once returned to our office. There is an additional fee of $2.00.

Q: How do we obtain a Florida Marriage License Application to be married?

A: There are two ways to get a Florida Marriage License Application.

Option A:.You must go to a County Clerks office to obtain your Marriage License Application.

Click here for a list of cities in Florida and the county code.

Click here for a link to all Florida County Clerk Offices

Option B. We are authorized to get the Florida Marriage License Application for you with the Marriage License By Mail Program. (Extra Fees Apply for this service). Marriage License By Mail is only available to out of state residents and your state issued drivers license is required as proof of residency and for identification purposes.

Additionally,  Anna Maria Island, Florida is a popular Destination Wedding Location. If you are getting married in Manatee County (see above links), you can use their e-Service to apply online for a Florida Marriage License and then when you get here, you will both need to appear in person at the county clerk’s office in Manatee County to complete the Marriage License Process. It will save you some time and as you will see the few days right before the wedding date are really hectic. Here is the link for Manatee County e-Service for a Florida Marriage Licence online application.


Q. Who can apply for a FLorida Marriage License?

A:  Please read the following list

  • Any male or female 18 years of age or older.
  • A minor whose parents are deceased and has certified copies of both death certificates.
  • With a judge’s approval, minors, who must swear under oath, that they are parents or expectant parents of a child.
  • A previously married minor.
  • Any male or female 16-17 years of age with both parents’ or legal guardians’ consent.

Q. What do we need to bring when we apply for a  Florida Marriage License?

A: Both the bride-to-be and the husband-to-be need to be present when applying for a marriage license. Depending on which category applies to you, you will need to bring the following information:

Applicants 18 years of age or older:

  • Valid government photo identification that shows the applicant’s date of birth (driver’s license, state ID, military ID, or passport)
  • You must know your Social Security Number, if applicable.
  • If previously married, you must provide the day, month, and year the previous marriage ended.
  • Your signature will be required on the application.

Applicants 16-17 years of age must present EACH of the following:

  • Valid government photo identification that shows the applicant’s date of birth (driver’s license, state ID, military ID, or passport)
  • You must know your Social Security Number, if applicable.
  • Certified copy of your birth certificate showing both parents’ names.
  • Notarized consent form of both parents or consent of one parent in the case of divorce if the custodial parent has the authority to grant permission for the non-custodial parent. (This consent must be accompanied with a certified copy of the Court Order granting sole parental responsibility of the minor applicant to the custodial parent). If one or both parents of a minor are deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate is required.

Applicants under 16 years of age must present EACH of the following:

  • Valid government photo identification that shows the applicant’s date of birth (driver’s license, state ID, military ID, passport)
  • You must know your Social Security Number, if applicable.
  • Certified copy of your birth certificate showing both parents’ names.
  • Notarized consent form of both parents or consent of one parent in the case of divorce if the custodial parent has the authority to grant permission for the non-custodial parent. (This consent must be accompanied with a certified copy of the Court Order granting sole parental responsibility of the minor applicant to the custodial parent). If one or both parents of a minor are deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate is required.
  • Certificate from a licensed physician that the female is pregnant.
  • An affidavit that the couple are the parents of an unborn child or an affidavit that the child is already born along with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate.

For Affirmation of Common Child(ren) born in Florida – You must attest and provide:

  • Child/s name as appears on Birth Certificate and date of birth
  • Birth Certificate number
  • Place of Birth/City and County in Florida

Q: May I apply for the Marriage License and get married the same day?You do not have to be a resident of Florida to get a Florida Marriage License. Out-of-State Residents are able to apply and have their ceremony performed the same day as the 3-day waiting period Florida Law does not apply. Florida Residents may have the 3-day waiting period waived if they present a Certificate of Completion of Premarital Preparation Course from a qualified registered course provider. We are a registered premarital course provider. We will be happy to accommodate you by tele-conference, group call, or in person to allow you to meet the 4 hour State Of Florida criteria which will  not only save you money on your marriage license but also waive the 3-day waiting period.


Marriage License Fees:


Service Provided
Marriage license Application Fees
(includes Certified Copy, Clerk and State Fees)
If no premarital course is taken $96.50
If the premarital course is taken $62.00
Performing Ceremony at the Clerk’s Office $30.00
Amended Marriage License
(after license has been recorded)
$16.50
Duplicate Marriage License
(Before license has been recorded)
$4.00

Q: What is needed to apply for a Marriage License?A: Both Parties must be present with a valid State or Government Issued Identification. There may be other requirements if the Applicant is under the age of 18. Please visit our Marriage License web page for more information.Q: How soon do I need to apply for my Marriage License?A: Florida marriage license are valid for 60 days from the effective date. The marriage ceremony must be performed between the effective date and the expiration date on the license.

Q: Must I apply for a marriage license in the county where I live?

A: No. A marriage license may be applied for and solemnized in any Florida county. Out of state residents that plan to marry in the State Of Florida can apply at any county clerks office in Florida or use our Marriage License By Mail for out of state residents only service.

