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Know Your Important Dates

Effective Date - First Day You Can Marry

Box 18a on your license shows the effective date of your license. This is the first day you can get married. Your ceremony must be on or after your license effective date to be valid.

REMINDER for Florida Residents
Your effective date will be 3 days after your license is issued. You must wait 3 days before you can get married, unless you showed proof of completing a Premarital Counseling Course (F.S. 741.04) at the time you applied.

Expiration Date - Last Day You Can Marry

Your marriage must take place in the State of Florida before the 60-day expiration date. Box 19 shows the last day you can get married with your license.

Return Date

Your completed (executed) Marriage License must be returned to the Clerk and Comptroller within ten (10) days after the ceremony. If your license is not returned to the Clerk and Comptroller, there will be no record of your marriage. The Wedding Officiant is responsible for returning the license, but the couple or another trusted person can also return the license. Review the Instructions for Wedding Officiants handout and information below.

Who Can Perform Your Ceremony?

Florida Law determines who can marry you. Whomever you decide to perform the ceremony does not need to register with the Clerk and Comptroller's office. Simply make sure that the person you want to perform your ceremony (your Wedding Officiant) is one of the following.

  • Ordained minister, clergy, or elder in communion with some church
  • Florida Judicial Officer (Judge), including retired judicial officers
  • Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court
  • Florida Notary Public only
  • Society of Friends or Quakers

Who cannot perform your ceremony?
Out-of-state Notaries, persons who are not ordained, and family or friends who are not one of the above groups of people authorized by Florida Law to perform wedding ceremonies.

Instructions for Wedding Officiants

After the wedding, remember to return the signed Marriage License.

Within 10 days after the wedding, the completed Marriage License must be returned to the Clerk and Comptroller. Verify the following dates, and that the required boxes are completed on the license before you return it.


  • If the license is not returned to the Clerk and Comptroller, there will be no official records of the marriage.
  • Legible type or print the ceremony information in black ink only.
  • The couple does not need to sign the license after the ceremony.
  1. Check that the ceremony took place between the Effective Date (Box 18a) and the Expiration Date (Box 19).

  2. Complete the required boxes 21 through 23C with the ceremony details.

     Box  Action
     Box 21  Enter the date of the ceremony
     Box 22  Enter the town, city, or location of ceremony
     Box 23A  Sign as the Officiant (the person who performed the ceremony.)
     Box 23B  Print the name AND title of the Officiant
     Box 23C  Print the address of the Officiant
  3. Complete additional information (optional)
     Box 24  Signature of first witness (optional)
     Box 25  Signature of second witness (optional)
  4. Return the Marriage License within 10 days in person to one of our office locations, or by mail to our mailing address.

Print a copy of these Instructions for Wedding Officiants. View an example of a completed Marriage License.


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