Bill to eliminate marriage licenses passes Alabama Senate, moves to House

wedding couple

Marriage licenses may soon be a thing of the past in Alabama.

Rather than getting a marriage license signed by a probate judge, Range-Republican state Sen. Greg Albritton has introduced a bill that would require couples to file a form and have a notarized affidavit with the probate judge in order to record their marriages.

Senate Bill 20 was approved, 22-6, Tuesday night the Alabama Senate. It’s passage comes as few probate judges across the state continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“This bill would specify that the judge of probate would have no authority to reject any recording of a marriage, so long as the affidavits, forms, and data are provided,” Albritton’s bill reads. “This bill would provide that a religious, civil, or independent ceremony of marriage, or other officiation, or administration of marital vows may be conducted or engaged in by the parties.

Instead of issuing marriage licenses, probate judges would be required to collect the following minimum information:

(1) The full legal names of both of the parties.

(2) A notarized affidavit from each party declaring all of the following:

  • a. The affiant is not currently married.
  • b. The affiant is at least 18 years of age; or 21
  • 2. The affiant is at least 16 and under 18 years of 22 age and has the consent of a parent or guardian.
  • c. The affiant is legally competent to enter into a marriage.
  • d. The parties are not related by blood or adoption such that the marriage would violate Section 13A-13-3, Code of 27 Alabama 1975.
  • e. The affiant is entering into the marriage voluntarily and of his or her own free will and not under duress or undue influence

SB20 now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for consideration.

Similar legislation failed to win final approval in the past two legislative sessions.