Welcome to the Bulloch County Probate Court. We are here to serve you to the best of our ability, and within the confines of the laws of the State of Georgia.
Marriage Licenses and Concealed (Weapons) Carry Permits are by appointment only. Applications may be found online at georgiaprobaterecords.com. After submitting the application online, please call our office at (912) 489-8749 for an appointment time.
Standard forms for petitioning the Court may be found at georgiacourts.gov/probate. Once you are at that site, scroll down and you will find “Standard Forms.” After completing your petition in full, you may email the petition to our court for a bill statement or bring it to the Courthouse at 2 North Main Street.
This Court will continue to address mental health issues, and other emergency situations on a case-by-case basis.
This office cannot provide direction or guidance on the ramifications of the “Constitutional Carry” legislation which is now in effect other than to note that this legislation did not affect the issuance of Weapons Carry Licenses, or the cost thereof.
The Probate Court Judge, Clerk, and staff are committed to providing you with excellent customer service. We will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns that you may have about Probate Court services or procedures. Please be advised, however, that state law prohibits our staff from rendering legal advice, restating the law, or recommending specific ways to pursue legal action. Nothing on this web site is intended to advise anyone regarding legal remedies for a particular circumstance.
Many matters of law are quite complex and may require special knowledge of legal principles and procedures. If you have a problem involving the interpretation of the law, we suggest you contact an attorney licensed in the State of Georgia. Although we cannot recommend a specific attorney, you may contact the attorney of your choice.
Under certain circumstances, probate courts have jurisdiction over the appointment and supervision of temporary and permanent guardians for minors. A permanent guardian may be appointed for a minor who has no living parents or, after notice to the parents without objection, when the parents fail to properly care for the minor. Permanent guardianship of a minor, though similar, is not the same as legal custody of a minor, which may be granted only by superior or juvenile courts in Georgia.
Temporary guardianship may be granted to a person having physical custody of a minor in need of a guardian. The consent of the natural guardian(s) must be given in writing or the natural guardian(s) must be given legal notice of the proceeding. The probate court may not grant temporary guardianship of a minor over the objection of a natural guardian. The natural guardian(s) of a minor is/are the parents, if living, or the parent(s) having legal custody of the minor if the parents are divorced or were never married. The granting of temporary guardianship of a minor does not permanently terminate the parental rights of the parents. Temporary guardians hold, during the term of the temporary guardianship, all of the powers of a natural guardian, which will include the authority to consent to medical treatment and to enroll the child in school. Temporary guardians may be required to file reports on the personal status and conditions of the minor.
Probate courts have jurisdiction over the appointment and supervision of guardians and conservators of adult persons found to be incapacitated by reason of physical or mental illness to such an extent that the adult is no longer capable of making reasonable and rational decisions concerning his or her person or of managing his or her money and property. Guardians made decisions concerning the person of the Ward, and Conservators manage and make decisions concerning the income and property of the Ward. Conservators must be bonded for the value of all income and personal property of the Ward, and Guardians may be required to post bond. Guardians an incapacitated adult must file annual reports on the physical/mental status of the ward. Conservators must file an inventory of assets, an asset management plan and annual financial accountings, all of which are subject to review or audit by the staff of the probate court. The appointment, supervision, removal and discharge of guardians, conservators and their sureties are within the exclusive, original jurisdiction of the probate courts.
Probate courts have jurisdiction over the appointment and supervision of Conservators for minors. A Conservator may be required if a minor inherits money or personal property not in a trust or under the management of a testamentary conservator, when a minor has received an award of damages in a personal injury lawsuit, or when a minor is the named beneficiary of life insurance or retirement benefits. Conservators must be bonded for the value of all income and personal property of the Minor. Conservators must file an inventory of assets, an asset management plan and annual financial accountings, all of which are subject to review or audit by the staff of the probate court. The appointment, supervision, removal and discharge of conservators for minors and their sureties are within the exclusive, original jurisdiction of the probate courts.
Cost and Investigations
There are court costs and fees which must be paid in connection with any guardianship and/or conservatorship case. Attorneys’ fees will also be involved in many cases. Particularly for adults, consideration should first be given to Alternatives to Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship. Most probate courts will require that all conservators and some guardians, particularly guardians of minors, undergo a criminal background check before appointment. Services caseworkers, social work professionals, and skilled and personal care facility administrators and staff.
If one of the parties is a resident of Georgia, the license can be issued in any county.
If neither party is a resident of Georgia, the license must be issued in the county in which the marriage ceremony is to be performed.
The parties must be of sound mind, must have no living spouse from an undissolved prior marriage, and must not be related in a degree prohibited by law. Both parties must be at least 18 years of age. A 17 year old may be issued a marriage license only if all of the following are met:
•A petition is granted in juvenile court for emancipation and a certified copy of such order is presented (see §15-11-720).
•15 days have passed since the date the order granting emancipation was granted.
•The older party to the marriage is no more than 4 years older than the younger party.
•Applicants have completed premarital education according to §19-3-30.1 (there are additional counseling requirements for those 17 years old).
•As of July 1, 2019, no one under the age of 17 shall be issued a marriage license in the State of Georgia. Parental consent to a marriage license is no longer allowed in this State.
