One of the most common calls we receive are from the fiancé of an incarcerated person requesting information on obtaining the license since the incarcerated person cannot leave the facility to go to the county clerk to obtain the Florida Marriage License. It is important to remember, that once a person is sentenced to prison, he or she loses many of his or her rights. Among what is lost is the ability to decide when the wedding ceremony will take place.
The process begins with connecting with the inmate’s social worker and it would also be a good idea to contact an attorney to ensure that all of Florida’s state’s laws, regulations, and policies are followed. For more information about the actual procedural rules click this link and it will bring you directly to the State of Florida’s rules for marrying an incarcerated person: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleNo.asp?id=33-503.002 . There is a great deal of information and the site should be able to answer most if not of your questions. In sum, letters have to be written to the facility’s warden requesting that he or she approve the marriage ceremony. In addition, the state of Florida requires that the inmate and his or her fiancé submit to premarital counseling. There are also forms that must be completed and this is where having the advice of counsel becomes important because, if the inmate is in good standing, the person should not have an issue gaining approval from the facility.
Regarding Obtaining the Florida Marriage License For a Prison Wedding ceremony…
This is the most important aspect of this posting…DO NOT ORDER THE LICENSE FIRST! There is no guarantee that the facility and its leadership is going to approve the wedding ceremony. Florida Marriage License whether obtained in person or through a Marriage License By Mail service such as FloridaCountyClerk.com does not refund for marriages that do not take place Therefore; it is critical that approval is first granted, an approved date set, and any other required arrangements are made before purchasing Marriage License Services.
With this said, under normal circumstances, most facilities will have no issue approving the wedding. Please keep in mind, that like other branches of government, the wheels turn slow and unless you are told by an authorized representative of the prison that the approval will occur on a certain date, be prepared (AND PATIENT) when sending in the request.
20 thoughts on “Getting Married in Prison”
This article was very helpful. Sadly my fiance was arrested and sent to prison while we were planning our wedding. Knowing that there is a mechanism whereas we can legally get a Florida marriage license and then have the ceremony at the facility will make 2019 a great year! Thank you 🙂
Good evening I’m preparing to marry my long time boyfriend who is incarcerated in punta Gorda Florida if I obtained my marriage license from you will it be valid in Charlotte county
Hi Shawn…The answer to your question is YES! Even though each of the 67 counties in Florida issue marriage licenses, this is a state license and it does not matter which of the clerk’s offices issued it. In addition, there has not been one instance that a facility in a particular county did not accept a marriage license procured by our company because they know there only seven clerk’s offices that have the marriage license by mail service. It is important that you remember that you must have the approval by the facility to have the ceremony before order the marriage license and once issued is good for 60 days. You are always welcome to contact us at (954) 822-0359 or email us at [email protected] 🙂
Hi how long did it take you to marry your boyfriend? My boyfriend is also in Charlotte CI and we just started our marriage process
Thank you for this very valid information. My case is a long story but I’ll make it as short as possible. I am planning to marry my fiancé of 15 years (well you have to be sure?) but I live in the UK and planning to stay here for the time being. We are going through the prison marriage process at the moment, form letters etc. But I need for sanity’s sake to know that when the time is right I am going to be able to obtain a marriage license. I understand it’s not something to do now but I just need reassurance that it can be done, without me having to travel the length and breath of the USA. Because of the distant they are going to be little more flexible on setting the date. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for contacting me…To rest your soul, the marriage license is not an issue. Is it your fiance that is incarcerated? Is he in the states? Keep in mind there is a legal process to obtain permission from a Florida facility in order to be approved for marriage. Once the process is complete, he is approved to marry, and you are ready to come to Florida it will be at that point that I will obtain the license for the two of you.
Here are the rules and processes for getting the prison marriage approved:
33-503.002 : Marriage of an Inmate While Incarcerated – Florida Administrative Rules, Law, Code, Register – FAC, FAR, eRulemaking
Latest version of the final adopted rule presented in Florida Administrative Code (FAC):
Please let me know if you have any other questions….
