For additional information or questions about Marriage Licenses please contact the Official Records Department.
WHO MAY APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE?
- Any male or female age 18 or over.
- Minors, who under oath, swear that they are parents or expectant parents of a child. In addition, the pregnancy must be verified by a written statement of a licensed physician or a certified copy of a child's birth certificate must be presented. When the fact of pregnancy is verified by the written statement of a licensed physician, the County Court judge may issue a license to marry after counseling has been completed.
- A previously married minor.
- A person age 16 or 17 with parental or guardian consent.
WHERE CONSENT IS REQUIRED, IS CONSENT OF BOTH PARENTS REQUIRED?
Yes, unless the parents are divorced and the custody and control is placed in one parent, then only the parent having such custody and control shall be required to give the written consent. All written consents must be acknowledged (notarized). If the parents have been granted shared parental responsibility, both parents must sign.
IS THERE A WAITING PERIOD FOR ISSUANCE OF THE LICENSE?
Yes. There is a three day waiting period if either of the parties to the marriage are residents of Florida. This waiting period will be waived if both parties provide proof of having received pre-marital counseling from a provider who has been approved by the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Polk County. A list of approved pre-marital counselors is available on this website as well as from the Courthouses in Bartow, Lakeland and Winter Haven. Couples who provide proof of having completed pre-marital counseling may obtain a marriage license and be married the same day.
WHO ARE THE APPROVED PROVIDERS OF THE MARRIAGE CLASS IN POLK COUNTY?
Check the premarital course providers list on the right.
ARE BLOOD TESTS AND PHYSICAL EXAMS REQUIRED?
No. The law requiring these tests was abolished October 1, 1986.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER REQUIREMENTS?
Yes, the law requires applicants to have read the Marriage Handbook and affirm that they have read it when applying for a marriage license. If either party has been married previously and is no longer married because of divorce or death of the spouse, you will need to provide the date (month/date/year) the divorce was granted or the spouse passed away in order to complete the marriage license application.
Both groom and bride must appear with valid I.D. Acceptable proof of identification: Driver's License, Passport (picture on passport needs to look like person), Florida State ID Card, Military Identification Card, Resident Alien Card, Naturalization Certificate, Visa, or Citizenship Certificate.
You will need to know your Social Security Number.
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.
WHERE CAN I APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN POLK COUNTY?
A marriage license 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 may be obtained at the Lakeland and Northeast branch Courthouses.
HOW LONG IS A MARRIAGE LICENSE VALID ONCE IT IS ISSUED?
The marriage must be solemnized within sixty (60) days of issuance of the Marriage License. The ceremony can be performed anywhere in the State of Florida.
WHO MAY PERFORM MARRIAGE CEREMONIES?
- A regularly ordained minister or other ordained clergy;
- Elders in communion with some churches;
- All judicial officers (Judges) of the State of Florida;
- Clerks of Circuit Court and their deputies of the State of Florida; and
- Notaries Public of the State of Florida.
- In addition, the law provides that marriages may be performed among "Quakers" or "Friends", in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies.
WHO IS A "REGULARLY ORDAINED MINISTER"?
He/she is a minister who has been recognized in the manner required by the regulations of the respective denomination to perform marriage ceremonies.
MAY A MARRIAGE BE SOLEMNIZED WITHOUT A LICENSE?
No, Section 741.08 F.S. states that the party solemnizing the marriage shall require a properly issued license before performing the ceremony.
WHEN AND WHO SHOULD RETURN THE LICENSE TO THE CLERK?
A marriage cannot be officially recorded until the license is returned to the Clerk. It should be returned within 10 days after the wedding. The party who performed the marriage is responsible for returning the completed license.
CAN I BE MARRIED IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE?
Yes. Deputy Clerks are authorized and available during normal working hours to perform marriage ceremonies. The fee for this service is determined by Florida Statute and is available in the Fees & Costs section of this website.
WHAT IS THE FEE FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE?
The fee for a marriage license is listed in the service fee schedule.
CAN I PAY FOR MY MARRIAGE LICENSE WITH A PERSONAL CHECK?
No, payment for marriage licenses must be made by cash or credit card.
CHANGING INFORMATION ON DOCUMENTS
If your marriage means a change in name and/or address, remember to make the following important notifications:
- Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Division of Drivers License.
- Your nearest Social Security office.
- Your voter's registration office.
- Military Reserve commanding officer.
- Beneficiaries: Members of your family are probably named as beneficiaries or joint owners on many of these documents (bank accounts, insurance policies, employment benefits, etc.) and you may wish to make your spouse the new beneficiary or joint owner.
WHERE TO WRITE FOR A COPY OF YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE
Department of HRS
Division of Vital Statistics
P. O. Box 210
Jacksonville, FL 32231-0042
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If you were issued your marriage license in Polk County contact:
Stacy M. Butterfield, Clerk of Circuit Court
Drawer CC-11, Post Office Box 9000
Bartow, FL 33831-9000