FAQ for Florida Premarital Course and Florida marriage license

Payment Questions, Florida Premarital Certificate Questions, Premarital Course & Quiz Questions, Legal Questions
(Click here for information on what you need to get a Florida marriage license )

Payment Questions

• Do we both have to pay the $30 for the Florida premarital course?

NO.  One payment gives you the premarital course for both of you to use.  If your fiance is in another location, you can forward the automatic letter with the link to him/her and they can download their own copy.

• Do I have to have a Paypal account?

No.  Paypal allows you to pay with any credit card.  NOTE:  Paypal allows you to use a direct transfer or e-check from your bank account.  If you do this, it takes them 3-5 days to process it and you don’t receive the course until the processing clears.  Unless you have plenty of time before your wedding, I don’t recommend this.

Here is how to pay with OR without a Paypal Account:
• When you click on the Add to Cart button, you will be taken to a page that asks you to enter your country and zip code.
• After you do that,click on Update Cart
• Then, click on the PAYPAL button – even if you don’t have or want a Paypal account.  This is simply to process payments.
• On the next page you will have an option to either log in and pay with a Paypal account OR to pay with any Credit Card even if you don’t have a Paypal account.
• Then it will give you a place to enter your credit card information.  That information is handled through Paypal’s secure server.  It does not come to me or anyone else and is secure.
• Then you follow the rest of the buttons, Review & Continue, etc.

• Can I use my parent’s or friend’s credit card or my company account to pay for the Florida premarital course?

Yes, BUT be sure to let me know by e-mail what name the registration is under and what your name is when you let me know that you have completed the course and quiz. I have had certificates delayed because I can’t match up the name with the registrations.

Certificate Questions:

• How should we list our names for the premarital certificate?

When you do the quiz, you will be asked to put your current legal name.  That means first and last name, not just Joseph or Mary.  The name you put should match what is on your driver’s license or the legal identification that you plan to use to verify who you are when you go to the Clerk’s office.  The certificate name has to match that first and last name or they will not accept it.

• How long does it take to get my premarital certificate?

After you complete the required time and pass the short quiz, you will receive the certificate by e-mail the same day --if you complete the course before 12pm (unless there is a hurricane, internet provider problem, etc.). Sometimes you will get it within the hour.  Other times it could be several hours or at the end of the day.   I am a marriage and relationship counselor with clients during the day, and occasional meetings outside the office.  I do the certificates as quickly as possible.  I check and do them throughout the day as I can, in the evening, and first thing in the morning.

If you want to be sure to get your premarital certificate for the same day, be sure to complete your course and quiz by 12 PM-- and before 8:00AM on Fridays!  I will always check first thing on Friday mornings, but I am frequently in meeting on Friday or leaving early for a workshop.  Sometimes I just take Friday afternoon off and do errands. ALWAYS check the first page of this website for any vacation/out-of-town notices. I will always try to post them in advance.

• I did my quiz yesterday and still don't have my premarital certificate -- what's up and what do I do?

• Check your SPAM or JUNKfolder.
• Check other e-mail accounts that you may have used or put on the quiz.
• If you did it from someone else's computer and sent e-mail to notify me that you are finished from their account, it may have gone to them.
• Make sure you have removed any spam filters or approval requirements that may be holding up the e-mail.
• If you still have not found it, e-mail me and give me your e-mail again and an alternate e-mail so I can send to both. Sometimes there is a typo in the e-mail address or a problem in your Internet provider (Some hate attachments! AOL seems to have the most problems. The certificate is a PDF file. )
• If you still don't find it, contact me by email and I will re-send it.

• What if my premarital certificate comes out with strange characters on the page?

Occasionally that happens and most often depends on what program you are using to open the PDF file. Adobe Acrobat Reader should always open it correctly both on Windows and Mac computers. Mac Preview normally opens it correctly, but if not, try Acrobat. Other programs are likely to give you mixed results. Adobe Acrobat is often already on most computers, but if not, you can download it for FREE here. Make sure you get the right version for your computer. They have older versions HERE.

• Will we get 2 premarital course certificates or one with both names?

Most often I put the certificate in both names, assuming that both of you have done the premarital course and each done a quiz.  If only one person is taking the course, you will have a place on the quiz to let me know whether or not your partner will be taking his/her own quiz.  If you write NO, I will just issue an individual certificate.  If later the person decides to do the premarital course and quiz, I can either issue them an individual certificate or create one with both names.   To have both names on a certificate, both must take the same premarital course and their own quiz.

• For how long is the Florida premarital certificate valid?

For one year from the date it is issued.

Questions about the Florida Premarital Course or Quiz:

• How do I take the premarital course?

