Marriage in Florida is a three-part process. You must (1.) apply for a license with a Clerk of Courts, (2.) perform the ceremony in the State of Florida, and (3.) then record the license with the Clerk's office. The entire process is completed in six easy steps, which are outlined below. A detailed FAQ section is also available in the right-hand column.
Please note: once couples complete the marriage application process, they must wait three days to get married, unless they have completed a premarital course from a list of approved providers (see step 3). Non-Florida residents are exempt of any waiting period.
Apply for a License (Steps 1 through 4):
- Complete the Marriage Application Online: Couples should complete the online marriage application before visiting our office. Once submitted, the couple must appear in person within 90 days to complete the process.
- Read the Marriage Handbook: Read the Marriage Handbook prior to arriving at the Clerk’s office.
- Optional Premarital Course: Couples may attend a premarital course offered by an approved provider. The required 3-day waiting period is waived for couples who present a completion certificate from an approved provider. Completion of a premarital course also reduces the marriage license cost. Approved providers are available in our Premarital Course Providers Directory.
- Visit Clerk's Office: Marriage services are provided at all three of our locations - Bartow, Lakeland, and Northeast (Winter Haven). Both parties must be present when applying for a marriage license. Both must know their social security number and bring the following:
- An accepted form of identification:
- Driver’s license issued in the United States;
- Federal or state identification card; or
- Passport showing your name and date of birth
- If the applicants have a minor child in common born inside the state of Florida, an additional affidavit is required. This form is available in the office.
- A form of payment to cover marriage license fees. Accepted payments methods include cash or credit card. Please note that we use a third party to process credit card transactions and a service charge is applied to these transactions.
- An accepted form of identification:
|License without premarital course||$86.00|
|License with proof of premarital course||$61.00|
|Affirmation of common child||$7.00|
|Marriage certificate suitable for framing, without record search (optional)||$7.00|
|Marriage certificate suitable for framing, with record search (optional)||$9.00|
Perform Ceremony (Step 5):
Ceremonies must be performed in the State of Florida and can be performed by:
All judicial officers (Judges) of the State of Florida
Clerks of Circuit Court and their deputies of the State of Florida
Elders in communion with some churches
Notaries Public of the State of Florida
A regularly ordained minister or other ordained clergy
In addition, the law provides that marriages may be performed among "Quakers" or "Friends", in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies
Marriage ceremonies can also be performed at the Clerk’s office for $30.
Bartow - Ceremonies are conducted in our ceremony room.
Lakeland and Winter Haven - Ceremonies are conducted in the ceremony room.
Record License (Step 6):
- The person performing the ceremony should complete the Certificate of Marriage and return the entire document to the Clerk’s office within 10 days after the marriage is solemnized. There is no official record of the marriage until after it has been returned to the Clerk’s office that issued it.
- Upon receipt of the returned license, the license will be recorded into the Official Records. The couple will receive one free certified copy. Other copies may be purchased. Certificates may be returned in person or by mail.
Amend a License:
Call 863-534-4000 if you find an error on your marriage license. Also, if the license was issued prior to January 31, 2007, there will be a 24-hour timeframe before the couple can come in to the office to amend their license. There is a fee to amend a marriage license, which varies due to several factors. Contact our office for details about your particular case.