At the Marriage License Department of the Clerk’s Office, we’re happy to serve those who plan to marry, and we hope you find this page informative. If you have questions, please feel free to call us at (850) 638-6285.
Any couple that would like to get married in Florida may apply for a license in our office, located at 1293 Suite 101, Jackson Avenue, Chipley, Florida.
Residents of Florida who apply for a marriage license have a choice: you can wait (3)three-days for the license to become effective, or you can attend a premarital preparation course from a registered provider waiving the (3)three-day waiting period. If you’d like to attend one of these premarital courses, a directory of course providers are available at all court locations. Please note that the Marriage License Department does not offer this course. However, if you are getting married by a local pastor, he or she can assist you with the course.
Marriage License Requirements
There are two basic requirements for obtaining a marriage license:
- Both parties (spouse 1 and spouse 2) must be age 18 or over and must apply in person at the same time
- There are two forms of identification that may be required, described below
The first form of identification required is a valid photo identification issued by the federal or state government. The photo identification must have the correct legal name, date of birth, and signature of the applicant.
- Driver’s license (U.S. state or government)
- U.S. military identification
- State identification card (U.S. state or government)
- Alien registration card
A second form of identification is required if the applicant has been issued a U.S. Social Security number. In accordance with Florida State Statute, any person who has been issued a Social Security number will need to provide that number. Any person who is not a citizen of the U.S. may provide either a Social Security number or an alien registration number, if one has been issued. If neither has been issued, another form of identification may be required.
Here are a few other things it will be helpful to know:
- No blood tests are required.
- You do not need to be a resident of this county or of Florida to obtain a marriage license.
- Marriage licenses are for use in the state within (60) sixty-days of the date of issue.
- By law, the Family Law Handbook must be read before you get a marriage license. It is available for viewing on this page.
- If either applicant has been previously married, the exact date of the last divorce, death, or annulment must be provided.
Marriage license and application: $86.00
Discounted marriage license and application (available after completion of a premarital preparation course by a registered counselor, with proof that the course was taken): $61.00
The mandatory (3) three-day waiting period for Florida residents may be waived if the couple attends a premarital course from a registered provider and presents a certificate of completion when applying for a license. There is no waiting period for non-Florida residents.
Both residents and non-residents of Florida may receive a $25.00 discount on their marriage license by completing a premarital course. The course must be completed no more than (1) one-year before the date you apply for a marriage license. Please note that both parties must attend the course, and a certification of completion must be presented at the time of application to be eligible for the discount.
Name Changes on Other Documents
If your marriage involves a change of name or address, please remember to notify the following agencies:
- Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Division of Driver Licenses
- Local Social Security Office
- Supervisor of Elections (voter registration)
- Military Reserve Commanding Officer
Requirements for Minors
Requirements for minors 17 years old (one or both applicants):
In addition to the requirements listed above, the following documents must be presented when one or both of the applicants are 17 years old.
Any applicant under the age of 18 must have the consent of all parents or guardians. If custody of the minor has been granted to one parent, original proof must be provided. Consent forms are available from this office for your convenience. If one parent is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate is required. Proof of age and parents’ identity is also required. This may be done with a certified copy of the person’s birth certificate. If the parents’ names do not match, additional proof may be required.
What is the fee for a marriage license?
The fee is $86.00, but it can be reduced by $25.00 if you provide proof that you took a premarital preparation course (this applies to Florida residents only).
How can I pay for my marriage license?
We accept the following forms of payment:
- Cash, money order, or cashier’s check (payable to the Washington County Clerk of Courts)
- MasterCard, VISA, Discover or American Express (with a 3% surcharge added)
The Clerk’s Office does not accept personal checks.
Is there a waiting period for a marriage license?
Yes, for Florida residents. Marriage license applications are issued the same day as requested as long as all requirements are met. There is a (3) three-day waiting period to be married for couples who live in Florida but do not provide proof that they have completed a premarital preparation course.
A couple claiming hardship can petition a judge to waive the (3)three-day waiting period.
There is no waiting period for non-residents.
When do I take the premarital preparation course?
You can take it any time within (1) one year prior to applying for a license.
Who is qualified to be a provider of a premarital preparation course?
- A psychologist licensed under Chapter 490, Florida Statutes
- A clinical social worker licensed under Chapter 491, Florida Statutes
- A marriage and family therapist licensed under Chapter 491, Florida Statutes
- A mental-health counselor licensed under Chapter 491, Florida Statutes
- An official representative of a religious institution that is recognized under Florida Statute 496.404(20), if the representative has relevant training
- Any other provider designated by a judicial circuit, including but not limited to school counselors who are certified to offer such courses
You can find a provider by using our online premarital course provider search (/application/premarital-course-provider-list/).
Are blood test and physical exams required?
Do I need to apply for a marriage license in the county where I live or in the county where the ceremony is going to be held?
Actually, it doesn’t matter. You can get a marriage license in any Florida county.
Can I use the Florida marriage license to be married in another state or country?
No. The ceremony must be performed within the State of Florida in order to be recorded and valid.
Where can I apply for a marriage license in Washington County?
At the Washington County Courthouse, 1293 Suite 101, Jackson Avenue, Chipley, Florida Monday through Friday, except holidays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
How long is a marriage license application valid once it is issued?
It’s valid for (60) sixty-days.
Who may perform the ceremony?
- Ordained clergy
- Elders in communion with a church
- All Florida judges
- Notaries public of the State of Florida
The law also provides that ceremonies may be performed among Quakers or “Friends” in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies.
Can a marriage be solemnized without a license?
No. Section 741.08, Florida Statutes, states that the party solemnizing the marriage must have a properly issued license before performing the ceremony.
Who should return the license to the clerk, and when should they do it?
A marriage cannot be officially recorded until the license is returned to the Clerk’s Office. It should be returned within (10) ten days of the wedding, and the party that performed the marriage is responsible for returning the completed license.