Florida Court Records
Florida Marriage Records
Florida marriage records provide information on legal unions in the state. Such records are maintained by state and county agencies. Some of the general information that may be found in a marriage record include:
- The date the marriage occured
- Full name of both parties in the married
- Full names of parents
- Date of birth for both spouses
- Name of witnesses at the marriage
- Location of marriage (city or town)
What Types of Marriage Records are available in Florida
Florida residents can obtain different marriage records, including commemorative marriage certificates, marriage certificates, and marriage licenses. But, although marriage certificates and marriage licenses are records, the two aren't the same.
Marriage certificates are official statements that attest to the legality of a marriage. Essentially, they serve as proof that two people are married. Marriage certificates are used for a variety of reasons. For instance, couples often require certified copies of a marriage record when applying for spousal benefits. Certificates may also be necessary when changing a name, filing taxes, or applying for a loan.
Note: Florida issues different marriage certificates, one of which is an optional commemorative certificate signed by the Governor and the State Registrar of the Bureau of Vital Statistics. However, this certificate cannot be used for official purposes.
A Florida license is an official permit issued to couples who wish to marry. It allows couples to marry anywhere within the state (even if it's outside the originating county). To obtain a marriage license, couples must meet the state's requirements, namely:
- The couple must be at least 18 years old (applicants who are 17 must have parental consent)
- Both parties must be present.
- Applicants must pay the appropriate fee.
Once issued, licenses generally have a 72-hour waiting period before becoming effective. The license remains valid for 60 days, during which the couple must have a marriage ceremony. If a ceremony isn't performed before the expiration of the period, the couple will need to get a new one.
Are Florida Marriage Records Public?
Marriage records fall under the umbrella of public records in Florida. Anyone can obtain public marriage information by requesting it from the Florida Department of Health. The DOH maintains records of marriages registered across the state from 1927 to date. However, issued certificates only contain abstract information recorded from the marriage licenses. To obtain copies of a marriage record, requesters will need to provide some information about themselves and the married couple and pay the appropriate fee.
How to Find Marriage Records in Florida
The Florida Department of Health processes requests for marriage records. Record seekers can request a commemorative marriage certificate, which can't be used for legal purposes, or a Certificate of Marriage, which government agencies accept. The Certificate of Marriage contains abstract information taken from the license.
You must submit a completed application form providing details linked to the marriage to obtain marriage records. Some of these include:
- Date of birth for both parties in the marriage
- Full name of both parties in the marriage (before marriage)
- The place and date of marriage
- County where the license was issued
You'll also need to provide details about yourself, such as your full name, mailing address, relationship with the married couple, and phone number. You can submit your application in person or via mail to the department. To submit a request for marriage records in person, visit the lobby of the department office at:
217 N Pearl Street,
The Bureau of Vital Statistics processes walk-in requests from Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. As part of the application process, you'll be expected to pay using cash, check, money order, Visa, and Mastercard. Residents can also opt to mail their request to the following address:
Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 210
1217 Pearl Street
Jacksonville, FL 32231-0042
The time to find and issue a marriage certificate varies depending on when the record was created. Older records may take longer than a week, while more recent records (e.g., 1970 till date) take three to five business days.
Marriage records cost $5.00 for the first certificate and $4 for each additional copy made with the same order. If you don't know when the marriage occured, you'll need to specify a range for the search (e.g., 2010 to 2024). For such searches, you'll be charged $2.00 for each additional year up to a maximum of $50.
How to Get a Marriage License in Florida
To get married in Florida, you'll need a marriage license. Anyone can obtain a marriage license in Florida by following several general steps.
Step 1. Ensure you meet the state requirements
Couples who wish to marry in Florida must meet the state requirements to get a license. Applicants must be 18 years or older to obtain a permit. For applications where one or both parties are younger than 18:
- Applicants must provide an original birth certificate showing their parent's name
- Both parents or legal guardians must be present (one parent is permitted if the parent proves full custody)
- Parties must provide side parental consent forms
Applicants must also appear in person.
Step 2. Have the Necessary Documentation
When applying for a marriage license, applicants must present a valid government-issued photo ID with their date of birth, legal name, and signature. Acceptable options include:
- Naturalization certificate
- U.S military ID
- Passport or driver's license
- Alien registration card
- State identification card
In addition, applicants will need to provide their social security number. Non-US citizens who do not have an issued social security number must provide an alien registration card, passport number, or U.S. driver's license.
Step 3. Complete Application Form
As part of the application process, both parties are required to complete a license request form, providing their general details, including the following:
- Full name of both parties (first, middle, and last)
- Maiden (surname if different)
- Gender and date of birth
- City/town of residence
- Number of marriages
- Date last marriage ended (if applicable)
- Mailing Address
Step 4. Submit the Application and Pay the Fees
Marriage license applications can be made at the Clerk of Court office or any Marriage Service location within the county. Marriage licenses cost $86 for general applications. However, couples who attend a premarital class overseen by a certified provider pay $61. Unlike some states, Florida does not have a citizenship or residency requirement. Parties may marry in any county within the state once the license is issued.
Note: While marriage licenses have a three-day waiting period, this period may be waived for couples who complete a premarital class.
Who can obtain Marriage Records in Florida?
Anyone can obtain marriage records in Florida. Unlike some states, Florida has no restrictions on who may obtain certified copies of a marriage record. You also aren't required to provide a valid government-issued ID. The only requirement for obtaining records is to pay the appropriate fee and provide a completed application that includes the name of the spouse, date of marriage, place of marriage, and the county where the license was issued.
Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Florida
Residents may be able to look up online marriage records by searching online court records maintained by the County court clerk. For instance, the Miami-Dade County court clerk provides online access to family records as does the Clerk of Court for Clay County. To use online court systems, you'll need some details about the record, such as the party named, filing number, or the date the record was created. Alternatively, you can find records using third-party sites or indexes. Such platforms connect to databases containing data aggregated from counties within and outside Florida. However, the accuracy of available information may vary on a case-by-case basis. In addition, members of the public can only obtain certified copies of a record from official sources.
Is Florida a Common Law State for Marriage?
Florida does not recognize common law marriages established within the state. Couples who live together for more than seven years and meet the general requirements for common-law marriage are still not viewed as married. To be considered married, couples must apply for a marriage license and be ceremoniously married, per state laws. However, the state recognizes the validity of common law marriages established in states that support this kind of union, such as Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.
Note: Although Florida does not recognize common law marriages, Florida courts recognize the legality of domestic partnership or cohabitation agreements. Couples who live together with a cohabitation agreement have many of the rights of a married couple, including the right to make critical medical decisions for a partner.