State Alabama Getting Married Inback to States


Alabama recognizes only straight unions.

Current Legislation:

The current legislation in place is a constitutional ban against same-sex marriages. In February 2014, federal lawsuit Hard v. Bentley was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center seeking respect for a widow’s marriage to his husband.


Do I have to reside in Alabama to get married there?

You do not have to be a resident of Alabama to get married there.

How can I apply for a marriage license?

Gay and Lesbian Couples: Currently, the state government does not recognize same-sex marriages, so unfortunately licenses are not available to gay and lesbian couples.

Straight Couples: Alabama’s county judge of probate issues marriage licenses. Individuals can obtain a marriage license in any county in Alabama, not just the county in which they reside or in which they will marry. Most counties require both parties to be present.

What are the fees?

The cost for a marriage license varies from county to county, averaging at around $50, and most offices accept cash only.

Is there a waiting period?

There is no waiting period but the license will expire 30 days after it is issued.

What documentation do I need?

Both parties must provide a government-issued ID when applying for a marriage license, such as a driver’s license or passport. Non-U.S. citizens additionally need to provide their passport and a valid visa. Also, your Social Security card or a legal document that shows your Social Security number (such as a W2, paycheck, etc.) is required. If an individual has been married before, they must provide the legal date of divorce, which must be at least 60 days prior to applying for a marriage license.

Is a blood test required?


Who can marry us and are witnesses required?

Any licensed minister, active or retired judge, or religious pastor can perform marriages in Alabama, as long as they submit the marriage license, which includes the couple’s names, date, and location of the ceremony, to the county judge of probate within one month of the marriage. While most counties do not require witnesses, couples should check with their county judge of probate for specific requirements.

How can I change my name?

With a marriage license: Obtain several certified copies from the county clerk’s office where your license was filed, as you will need these throughout the name changing process. Fill out an application for a new Social Security card (which can be found here) and go to your local Social Security Administration office (be sure to get there before it opens) with a certified copy of your marriage license, photo proof of identity such as a driver’s license and original proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Be sure to change it with the DMV, your employer, your bank, etc.

Any adult Alabama resident can formally change their name without a marriage license, but it must be done in your county of residence. To do so, you must file a verified petition in your county of residence by requesting a “Petition and Declaration for Change of Name” from your county’s probate court. Fill out the appropriate form under your current legal name, and file the petition and documents with the clerk of probate court and pay the filing fee, which varies. Attend the scheduled court hearing and answer all inquiries honestly by the clerk and judge. Be sure to submit name change to the DMV, employer, the Social Security Administration, etc.

**Disclaimer: Requirements and protocols are subject change. Please regard the above information as a guide only, not professional legal advice. It is important to confirm the information with your specific county and state of residence before the wedding.