Alabama State Capitol Building

Alabama Wedding Laws

Written and updated for precision by the Alabama marriage law research team at GetOrdained™ on

It is not uncommon for marriage laws to vary from state to state. In most cases, the variations are minimal, but sometimes they are significant. When applying to wed in Alabama, it is vital to understand the rules governing marriage to ensure a legal ceremony. The following guide details all pertinent information for interested couples or ministers for weddings in the great state of Alabama.

Getting Married in Alabama

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:
Number of Witnesses Required:
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Not Applicable
Couple's Consent Required:
Pronouncement Required:

The adoption of the new marriage law in Alabama makes the wedding process incredibly simple and customizable. A ceremony no longer must contain specific wording to make the marriage legally binding. A couple now has complete autonomy over the entire ceremony, meaning they can design it around specific preferences and interests. The only requirements are for the form, not the ceremony.

Both parties must fill out the form, and each must provide their Social Security numbers for verification. The document must also be notarized before being delivered to the probate court of the couple’s choosing. The couple can handdeliver the form or mail it as long as it reaches the court within the 30-day window.

Alabama Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:

While no state likes to get in the way of love, there are age requirements, which are vital to protecting all individuals entering into such arrangements. Alabama allows anyone 18 or older to marry. Some exceptions can be made for those who are 16 or older with a parent or guardian’s consent, but no exceptions will be made for individuals younger than 16.

As with the entire US, Alabama honors marriage equality, permitting the marriage of same-sex couples. Additionally, there are no residency requirements with the state, meaning neither party must reside in Alabama to be married there. Each person can live in another state or country.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Alabama

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Relevant Office of Registration:
Probate Court
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Not Applicable
Minister I.D. # Issued:

Unlike many other states, Alabama does not require the registration of a minister performing a wedding ceremony. The state also provides no rules about the minister's residency, religious affiliation, or age. In fact, as a ceremony is not pertinent to a legal marriage, the state does not get overly involved in the process.

The officiant might want to help with the marriage form to ensure the couple fills it out after the ceremony free of errors. He or she might also want to help facilitate the notarization and filing or mailing of the document as well. While no explicit laws require the registration of ministers for wedding services in Alabama, many ministers prefer to have official ordination credentials on file if asked.

Applying For a Marriage License in Alabama

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Mandatory Waiting Period:
License Valid For:
Does Not Expire
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 30 Days of Signing

Because of the changes to the marriage process in Alabama, a couple is no longer required to have a ceremony, religious or otherwise. There are also no longer any requirements for registration when choosing a minister if the couple should decide they want a minister or officiant.

The flexibility does not stop there. Because a couple does not have to wait for a marriage license and can simply print out a marriage form, there is no waiting period for when the marriage can occur. If so desired, a couple can print the form and fill it out on the same day.

The only requirement is that the document be notarized and recorded by an Alabama probate court within 30 days of the last spousal signature. While most people will sign on the same day, the timeline starts after the latter signature if one spouse signs after the other. If a couple fails to file the form within the 30-day window, they will need to fill out another.

How to Get an Alabama Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Alabama
Marriage License Pick-Up:
Cost of License:
Varies by County
Accepted I.D. Types:
Social Security Number
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Blood Test Required:

While many states require couples to apply for a marriage license before a ceremony can occur, Alabama recently changed its laws to make the process easier and more straightforward. With the newly installed changes, a couple does not need to request or apply for a marriage license; they only need to visit the Alabama Department of Health’s website and print out a copy of the Alabama Marriage Certificate.

The new law also makes wedding ceremonies optional. The only requirement is for the form to be filled out and notarized and recorded in an Alabama probate court. However, there is still a timeline regarding the validity of the form. The probate court has to receive the final signed document within 30 days of its signing.

When the form is complete and notarized, the couple can have the document recorded at any Alabama county probate court. The fees for recording the marriage form will vary based on the probate court chosen, as each site sets its own rates.

Finally, while blood tests were a requirement at one time, they are no longer necessary. A couple can marry without the dread of a needle poke.

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

Beyond having both signatures of the couple, the date, and their SSNs, the marriage form must be notarized to be legally binding. The couple must locate a notary public for the state of Alabama who will sign and notarize the document. While many people will not know where to look for such an individual, you can find a complete list of all licensed notaries with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. Many notaries are also available at local bank branches.

Once notarized, the couple can mail or take the marriage form to any Alabama probate court for filing. If choosing to mail the document, make sure it will arrive within the 30-day window.

While there are no residency requirements for the couple and it doesn’t matter where the wedding physically takes place, the form must be received and filed in an Alabama probate court. Before filing the document, however, the couple might want to research the fees associated with each court because the costs will vary from location to location.

Despite there being no legal requirement for minister registration, it is still wise to have a copy of any official ordination credentials in case questions arise. It is also strongly recommended that ministers, especially those paid for their service, keep personal records for all ceremonies they perform.

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