MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Effective Aug. 29, 2019, the process for entering into a legal marriage in Alabama will change. Under Alabama Act 2019-340, persons wanting to marry will no longer file an application for a marriage license with their county probate court, and the courts will no longer issue marriage licenses. Probate judges will instead accept notarized forms completed by couples as official records of marriage.
Once the probate court records the completed marriage certificate form, the marriage is legal. A wedding ceremony may be performed, but a ceremony will no longer be required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. The elimination of marriage licenses will not affect any other aspects of marriage in Alabama, including divorce, spousal support, child support and child custody.
Persons wanting to marry may access the new marriage certificate form online at the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website at alabamapublichealth.gov/vitalrecords/marriage-certificates.html. The department’s website will include instructions for completing and filing the new form, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the marriage law.
County probate courts may also elect to post a link to the form on their own websites or have printed copies of the new form available at their offices. A recording fee established by each county probate court must be paid to the court at the time the form is presented for recording.
For answers to your questions, please consult the FAQs and the instructions for completing the marriage certificate form at alabamapublichealth.gov/vitalrecords/marriage-certificates.html. An attorney general’s opinion regarding the new law is pending, and the department will update the FAQs when that opinion is released. If you have a question that is not addressed on the department’s website, you may call the Center for Health Statistics at 334-206-2714.