Hello Dr. G, what county would the license be issued from. I don’t want to pay all this money and it’s not valid. How can I verify this is legit?
Hi Ms. Givens…We are an approved “Marriage License Coordinator” approved by the Lake County Clerk of the Courts. We are authorized to expedite Florida Marriage Licenses by mail and you are always welcome to call the clerk’s office to verify Dr. Spencer L. Gaines at (352)253-2647 prior to ordering your marriage license processing services from us.
We look forward to doing business with you and for you to become one of our vary satisfied clients – Dr. G
My friend is incarcerated in a federal facility in FL, due for release within the year. He wants to marry another male inmate, who is also scheduled for release around the same time. Will they be allowed to marry and then be released to the same address? Or be able to change districts if released to separate states?
Hi Julia – I did a little research and the laws are vague. Your best bet is to contact the Federal prison officials as well as the prison itself. I believe that even though it is a federal facility, each state may have a say on this topic because the marriage license is state issued. Thank you for your question 🙂
If I wanted to marry an inmate in Bowling Green. FL and i live in Idaho do i have to actually come to Florida to get married?
How do I obtain the marriage license in Columbia county without the prison inmate being present? Do I need a paper from the chaplain to do so? The county website says both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license.
Hi Denise…The process is easy and clerk approved. We are one but a few approved marriage license by mail providers. Everything is done over the internet and express mail. We do over 200 licenses for incarcerated people every year and will be very happy to do yours. You can email us at [email protected], or give me a call (954) 822-0359…Look forward to serving you 🙂
My fiance is in Hernando County Jail. He has some mental health issues and we are awaiting his compentcy hearing. We are wanting to get married as soon as possible so I can handle his affairs. I have no clue what to do
Good morning Jamie…The process is quite simple. The first thing you have to do is get the approval of the warden to marry. However; based on his condition, the prison psychologist may also have to affirm that he is in the right state of mind to get married. In other words, the person has to affirm that he is fully aware of the commitment marriage entails. As far as the process of obtaining the marriage license, the facility’s approval is required by law and once you have it, you can then use our service to obtain the license. Remember, once the license is issued it is valid for 60 days. You are more than welcome to contact me at the phone I reached out to you yesterday…Thank you – Dr. G
I have the same question. Every single fl clerk of courts I called all said he got to be there with me for the license or I just cant get one because he is incarcerated. I understand the process of the prision and recently sent off the required documents to them for approval but getting the marrige license seem like a nightmare at this point so how does your service work exactly?
Hi Latisha – it is not true, we do over 200 incarcerated licenses every year. There are 7 clerks offices out of the 67 that have people like me known as “Marriage License Coordinators.” We handle the transaction and issuance on behalf of our assigned clerk Please feel free to contact me at 954-822-0359 Thank you…-Dr. Gaines
Pay for the service ($325.00 includes all costs), complete the official state application, your info is sent to my clerk. They issue two documents (three if you have children together), the application you will have notarized by your notary and complete and sign the state premarital statement. These two documents (3 if you share children) are then mailed to your fiancé, and he will have his section of the application notarized and simply sign the premarital statement. You will include a preaddressed and stamped envelope addressed to the clerk, that he will place the two official documents into. Once the clerk receives the documents they issue the license, and it is express mailed to you…DONE! 🙂
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
My Fiancé is currently incarnated at Apalachee Correctional Institute – West, I am currently working to get approved for marriage. Do I need to verbally call the instution and speak with the classification officer/or Chaplain prior to sending the letter to the Warden, also is there an official form that is required through the Florida Prison system? I am also concerned because there is a significant age difference between him and I, is that something that could cause an issue? We have been together for over two years, prior to his incarnation.
Darla – call me after 2:45 (954) 822-0359 I will explain the process 😀
Hi Darla…feel free to call me and I will tell you about the process…it’s EZ😀
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