Premarital Education Program
Under Georgia Law, a couple who presents to the court at the time of making application a certificate of completion of a qualifying premarital education program shall not be assessed a marriage license fee (other charges may apply). The premarital education shall include at least six hours of instruction involving marital issues, which may include but not be limited to conflict management, communication skills, financial responsibilities, child and parenting responsibilities, and extended family roles. The premarital education shall be completed within 12 months prior to the application for a marriage license and the couple shall undergo the premarital education together. The premarital education shall be performed by:
A professional counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist who is licensed pursuant to Chapter 10A of Title 43;
A psychiatrist who is licensed as a physician pursuant to Chapter 34 of Title 43;
A psychologist who is licensed pursuant to Chapter 39 of Title 43; or
An active member of the clergy when in the course of his or her service as clergy or his or her designee, including retired clergy, provided that a designee is trained and skilled in premarital education.
Surname (Last Name)
The applicants must designate on the application the legal surname that will be used after the marriage. An applicant may choose his or her given surname or his or her surname as changed by order of the superior court, the surname from a previous marriage, the spouse’s surname, or a combination of the spouse’s surname and the applicant’s given or changed surname or surname from a previous marriage.
As of July 1, 2003, premarital blood tests are no longer required. The State of Georgia, however, recommends that each applicant applying for a marriage license obtain a blood test for sickle cell disease prior to obtaining a marriage license. Pleaseclick hereto access an informational brochure on sickle cell disease.
The cost of the marriage license is $76. If the couple presents the “Certification of Completion of Qualifying Premarital Education” to the court at the time the license is issued, the cost will be $36. Certified copy and certificate will be ready for mailing within 10 business days following the date it was returned to the office.
Having the Probate Judge Officiate your Marriage Ceremony
Marriage applications may be requested Monday thru Friday, 8am-4pm, with both parties present with required paperwork. It is the responsibility of the couple to schedule an independent officiate to perform the wedding ceremony. The Judge of the Probate court will no longer be performing ceremonies at the office.
1 As of 7-1-2006, a doctor’s statement as proof of pregnancy or birth certificate of a child for any person under the age of 18 wishing to marry in Georgia will no longer accepted. An emancipated adult must have parental consent to marry (OCGA 15-11-208).
Georgia driver’s license, Georgia State ID card, or voter’s registration card with current address; Foreign nationals must have INS resident card. If you are a naturalized US citizen, you should bring your naturalization papers.
Payment – $79 (new applications); $36 (renewals) (payable by cash, check, money order and credit/debit cards).
Fingerprint and applications are accepted Monday-Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Licensing exceptions. No license shall be granted to:
Any person under 21 years of age (Age if under 21 proof of completed basic training or honorable discharge is required);
Any person who is a fugitive from justice or against whom proceedings are pending for any felony, forcible misdemeanor, or violation of Code Section 16-11-126, 16-11-127, or 16-11-128 until such time as the proceedings are adjudicated;
Any person who has been convicted of a felony by a court of this state or any other state; by a court of the United States including its territories, possessions, and dominions; or by a court of any foreign nation and has not been pardoned for such felony by the President of the United States, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, or the person or agency empowered to grant pardons under the constitution or laws of such state or nation or any person who has been convicted of a forcible misdemeanor and has not been free of all restraint or supervision in connection therewith for at least five years or any person who has been convicted of a violation of Code Section 16-11-126, 16-11-127, or 16-11-128 and has not been free of all restraint or supervision in connection therewith for at least three years, immediately preceding the date of the application;
Any individual who has been hospitalized as an inpatient in any mental hospital or alcohol or drug treatment center within five years of the date of his or her application. The probate judge may require any applicant to sign a waiver authorizing any mental hospital or treatment center to inform the judge whether or not the applicant has been an inpatient in any such facility in the last five years and authorizing the superintendent of such facility to make to the judge a recommendation regarding whether a license to carry a pistol or revolver should be issued. When such a waiver is required by the probate judge, the applicant shall pay to the probate judge a fee of $3.00 for reimbursement of the cost of making such a report by the mental health hospital, alcohol or drug treatment center, or the Department of Human Resources, which the probate judge shall remit to the hospital, center, or department. The judge shall keep any such hospitalization or treatment information confidential. It shall be at the discretion of the probate judge, considering the circumstances surrounding the hospitalization and the recommendation of the superintendent of the hospital or treatment center where the individual was a patient, to issue the license; or
(A) Any person, the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection notwithstanding, who has been convicted of an offense arising out of the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug.
(B) As used in this paragraph, the term:
(i) ‘Controlled substance’ means any drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in the definition of controlled substances in paragraph (4) of Code Section 16-13-21.
(ii) ‘Convicted’ means a plea of guilty, a finding of guilt by a court of competent jurisdiction, the acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere, or the affording of first offender treatment by a court of competent jurisdiction irrespective of the pendency or availability of an appeal or an application for collateral relief.
(iii) ‘Dangerous drug’ means any drug defined as such in Code Section 16-13-71.
Adequate time to complete application and be fingerprinted. Additional time will be required if there are complications submitting fingerprints or if additional information is found to be required.
Receipt of License
License will be mailed to the applicant in approximately 2 to 4 weeks.
Firearms License Replacement cost is $6.00 (applicant must present a police report & proper photo ID)
There are a number of different proceedings which may be filed in the Probate court following the death of a Georgia resident or a non-resident owning property in the State of Georgia. Proceedings are filed in the Probate Court of the county of the decedent’s residence in Georgia or in the county where property of a non-resident is located. For each proceeding described, there is a standard form, which the Court will provide to any petitioner.
Having an attorney present is strongly recommended for all proceedings.