Marriage in Florida, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

Marriages are also possible in Florida for non-resident individuals, a marriage in Florida registered at the competent court is valid in Germany without restriction as well. An apostille is also recommended in many cases.

The marriage requires a Marriage License which is available in the Marriage Licenses Office at the county court (Clerk of County Court).

Usually, the Marriage License can always be requested from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday (not on public holidays).

The minimum age for both applicants is 18 years (The 2018 Florida Statutes, Title XLIII, Chapter 741.04). Minors who have completed at least the age of 17 may receive the Marriage License only upon presentation of written consent from the legal representatives (parents or guardian); the consent must be certified by a civil servant authorized to notarize and accept sworn statements. In addition, the older of the two persons willing to marry may be no more than two years older than the minor. Applicants under the age of 17 can not be allowed to marry after changing the law in March of this year.

Upon filing, U.S. and Residents are required to submit their Social Security Number. Foreigners who have no U.S. Social Security Number, have to sign by their Alien Registration Card or if not present, such as tourist, passport, identity card, driver’s license or any other valid photo ID. In a few counties in addition to the presentation of additional papers, such as the birth certificate required.

In case of presentation, the exact date of termination of the marriage must be stated. It must also be explained whether the marriage was dissolved by divorce, rescission or death. The information must be made in writing and affirmed in lieu of oath. Evidence is usually not required.

Only in the event that the Marriage License is applied for within 30 days of termination of the previous marriage, it also requires the presentation of an officially translated divorce decree or a death certificate.

Blood or other medical examinations are not required. If the applicants provide all necessary documents, the Marriage License is usually issued immediately. The wedding must be done within 60 days after issuing the Marriage License. The Marriage License is valid throughout the state of Florida, the wedding does not have to be in the county of the exhibition.

The fee for a Marriage License is at about US $ 93.50. If the wedding is scheduled to take place there in Miami-Dade County, e.g. another fee of US $ 30.00 is charged.

Since 01.01.1999 a law provides that the fiancée upon application to prove participation in a four-hour so-called Premarital Course (The 2018 Florida Statutes, Title XLIII, Chapter 741.04 para. 5). It is a kind of „marriage preparation course“ in which applicants are informed about the nature, rights and obligations of marriage. If the fiancée can not prove that they have taken part in such a course, the period between the issue of the marriage license and the wedding must be three days. However, fiancés who are not ordinarily resident in Florida do not have to wait that long anyway.

To marry on presentation of the Marriage License are entitled:

– clergy of all denominations
– Judicial Officers
– Public Notaries (Notaries public)

If the bride and groom do not speak English, an interpreter must be brought, unless the person arranging the ceremony performs the ceremony in German (see below).

Groomsmen are possible but not compulsory.

In order for the marriage to be recognized in Germany, it is essential to register with the competent court (Clerk of Court Offices, see above), recognizable by a corresponding imprint on the top right of the document. Otherwise it is recommended to apply for an apostille which is required in some federal states for the subsequent registration of the foreign marriage. If in doubt, please inquire in advance at your local registry office in Germany, if this is required there.

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