Watermark’s Guide to Getting Married

By : Staff Report
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Florida’s fight for same-sex marriage has a victor – equality!

The hold on same-sex marriages in the state of Florida expires at end of the day Jan. 5, which will open the door to same-sex couples first thing Jan. 6.

Now that all the court mumbo-jumbo is over, what do same-sex couples need to know to tie the knot? Watermark created a guide for same-sex couples hoping to get married after Jan. 5 in Florida.

Here’s what you need to know, starting with information that applies to all Florida residents, followed by a county-by-county breakdown of requirements and information.

ALL FLORIDA RESIDENTS
Where do I obtain a marriage license?
Marriage licenses are issued by your county, and you can apply for your license at any county clerk’s office. Here is a full list of Florida’s Clerks of the Courts (http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=51). Please check individual office websites for operating hours.

What documents do I need to obtain a license?
Bring identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID card or valid passport. Both parties’ presence is required to provide their Social Security numbers. Couples are required by law to read the Family Law Handbook supplied by the clerk and sign a statement acknowledging that they have done so before applying for the license.

What if I’ve been married before?
In nearly every county Watermark contacted, if either applicant has been divorced, you must provide the Clerk with the date the divorce was finalized.

How much does a marriage license cost?
Obtaining a marriage license will cost you $93.50. The costs can be reduced by up to $32.50 if you complete a licensed Florida pre-marital course.

How long is a license good for?
Marriage licenses are valid for 60 days after being issued. You must perform the marriage ceremony before those 60 days are up.

Is there a waiting period? If so, how long?
Yes, there is three-day waiting period after your license is issued before you can get married. This waiting period is waived if you have completed a licensed Florida pre-marital course. Many clerk’s offices have a list of eligible online courses on their websites – check there first. Some counties have opted to waive that three-day waiting period without the course – Watermark will publish a list of those counties soon.

If I’m already married in another state, do I need to get married in Florida to have it recognized?
No.

Must I apply for a marriage license in the county where I live?
No. A marriage license may be applied for and solemnized in any Florida county.

ORANGE COUNTY
Orange County will be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting Jan. 6.

What do I need to apply for a marriage license?
In addition to the state-required documents listed above, you will need the following:
-Download the application, complete it and bring it with you to apply.
-If the parties applying for a license have children together that were born in Florida, they must fill out the Affirmation of Children Born in Florida form (DH743A). This form requires notarization, which can be done at the Clerk’s Office for a fee of $7.
-Both parties must apply together in person.

How can I apply?
You can apply in person Monday through Friday (except holidays) at the following Clerk’s offices:
Downtown Courthouse- 425 N. Orange Ave., Room 355, Orlando
-450 N. Lakemont Ave., Winter Park
-1111 N. Rock Springs Road, Apopka
-475 W. Story Road, Ocoee
-684 S. Goldenrod Road, Pinar Plaza, Orlando

Are there any additional fees?
Most forms of payment are accepted, including cash, money order, cashier’s check (payable to the Orange County Clerk of Courts), MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. There is a $3.99 surcharge added to all credit card transactions, and no personal checks are accepted. There is also an additional fee of $30 if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office.

Has the county prepared for Jan. 6?
Clerk Russell ensured that the county will be prepared to take on any extra traffic on Jan. 6 due to the issuing of marriage licenses. Forms have not been changed but couples can change the wording how they see fit.

SEMINOLE COUNTY
Seminole County will be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting Jan. 6.

What do I need to apply for a marriage license?
In addition to the state-required documents listed above, if either party was previously married they must provide the date the last marriage ended. If the previous marriage ended within the last 30 days, you must present a Certified Copy of your Final Judgment or Annulment Order, or a death certificate for your deceased spouse.

How can I apply?
You can apply in person Monday through Friday (except holidays) at the following Clerk’s offices:
-Seminole County Courthouse- 301 N. Park Ave., Room N101, Sanford
-Branch Office at Oak Groves Shoppes- 995 N. State Road 434, Suite 403, Altamonte Springs
-Branch Office at Wilshire Plaza- 376 Wilshire Boulevard, Casselberry
You may fill out the application beforehand online.

Are there any additional fees?
There is an additional fee of $30 if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office.

Has the county prepared for Jan. 6?
As of Jan. 2, Clerk’s office employees said no forms have been updated, and that they haven’t been informed of any changes as of yet.

For more information visit: http://www.seminoleclerk.org/FeesAndForms/

VOLUSIA COUNTY
The Volusia County Clerk of Court’s website states they will issue same-sex marriage licenses beginning Jan. 6.

They will be issued at the Volusia County Courthouse, DeLand and Daytona Beach Courthouse Annex from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Marriage ceremonies will ONLY be performed at the Volusia County Courthouse, due to the anticipated volume of marriage licenses to be issued on Jan. 6, until further notice.

How can I apply?
Marriage licenses must be applied for in person with both parties present. However, you can save time by completing the Marriage License forms online. Also, in special circumstances, applicants serving in the military who are unable to apply in person may contact the office of the Clerk of Circuit Court to make the appropriate arrangements. Marriage license applications are accepted at the Volusia County Courthouse, Room C119, DeLand and Daytona Beach Courthouse Annex, Room 100.

Are there any additional fees?
There are no additional fees, but if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office, it costs an additional $30. Most forms of payment are accepted, including cash, money order, cashier’s check and credit cards.

For more information visit: https://www.clerk.org/html/marriage.html#overview

PINELLAS COUNTY
As of Jan. 2, Clerk of Courts Ken Burke says that the county is ready to issue licenses and start performing wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples starting Jan. 6. Offices will be open during regular hours according to the Tampa Bay Times.

