Marriage License

How to Obtain a Marriage License

Beginning August 29, 2019, couples in Alabama will begin following a different process to become legally married, as Alabama lawmakers approved a bill in the 2019 legislative session that changes the documents and proceedings necessary for a marriage to be valid.

As of August 29, 2019, the effective date of the new law, a couple desiring to marry will need to take the following steps:
  1. Complete the marriage license form provided by the State. 
  2. Print the form and take it to a notary to sign and have notarized. 
  3. Deliver the form to the Probate Office for recording along with a filing fee.

The form must be notarized before bringing it in for filing, and it must be filed in the Probate Office within 30 days of being signed. The filing fee as of September 1, 2019 will be $86.00. The Probate Office must receive and file the original form, but the Shelby County Probate Office will provide a certified copy to the couple for their personal records. The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signatures of the spouses.

A list of commissioned notaries is available at the Alabama Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.alabama.gov.

A list of instructions for completing and filing the Alabama Marriage Certificate as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the forms can be located at www.alabamapublichealth.gov.

Weddings at the Courthouse

As of August 29, 2019, while couples may still have a ceremony if they wish, a ceremony is no longer required by the law. The gazebo adjacent to the Courthouse is offered as a no charge convenience on a first come, first serve basis if you wish to have a wedding ceremony.