The rules they are changing if you are getting married in Alabama. The new marriage law goes into effect August 29, 2019. The biggest changes are that you will not be required to have a ceremony with a minister presiding, and the license does not have to be obtained in advance.
As far as a wedding ceremony – it will not be required, however, a notarized form must be presented to the Probate Judge’s office within 30 days of the application. The form attests that the applicants meet the legal requirements for marriage in the state. Notary services will not be provided by the Probate offices.
Those requirements include being of legal age, which is 16 (with parental consent), or 18 without any consent necessary by a parent or guardian. Blood tests are also no longer required in order to get married. Other requirements such as not being presently married, being legally competent to enter into marriage, and entering marriage of your own free will have not changed under the new law.
The current marriage law requires that a ceremony be performed by a minister, a judge, a retired judge, or a person otherwise authorized to perform a ceremony and to sign the marriage license before it is recorded. The new law removes this requirement and no longer requires that a marriage be “solemnized”.
The old law remains in effect through August 28, 2019, but after that date you will need to reapply under the new law if you have an upcoming marriage. Fees will vary by county.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.