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Are witnesses required for marriage in Florida?

Marriage is a legal commitment between two people that is recognized by the state in which it is performed. When couples decide to solemnize their marriage in Florida or any other state in the US, they may be curious about the requirements of the ceremony and the legal obligations associated with the act. Among the questions they may have is whether witnesses are required for their marriage to be recognized in the state. In this blog post, we will explore this question and provide further information on the matter.

Florida Marriage Requirements

Before delving into whether or not witnesses are required for a Florida Marriage, it’s essential to understand the prerequisites of marriage in Florida. To get married in Florida, you need to obtain a marriage license, which is valid for 60 days after issuance. To get this license, both partners must apply in person together and present a valid ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Additionally, they must be at least 18 years of age, or have the permission of a parent or guardian if they are younger than that. Both parties must also provide their social security numbers. Upon issuance of the license, there is a mandatory three-day waiting period before the ceremony can take place, unless the couple completes an approved premarital course, in which case the waiting period can be waived.

Witness and Marriage

Now back to the main question, are witnesses required for marriage in Florida? The short answer is no; witnesses are not required for a marriage to be legal in Florida. The couple getting married, as well as the officiant, are the only individuals required to sign the marriage certificate. It is crucial to understand that although two witnesses have spaces provided for them to sign on the marriage certificate, it is not necessary for them to do so. Witnesses might come in handy in the future if the proof of marriage ceremony becomes necessary for a legal proceeding. In such an instance, it is advisable that two witnesses sign the marriage certificate alongside the couple and the officiant.

Why Have Witnesses?

Even though witnesses are not required in Florida, having them offer strong evidence that the couple has entered into a valid marriage. If, at some point in the future, the couple needs to prove that they were married, the evidence presented by witnesses that were present during the ceremony can help establish the validity of the union. Such evidence could be required for legal proceedings like property disputes or inheritance battles that result from a divorce or death of one of the spouses.


In conclusion, it is not necessary to have witnesses when getting married in Florida. The officiant marrying the couple and the couple themselves are the only required signatories on the marriage certificate. However, it may be a good idea to have witnesses sign the marriage certificate as it could help in the future if the legitimacy of the union is called into question. It is best to make sure to follow all legal requirements to ensure a valid union under Florida law.


Can you get married without witnesses?

When getting married or forming a civil partnership, having witnesses is a key requirement. According to the laws in most countries, it is not possible to tie the knot legally without having at least two witnesses to sign the schedule.

Witnesses can be family members, friends, or acquaintances, but they cannot be anyone who is directly involved in the ceremony or has a vested interest in the union. They are required to be present throughout the ceremony, understand the proceedings, and be able to speak and understand English as well.

Although you might think having witnesses is an outdated formality, it serves a critical purpose. Witnesses are there to verify that the marriage took place, and that both parties agreed to it voluntarily. Their signatures on the marriage license confirm that the ceremony was carried out according to the law and that the marriage is legally binding.

Moreover, having witnesses present at your wedding can also add to the emotional significance of the moment. They can share in your joy, inspire you to pledge your love and commitment to one another and give you words of encouragement that will stay with you for a lifetime.

While it is possible to have non-binding symbolic ceremonies without any legal requirements, if you want to ensure that your marriage is legally recognized and that you have all the benefits that come with it, having witnesses is a must. witnesses play a fundamental role in legalizing a marriage or civil partnership and help to safeguard the authenticity of the ceremony.

Can anyone officiate a wedding in Florida?

In Florida, the state has specific criteria for who can officiate a wedding. According to Florida law, only certain officials are authorized to solemnize marriage. These authorized officials include Florida Supreme Court justices, district court of appeals judges, circuit court judges, retired circuit court judges, county court judges, United States district judges, United States magistrate judges, and clerks of the circuit court.

To become an authorized wedding officiant in Florida, one must be ordained or licensed by a religious denomination. This means that if a friend or family member is ordained or licensed by a religious organization to perform weddings, they can officiate a wedding in Florida. It’s important to note that even if someone is ordained or licensed, they must still present their credentials to the county clerk in the county where the wedding will take place before the wedding ceremony.

Moreover, if the person officiating the wedding is not an authorized official or ordained by a religious denomination, the marriage will not be recognized as legal in the state of Florida. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that the individual performing the marriage ceremony is authorized to do so to avoid any legal complications.

It’s worth noting that while anyone can participate in a wedding ceremony, such as providing an inspirational message or prayer, the vows and pronouncement should be done by authorized officials. The ceremony must also comply with the state’s strict rules and regulations. Non-compliance can result in an invalidated marriage.

To officiate a wedding in Florida, one must either be an authorized official or be ordained or licensed by a religious organization. Ensuring that the individual performing the marriage ceremony is authorized is crucial to avoid any legal complications that may arise.

Can I notarize my husband’s signature in Florida?

In Florida, notarizing a document involves a notary public verifying the signer’s identity and their signature. While notarization helps to deter fraud and ensure that legal documents are authentic, notaries are not allowed to notarize documents involving their family members. According to Section 117.107(11) of the Florida statutes, notaries cannot notarize documents if the person whose signature is to be notarized is the notary’s spouse, son, daughter, mother, or father.

The reason for this rule is to prevent any potential conflicts of interest and to maintain impartiality. If a notary were to notarize their family member’s signature, it could potentially call into question the legality and validity of the document, as the notary may be seen as having a personal interest in the matter. This could create ethical dilemmas and, in some cases, even legal trouble for the notary.

That being said, if you need your husband’s signature to be notarized for a legal document, you can seek out a different notary public in Florida to assist you. Look for a licensed and experienced notary who can help you with the process. It is important to make sure that the notary is impartial and doesn’t have any personal interest in the matter. By following the rules and guidelines set in place by the State of Florida, you can ensure that your document is properly notarized and legally valid.