When you purchase the course, you will immediately have a link on the screen to download it. If by chance you miss it, you will receive an automatic letter entitled Premarital Course Important Info & Links that has the link again. READ and SAVE that letter. It has important information AND the quiz links.
• Download the premarital course to your computer because the link will expire. Once you download it, you can take your time in doing it. The quiz links will not expire.
The course is in a PDF file that you can either read on your computer or print out. I recommend printing it out, especially any pages with activities.
• Spend the required time and then take the quiz AFTER you have done the course.
• Notify me and I will review the quiz and assuming you pass it, I will then send the certificate.
The certificate will be sent as a PDF attachment through e-mail. Monroe and Pasco County require hard copies.

• How long does the Florida premarital course take?

Florida law requires that you spend a minimum of 4 hours on the premarital course. It is not my rule. It is not just my course. It is true for every premarital course because it is Florida law.

You can read the material probably in an hour and a half. (If English is not your primary language, it may take longer. Hopefully in the future we will have it in other languages!) The rest of the time is to be spent doing the activities and discussion questions together. You are meant to interact with each other, not the computer! Couples enjoy the discussion questions and regularly comment that they learned new things about themselves and sometimes were able to talk about important things, including some they never thought to discuss.

* When I try to download the premarital course, it tells me it is expired and I just purchased it.

Let me know and I will re-activate the link. However, I would suggest you try to access the new link with a different web browser or device. Sometimes browsers 'ping' the site multiple times to try to make it load faster and multiple pings will expire the course.

• Can I buy the premarital course now, but do it in a month or more?

Yes. Be sure to download it to your hard drive because the link will expire. But once you download it, you can take as much time as you want to start and finish it.

• Where do we get the links to the quiz?

The links to the quiz are at the bottom of the letter you will receive after you purchase the course. There are separate links for the male and female. If you mix them up, don't worry. It's just so that you don't have the same exact quiz.

• What is the quiz like? What if one of us doesn't pass? I have a phobia about tests!

• If you actual AFTER you have done the course.  If you have forgotten something, you can always look it up again. 
• Most of the questions are either multiple choice or Ture/False. There are no 'trick' questions, but it does require that you read the course. There are also a few asking you what you learned about your partner, etc.  
• Occasionally, people will not get enough correct answers on the objective questions, although I think most often it is because they didn't actually read the course!  If that happens, I will usually send you the questions you missed so that you have an opportunity to review those sections again and submit the correct answer.    If you just try to guess your way through it and miss half or more, I will either have you do submit some of the written activities you did together or have you review the course and try again.   My goal is not to trick you or prevent you from passing or stop you from getting married.  It is simply a way of making sure people actually read and do the course.

Legal Questions:

• How do I know if you are really registered in my county?

The counties listed on this website are the counties where I am registered.  I am usually listed under Dawn J. Lipthrott, LCSW, but sometimes they list it under the Relationship Learning Center.   Online and printed directories with individual counties are often not kept up to date. One person received a directory that was 2 years old. So while I am listed in most, there are a few in which I am not listed even though I am approved. If you have any doubt, call the Clerk's office. But if any of these counties listed on my site say I am not listed, it is because someone in the office is not bothering to check or is looking it up incorrectly.

• What if you are not approved in my county, but we really need the premarital course? Can we get the marriage license in one county, but get married in a different one?

I have not registered in all counties, but have approval in major counties all over the state. If I am not approved in your county, you can get your license in a neighboring county where I am approved and then get married in your own county. Florida does NOT require that you get married in the same county of your license. Once you have your license, you can get married anywhere in Florida. But you will need to file your paperwork after your ceremony in the same county where you obtained your license and they will keep your records there.

• Is an online premarital course accepted in Florida?

Yes. If it is done by a registered premarital courseprovider and meets all the requirements of the law. Here is the section of the law:
"Each individual shall verify completion of the course by filing with the application a valid certificate of completion from the course provider, which certificate shall specify whether the course was completed by personal instruction, videotape instruction, instruction via other electronic medium, or a combination of those methods."
Florida Statutes 741.0305 (1)

• If my partner is NOT a Florida resident, does he or she have to do the premarital course?

It depends on how your individual county interprets the law. Check on your county’s marriage license website or call them to be sure. Many do NOT require it, but a few do because they interpret the law differently. Also note that they are referring to your LEGAL residence. Even if you have been at college or working in another state for a year, but still have your driver’s license or other legal residency here, you are considered a resident of Florida.

Most couples, even if one person is not required to take it, do the course as a couple for their own benefit and also because you have to meet the 4 hour requirement. It does not take 4 hours to read the course. So that means that you need to spend time doing the activities.

• What if my partner is in the military or out of state?

You can each read your own copy of the course and then do some of the actifvities by e-mail, telephone or Skype.  One person who’s fiance was in the military in Iraq said that doing the activities by phone and e-mail made them feel more connected while he was there.

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