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The Difference Between a Marriage License and Marriage Certificate

Before exchanging rings, you will need a Florida marriage license.

The main difference between a Certified Marriage License and a Certified Marriage Certificate is that the license must be obtained before the wedding, while the certificate is issued after the marriage has taken place.


  • A marriage license is a legal document that entitles a couple to marry. A marriage certificate is an official document proving you are legally married.

Getting your Florida Marriage License

  • To obtain a marriage license in Florida, the couple will be required to appear together at a local government office (Clerk of Court) to apply.

Getting your Florida Marriage Certificate

  • A marriage certificate will be sent to the married couple by the local county after the ceremony.

To learn more, download the new Florida Marriage License Packet to assist you with the Florida marriage license process, as well as offer you helpful information on popular marriage topics.