Q: Is a blood Test required ?

A; No. Blood Tests are no longer required in the state of Florida

Q: What will I need to change my name after the wedding ceremony?

A: There is a two step process to making the marriage legal and having a certified marriage license in order to Change Your Name and Government and State Issued Documents.

STEP 1. Complete the process above for a Florida Marriage License Application

STEP 2. Bring the Florida Marriage License Completed Application to us as your Officiants. We must complete the application. We will return the Florida Marriage License Application to the County Clerk’s office and the Certified Marriage License will be mailed to the address you supplied on your application.

The Certified Florida Marriage License will be returned to you by mail, you can also personally take the completed application into the county clerk’s office during normal business hours and receive the Certified Marriage License right on the spot, or we can hand deliver the completed Marriage License Application to the county clerk’s office during normal business hours and get the Certified Marriage License right on the spot and send it to you to expedite things. It normally takes a couple of weeks to receive your license back in the mail.

 

Q: What is legally “married?”

A: In the State of Florida a legal “marriage” must take place according to the laws of the State of Florida and the County in which the ceremony takes place. You are officially “married” when a legally authorized person** performs the ceremony, signs the license and submits the signed license to the county clerks office. Witnesses are NOT REQUIRED in the state of FLORIDA. You must exchange your vows of commitment, but wedding rings are optional and not required.

Q:Who may perform marriage ceremonies?

A: The following individuals may perform marriage ceremonies: All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel, elders in communion with a church, or other ordained clergy. All judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, Clerks of the Circuit Courts, and public notaries of this state. “Quakers” or “Friends,” may perform marriages in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies.

Q. How long does it take to get a copy of our marriage record?A: You will receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate within 7- 14 days after the officiator returns it to our office to be recorded. Allow at least 5 additional days for the Marriage License to reach you. I always tell couples getting married to allow three weeks before receiving their certified marriage license.

Q: Do we have to get married in a church?

A: You can get married in the State of Florida anywhere within the legal boundaries of the State. That includes all public and private buildings, parks and beaches, not just churches. Bodies of water are also acceptable (ocean, lakes, rivers, etc.)

Q: Do you require premarital counseling?

A: No, premarital counseling is not required.

Q: Can we write our own vows?

A: Yes it is your wedding, and should be exactly what you want.. Of course, if you need guidance, with any aspect of your wedding ceremony, I will be glad to help with suggestions.

Q: What should we consider for a customized wedding ceremony?

A: You may consider personalizing the ceremony. We can help you with this. My services vary from non-denominational which will include traditional religious references to no religious reference at all! Romantic readings and favorite songs are always wonderful to add to the ceremony. Just remember, It’s your special day and the ceremony should consist of meaningful segments from you.

Q: What do you wear for the ceremony?

A: Now that you have planned everything, from the gowns, flowers, music, table linens and centerpieces, invitations and entertainment. Why wouldn’t you have a say in what I wear? I have the following options. For David Rivera: 1) Black ceremonial robe 2) Black suit 3) Shirt and Tie 4) Captain’s Uniform. I also have attire for beach and park weddings and am open to being dressed for a theme wedding (Within reason of course)    NOTE: Additional charge for any attire that must be rented, Tux, period costumn, ect.

For Debbie Rivera: 1)Black Ceremonial Robe with or without stole (I have various colors of ceremonial stoles that lay on top of my robe) 2) Black Blouse and Black Skirt 3) White Dress Shirt and Black Skirt

Q: Will you travel?

A: If I am requested to officiate outside the Tampa Bay Area area [to include Manatee and Sarasota Counties], there will be an additional fee to compensate for time and fuel. (Call for more information) In the event I am asked to Officiate out of town, additional costs (airfare, accommodations and meals) are the responsibility of the Bride and Groom and must be paid in advance.

Q: What is included?

A: My fee includes one meeting in person or by phone with the couple if requested, any conversations up to the wedding day either by phone or email, a ceremony handbook that you will receive when you reserve your date that includes all facets of the ceremony and sample scripts for each segment. Several pre-written traditional ceremonies, if requested.

You will also receive a ceremonial certificate suitable for framing as a special remembrance if requested.

Q: What do you charge?

A: My fee varies, average cost is about $300, depending on location and whether or not you request that I attend the rehearsal A $150 non-refundable deposit reserves your date. There are additional Travel fees for some locations, please submit a request for availability and price or call for info.

Q: Do you supply a sound system?

A: Yes, if there will be no sound system available at the location, I have one to use. This PA system may be rented if you need one for your reception, an additional charge will be required.

Q: Do you participate in the rehearsal?

A: While I don’t require a rehearsal, I think it is a very good idea and definitely ensures that everyone involved knows just what to do on the wedding day. There is an extra fee required for a rehearsal.

Q: Do you require to be included in the reception?

A: Although some officiates in the area require they (and with some, their spouse) be included in the reception, we do not. That is entirely up to you. We are happy to attend your reception should you desire. This is truly your day and we want you to be happy and enjoy your wedding day. During the busier seasons, time may not allow me to participate.