How can I apply?
Marriage licenses must be applied for in person with both parties present, however, you can save time by completing the Marriage License forms online.

Are there any additional fees?
There are no additional fees, but if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office, it costs an additional $30. Most forms of payment are accepted including: cash, money order, traveler’s check, personal check (name and current address must be imprinted on check and you must present a photo ID) and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover or American Express.)

For more information visit: http://www.pinellasclerk.org/aspInclude2/ASPInclude.asp?pageName=marriage.htm#obtain

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
Hillsborough County Clerk of Court’s website states they will issue same-sex marriage licenses beginning Jan. 6. Offices are open during their regular business hours.

Clerk of Court Pat Frank also obtained a permit to perform wedding ceremonies in Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park in Downtown Tampa. If the courthouse chapel cannot hold all the people that turn out to receive licenses, she will use Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park, which is across the street from the courthouse, for overflow.

How can I apply?
Marriage licenses must be applied for in person with both parties present. However, you can save time by completing the Marriage License information sheet online here (http://www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=2032).

Are there any additional fees?
There are no additional fees, but if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office, it costs an additional $30. The following methods of payment are acceptable: cash, money order, traveler’s check, personal check (name and current address must be imprinted on check and you must present a photo ID) and credit card.

For more information visit: http://www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/marriage_license.aspx

BREVARD COUNTY
The Brevard County Clerk of Court’s website stated they will issue same-sex marriage licenses beginning Jan. 6. They will begin issuing licenses at 8 a.m. Deputy clerks will also be made available to perform ceremonies for interested couples.

How can I apply?
Marriage licenses must be applied for in person with both parties present. However, you can save time by completing the pre-application online. Your submitted form will be sent electronically to one of the six branch offices once completed. You may also apply to marry through the mail.

Are there any additional fees?
There are no additional fees, but if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office, it costs an additional $30. The following methods of payment are acceptable: cash, money order, traveler’s check, personal check (name and current address must be imprinted on check and you must present a photo ID) and credit card.

For more information visit: http://brevardclerk.us/how-to-apply-for-a-marriage-license

POLK COUNTY
Polk County Clerk of Court Stacy Butterfield stated in a news release on Jan. 2 that Polk County will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Jan. 6 at 8 a.m. during normal business hours.

“We appreciate the swift response from Judge Hinkle,” Clerk Butterfield said in the press release. “My job as Clerk is to follow the law. Judge Hinkle’s order states that the constitution requires issuance of same-gender marriage licenses. In accordance with our mission, we will comply with the order and look forward to providing excellent service to all our customers as we enter a new era in the State of Florida.”

How can I apply?
Marriage licenses may be obtained Monday through Friday 8:00 am. to 5:00 p.m. at the Marriage Division of the Clerk of Circuit Court’s Office on the first floor of the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow. Licenses also can be obtained at the Lakeland and Northeast Branch courthouses. Both parties must apply together in person.

Are there any additional fees?
There are no additional fees, but if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office, it costs an additional $30. The following methods of payment are acceptable: cash, money order, traveler’s check, personal check (name and current address must be imprinted on check and you must present a photo ID) and credit card.

For more information visit: http://www.polkcountyclerk.net/Marriage-Licenses/

SARASOTA COUNTY
Clerk of Court Karen Rushing issued a memo on the Sarasota County Clerk of Court’s website stating they will begin issuing marriage licenses to all couples starting Jan. 6. They will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How can I apply?
Marriage licenses can either be applied for in person with both parties present, or parties can skip the line and use one of the self-serve kiosks located in the Customer Service area at the Clerks’ business offices listed below.
-Sarasota Main Office- Customer Service Dept., 2000 Main St., Sarasota
-Venice Branch Office- R.L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice

Are there any additional fees?
There are no additional fees, but if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office, you will be required to pay an additional $30. The following methods of payment are acceptable: cash, money order, traveler’s check, personal check (name and current address must be imprinted on check and you must present a photo ID) and credit card. All credit card transactions are subject to a 3.5 % non-refundable fee.

For more information visit: http://www.sarasotaclerk.com/?Page=51

MANATEE COUNTY
The Manatee County Clerk of Court’s website posted a memo stating that on county clerks will start hosting same-sex marriages and issuing licenses on Jan. 6. Offices will be open during regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How can I apply?
Marriage licenses can either be applied for in person with both parties present, or skip the line and apply online.

Are there any additional fees?
There are no additional fees, but if you wish to wed at the Clerk’s Office, you will be required to pay an additional $30. The office accepts cash, personal checks, cashier’s check, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

For more information visit: http://www.manateeclerk.com/departments/marriagelicence.aspx

PASCO COUNTY
In an email to Watermark on Jan. 2, Clerk of Courts Paula O’Neil said Pasco County will be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting Jan. 6. They will be open during their regular office hours, and will have extra staff available in case of a large turnout. She also stated that they will not be offering wedding ceremonies at either office location.

How can I apply?
Marriage licenses may be obtained in person at either of the two office locations. Both parties must apply together in person.
-East Pasco Government Center-14236 Sixth St., Suite 201 Dade City
-West Pasco Government Center- 8731 Citizens Drive, Suite 220, New Port Richey

Are there any additional fees?
There are no additional fees. The following methods of payment are acceptable: cash, money order, traveler’s check, personal check (name and current address must be imprinted on check and you must present a photo ID) and credit card.

For more information visit: http://www.pascoclerk.com/public-sup-svcs-marriage-info.asp

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