Alabama legislature passes new marriage certificate law

LAMAR COUNTY, Ala. (WCBI) – Some objections to signing marriage licenses for same-sex couples led to a change in Alabama law this past legislative session.

The new law goes into effect this Thursday.

Alabama has done away with the traditional process of getting a marriage license.

It’s safe to say some folks won’t be needing a white dress or tux – all you need is a pen and paper.

In the state of Alabama, there’s a new law for couples who want to come together in holy matrimony.

Instead of obtaining a marriage license, Alabama legislators passed a new law for marriage certificates to take effect on August 29.

Lamar County Probate Judge Sharon Nethery said steps to get married will now be reduced by half.

“The certificate is a form that you will print out and sign in the presence of a notary. And then you will bring it to the probate office and file it and pay your fee for marriage,” said Nethery.

She said marriages will be finalized on the date both signatures are notarized.

Nethery said couples have 30 days to return the form to the probate office or it will be invalid.

There’s also a change for kids that want to get married.

“Typically both parents have to sign for a minor child to get married, at this point, only one parent now is required and there’s no verification required from anyone to verify this is the parent signing this document,” said Nethery.

While legislators may have provided an easier way to become a spouse, the once sacred tradition of marriage could be slipping away.

In the new law, it states couples aren’t required to perform a ceremony to celebrate their union.

“The sentimental part of it to me and the sanity of it. For me, that’s a drawback. A anniversary date is a very important date,” said Nethery.

Nethery urged those seeking marriage to observe the new law fully, and be mindful that marriage fees vary in different counties.

Those who have applied for marriage before August 29 will still be filed under the old marriage law and procedures.

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