Marriage Licenses

MARRIAGE LICENSES

This information is provided for persons interested in obtaining a marriage license in Madison County.

Under Alabama law, marriage licenses issuance is purely ministerial and probate judges have no discretion when carrying out this duty.

Accordingly, it is the policy of the Judge of Probate of Madison County to issue marriage licenses in strict compliance with and as legally required under Alabama law. The information contained herein is purely informational and should not be considered reflective of any personal opinions or beliefs of the Judge of Probate of Madison County or any persons under their employ.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Both parties must be present to complete and sign the application for a marriage license (no blood test required).
  • Both parties must be sober and competent to marry, (not declared incompetent) and have the ability to comprehend and understand what they are doing.
  • The marriage license fee is $59.00 (cash or credit only) and is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance.
  • If you wish to be married by the Probate Judge, or his appointed staff member, you will pay an additional ceremony fee of $5.00 (cash or credit only).
  • The legal age to marry without parental consent is 18 years. Individuals who are at least 16 years of age but less than 18 years of age may need to meet certain requirements as set out below.
  • The license is valid for marriages performed in any county in Alabama.
  • Applicants divorced in Alabama less than 60 days before applying for a marriage license may not purchase a marriage license unless he/she is marrying his/her former spouse.

Hours of Operation    

  • No appointment is necessary; service is on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Office hours for the Marriage License Department are 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, Monday  through Friday.

Guidelines for Marriage Licenses for Persons 18 Years or Older              

  • All marriage license applicants must provide their correct and entire legal name.
  • Photographic identification is strongly recommended as it would avoid any unnecessary delays in verifying information required for issuance of the license.
  • Acceptable identification should be official government-issued identification that provides sufficient proof that the applicant is who the applicant represents he or she is.
  • Acceptable forms of identification include, but are not limited to the following: driver’s license, passport, military ID, original certified copy of state issued birth certificate, other state issued ID, U.S. Government issued ID (including Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”), Employment Authorization Card, etc.), or other identification issued by a state of the United States, by a foreign country or state, or by an agency or a subdivision of a state of the United States or of a foreign country or state.

Guidelines for Marriage Licenses for Persons 16 to 17 Years of Age        

  • Under Alabama Code § 30-1-5, marriage license applicants who are at least 16 years of age but under 18 years of age, who have not had a former wife or husband, intending to marry require consent of both parents or guardians of the minor to the marriage.
  • Consent of the parents or guardians of the minor must be given either personally or in writing through a validly executed affidavit. The consent of both parents as shown on the birth certificate is required regardless of the circumstances, unless one’s parental rights have been terminated.
  • Sole custody granted to one parent alone is insufficient to obviate the requirement for the consent of the other parent.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the legal age to marry in Alabama? Persons 18 years and older can marry in Alabama. Under Alabama Code § 30-1-4, persons under the age of 16 years are incapable of contracting for marriage. Under Alabama Code § 30-1-5, persons who are at least 16 years of age but under 18 years of age, who have not had a former spouse, require the consent of the parents or guardians of the minor to the marriage, to be given either personally or in a legally executed writing.

Is photographic identification required to receive a marriage license? Not necessarily***. Opinion Number 2004-176 of the Office of the Attorney General states that Alabama law does not require marriage license applicants to produce photographic identification to prove their identity. In the event that photographic identification is unavailable, the Opinion advises probate judges to obtain an affidavit from the applicant or some other credible person that the applicant is who he or she claims to be and meets the age requirements under Alabama law. The Opinion further states that a “probate judge must accept the marriage license applicants’ representations as to age and identity unless a question arises as to the validity of those representations.”

***Valid photo identification is necessary to notarize the bond required to obtain a marriage license

Is a social security number required to receive a marriage license?  No. Opinion Number 2008-100 of the Office of the Attorney General states that a social security number is not required. The Opinion states that in instances where an applicant does not have a social security number, the applicant can instead submit an affidavit attesting to the fact that he or she was never issued a social security number. Alternatively, an applicant could also submit a current letter from the Social Security Administration documenting that he or she was never issued a social security number.

Can a marriage license be issued to an applicant who is not a United States citizen? Yes. Opinion Number 2004-176 of the Office of the Attorney General states that citizenship is not a requirement under Alabama law. The Opinion of the Attorney General further concludes that a lack of legal status is not a bar to issuance of a marriage license.

Can a marriage license be issued to applicants of the same sex? No. Under Article I, § 36.03(b) of the Alabama Constitution and Alabama Code § 30-1-19(b), marriage is defined as “a unique relationship between a man and a woman.” Both Article I, § 36.03(d) of the Alabama Constitution and Alabama Code § 30-1-19(d) expressly state, “No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex.”

Where can I find the State of Alabama’s law on marriage and the issuance of marriage licenses? The law can be reviewed in Article I, § 36.03 of the Alabama Constitution and Alabama Code §§ 30-1-1 through 30-1-19 and 22-9A-17.

OBTAINING COPIES OF A MARRIAGE LICENSE

Note: You may only obtain a certified copy of a marriage license that was purchased in Madison County.

Local:

  • If the marriage was between the years of 1809 – April 2004 please call 256-532-2347.
  • If the marriage was between the years of May 2004 – present, call the Marriage License Department of Madison County at 256-532-3342.

Long-distance:

  • Send a written request including the groom’s full name, bride’s full name and maiden name, and the date of the marriage.
  • Include a check or money order in the full amount.
  • For marriage records from 1809 – April 2004, mail to:
    Madison County Public Library
    C/O 3rd Floor Records Center
    915 Monroe Street
    Huntsville, AL 35804
  • For marriage records from May 2004 – present, mail to:
    Madison County Probate Judge’s Office
    C/O Marriage License Department
    Room 101
    100 North Side Square
    Huntsville, AL 35801

Fees for certified copies:

  • $2.00 per certified copy


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