Planning a wedding in Florida, known for its beautiful beaches and picturesque settings, has long been a popular choice for couples tying the knot. However, in recent times, the concept of online marriages has gained attention, especially considering the unique circumstances brought about by the global pandemic. Couples must understand Florida's laws regarding online marriages to ensure they comply with the legal requirements and have a smooth and valid wedding ceremony.

The Legality of Online Marriages in Florida

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, marriage laws in Florida were quite rigid. The couple and the officiant needed to be physically present at the ceremony for it to be legal, and a trip to the county clerk's office to acquire a marriage license was mandatory.

Then In 2019, the Utah County marriage license office and information technology departments embarked on a year-long project to develop a fully digital system for issuing and recording marriage licenses. The aim was to modernize the process and align it with the demands of the 21st century. By January 2020, couples gained the convenience of completing the entire marriage process online. They could apply for a marriage license, perform the ceremony, and have the officiant electronically submit the necessary paperwork for the marriage certificate. This digital marriage procedure in Utah eliminated the previous requirement for couples to physically visit the office to obtain and return their marriage license.

Anyone can legally get married online through Utah's procedure without being a resident of the state. Upon completing the process, couples will receive a legal US Marriage Certificate. It's important to note that marriages performed legally in one state are generally recognized across the country, as long as they conform to federal and state laws. This recognition ensures that the marriage certificate obtained through Utah's online process holds legal validity beyond the borders of the state.

In-Person Wedding Requirements in Florida

If you plan to have an in-person wedding in Florida, there are certain documents required by the state. The following information outlines the necessary documents:

  1. Valid Photo Identification: You will need a legitimate photo ID issued by either the federal or state government. The ID should display your legal name, birthdate, and signature. Acceptable forms of identification include a U.S. state or government-issued driver's permit, passport, state identification card for the U.S. military, or a card for alien registration.
  2. Social Security Number: According to Florida state law, anyone with a Social Security number must provide it during the marriage license application process. Only the social security number itself is required, and there is no need to provide copies of the card. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may provide either your Social Security number or, if assigned, your Alien Registration number. If neither has been issued, alternative forms of identification may be required.
  3. Reading the Family Law Handbook: Before applying for a marriage license, both spouses are required to read the Family Law Handbook, which is available online through The Florida Bar Family Law Section in English or Spanish. You can also visit the courthouse service sites for marriage or One-Stop to access the handbook.
  4. Marriage License Fee: The fee for a marriage license in Florida is $86. This fee can be paid by check, credit card, or in cash. It's important to note that there is a three-day waiting period for Florida residents. However, if you present a Certificate of Completion from an approved premarital course provider, the waiting period can be waived, and the fee reduced to $61. It's worth considering that this fee does not cover additional costs such as travel expenses, ceremony arrangements, or officiation fees.

Obtaining a Marriage License from Florida Online

Getting a marriage license online in Florida can vary depending on the county. In Broward County, for example, they have made it possible to obtain a marriage license remotely. However, some specific requirements and steps need to be followed. 

Here are the requirements for obtaining a marriage license online from Broward County:

  1. Read the Family Law Handbook: Both parties are required to read the Family Law Handbook, which is available online in English or Spanish through The Florida Bar Family Law Section. You can also find it at Marriage or One-Stop courthouse service locations.
  2. Affirmation of Common Children Born in Florida: If you have children together who were born in Florida, you will need to complete the Affirmation of Common Children form. Additional forms should be completed for each additional child, if applicable.
  3. Upload Required Documents: You will need to upload copies of both spouses' identification and, if you have completed a premarital course, a copy of the completion certificate from the course provider.
  4. Video Conference Interview: Each participant must have a device with a functioning camera and microphone for the video conference interview. Sharing a device during the session is not allowed.

Once you have completed all the necessary steps, you will receive an email with instructions to download and print your marriage license. It's important to note that requirements and processes may differ in other counties in Florida, and some counties may still require an in-person application and consultation with a representative.

It's also important to remember that obtaining a marriage license online is only one part of the process. You will still need to find an officiant, organize your wedding ceremony, and ensure that you, your officiant, and your witnesses are physically located within Florida for the ceremony. However, your other guests may still participate online.

Alternatively, if you wish to simplify the entire process, platforms like Courtly offer a convenient solution. With Courtly, couples can complete the entire procedure remotely from anywhere, allowing for quick and easy acquisition of a legitimate US marriage certificate with minimal documentation.

Courtly: Simplifying the Online Marriage Process

Courtly is a platform that simplifies the online marriage process by providing couples with a streamlined procedure to obtain a marriage license remotely. It offers convenience and flexibility, allowing couples to complete the necessary steps from any location, eliminating the need for in-person visits. Courtly minimizes required documentation, ensuring a smooth and efficient process with a user-friendly interface. 

By following Courtly's optimized procedure, couples can quickly acquire a legitimate US marriage certificate with minimal documentation requirements. This saves time and provides peace of mind, knowing that their marriage is legally recognized. Using Courtly, couples can navigate the online marriage process easily and start their married life without unnecessary delays.

The Legality of Online Marriages Outside the US

If you are planning to have your online marriage recognized outside of the United States, it is important to consider the legal requirements of the specific country you wish to have your marriage certified. In some cases, you may need to obtain an Apostille certification for your marriage license. An Apostille certification is a document that verifies the authenticity and validity of your marriage license, making it recognized in countries that are part of The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961.

While online marriages conducted by a Courtly officiant may be legally permissible within the United States, it is crucial to note that foreign countries or immigration authorities may not always recognize these ceremonies as valid. This is particularly important to consider if your partner is a foreign national. It is advisable to research and understand the specific requirements and regulations of the country where you intend to have your marriage recognized to ensure compliance with their legal standards.

Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Married Online in Florida with Courtly

With Courtly, couples have the convenience of completing the entire marriage process online from any location. Obtaining a legitimate U.S. marriage certificate is quick and easy, typically taking less than 48 hours, and no documentation is required.

1. Create an account

To get started, simply create an account by clicking the "Get Married" icon in the top right corner of the Courtly website. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the sign-up procedure and gain access to your account.

2. Decide on the format, setting, and officiant

Once your information is verified, you can decide on the format, setting, and officiant for your ceremony. Choose a venue and ceremony style that suits your preferences. Courtly will match you with a legally qualified U.S. officiant based on your selected time and day.

3. Make your payment

After selecting your wedding package and making the payment, you will receive an email confirmation from Courtly. This confirms your booking and sets the stage for your upcoming wedding. For complete information on our available wedding packages and add-ons, please check our Pricing Page.

4. Celebrate your online marriage

On your special day, gather your family and friends online to celebrate your marriage. The online ceremony typically takes around 15 minutes to complete and can be done from the comfort of your home or any location with a reliable internet connection.

Following the ceremony, you will receive a digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate within 24 hours. A printed copy will be delivered to you within 1-2 weeks. You can download your digital marriage license soon after the wedding.

Conclusion

Getting married online in Florida has become a streamlined and convenient process. With platforms like Courtly, couples can complete the entire procedure from any location, eliminating the need for in-person visits and reducing paperwork. 

By following a few simple steps, such as creating an account and uploading necessary documents, couples can obtain a legitimate U.S. marriage certificate quickly and easily. Courtly simplifies the entire experience, providing a user-friendly interface and efficient service to ensure a smooth journey toward marriage.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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