I’m a Florida Notary. My stepson is getting married and wants me to do the ceremony. Can you explain to me what we need to do for me to perform the ceremony? — C.P., Orlando, FL
Florida Notaries are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies. In Florida, unless the Notary is also a clergy member, the Notary-performed marriage is a civil ceremony (FS 117.045 and 741.07).
The Notary must ensure that the couple presents a valid marriage license from a county court judge or clerk of the circuit court. The Notary may then perform the ceremony within the boundaries of the state (2001 RMN, p.16). Finally, the Notary is responsible for completing the certificate on the appropriate portion of the marriage license. The Notary must then return the license to the office of the county court judge or clerk of the circuit that issued the license within 10 days after the marriage is performed (FS 741.08).
Note that while Florida law prohibits Notaries from performing other types of notarizations for spouses, sons, daughters, mothers or fathers (FS 117.107), an Attorney General opinion says Notaries may perform marriage ceremonies for someone related to the Notary by blood or marriage. For details on performing the ceremony, please see the Governor’s Reference Manual For Notaries, page 16 or the NNA’s Notary Marriage Kit.
Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors
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