Q: What is a re-commitment ceremony?

A: Most re-commitment ceremonies are done at special anniversary’s or when a couple reunites after a separation. These services are very emotional and touching as there is more of a story to tell with plenty of memories. The ceremony is performed the same as the first marriage with most couples writing there own vows and sharing romantic stories.

Q: We were married in a small civil ceremony at the County Courthouse and no one knows Can we get married again in a ceremony with our friends and family?

A: Of course! The only thing that changes is the filing of any paperwork as you should already have a license. It would be up to you as to how to present the ceremony to your friends and family. I would perform the ceremony as an officiate the same as I would any couple. Most call this a “re-commitment” ceremony but no one needs to know if you don’t want them to.

Q:Do you accept credit card payments?

A: Of course!  We accept Amex, Visa, Mastercard,, and Discover You can also pay through “PAYPAL”

Useful links:

Marriage License:

Copy of Certificate of Marriage:
Florida Public Records
https://www.myfloridacounty.com/serv/MyFloridaCounty/ORI/Order?thisPage=MyFloridaCounty.ORI.Order.state.Start

Birth Certificates

Obtain Certified Copy of Your Birth Certificate in 24-72 Hours.
www.nationalbirthcertificate.com

Quick Birth Certificates
Official raised seal birth certificates delivered in 1-3 days.
www.usbirthcertificate.com

Birth Certificate Fast
Professional service for 17 years. Only authorized online service.
www.vitalchek.com

Passports

Fees for Passport Books

NOTICE: EFFECTIVE JULY 13, 2010.

If you are 16 years of age or older:

  • The amount due at application is:
    • $110.00 in the form of personal check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash accepted) payable to US Department of State.
    • $25.00 in the form of cash, money order, personal check, cashier’s check , Visa MasterCard, American Express or Discover payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

If you are 15 years of age or younger:

  • The amount due at application is:
    • $80.00 in the form of personal check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash accepted) payable to the US Department of State.
    • $25.00 in the form of cash, money order, personal check, cashier’s check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Expedited Services for Passport Books

If you are 16 years of age or older:

  • The amount due at application is:
    • $184.96 in the form of personal check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash accepted) payable to US Department of State.
    • $43.30 in the form of cash, money order, personal check, cashier’s check , Visa MasterCard, American or Discover payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

If you are 15 years of age or younger:

  • The amount due at application is:
    • $154.96 in the form of personal check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash accepted) payable to the US Department of State.
    • $43.30 in the form of cash, money order, personal check, cashier’s check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Fees for Passport Cards

If you are 16 years of age or older:

  • The amount due at application is:
    • $30.00 in the form of personal check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash accepted) payable to the US Department of State.
    • $25.00 in the form of cash, money order, personal check, cashier’s check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

If you are 15 years of age or younger:

  • The amount due at application is:
    • $15.00 for minors in form of personal check money order or cashier’s check (no cash accepted) payable to the US Department of State.
    • $25.00 in the form of cash, money order, personal check, cashier’s check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Expedited Services for Passport Cards

If you are 16 years of age or older:

  • The amount due at application is:
    • $90.00 in the form of personal check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash accepted) payable to US Department of State.
    • $43.30 in the form of cash, money order, personal check, cashier’s check , Visa MasterCard, American or Discover payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

If you are 15 years of age or younger:

  • The amount due at application is:
    • $75.00 in the form of personal check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash accepted) payable to the US Department of State.
    • $43.30 in the form of cash, money order, personal check, cashier’s check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Passport Pictures

  • $15.98 includes 2 2×2 size pictures

6 Responses to “FREQUENT QUESTIONS”

  1. Lisa Thomas MondayMay 23, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    Hi we are going on a family holiday next year on the 7th may to Orlando my son and daughter will be the only guests there not sure where to get married? We just want something simple with pictures to keep can you give me some advice and price, please? Kindest regards Lisa x

  2. admin WednesdayJuly 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    Hi Lisa,

    Happy to help. That is absolutely possible. Why don’t you call me an we can discuss more at length?

    Warmest Regards,

    Debbie

  3. JANET PAYNE SundayJuly 31, 2016 at 5:07 am #

    MY SON AND FUTURE DAUGHTER IN LAW ARE GETTING MARRIED NEXT MARCH 2017.
    THEY ARE PLANNING THIS THROUGH DISNEY WEDDINGS. IF THEY APPLY/GO TO GET THEIR LICENCE ARE THEY OK TO GET MARRIED NEXT DAY.

  4. admin SaturdaySeptember 10, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    Hi Janet,

    Congratulations. They can get their license locally the day before they get married, as you mentioned, and get married the next day. If they need an officiant, let me know. If you get your marriage license by mail, it takes a bit longer. All they will need are their drivers licenses.

  5. Jackie FridaySeptember 8, 2017 at 11:33 am #

    My uncle is ordained in Arizona. Can he perform my wedding in FL?

  6. admin SaturdaySeptember 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Jackie,

    Yes!

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