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Probate Court
Hall County Courthouse - 1st Floor

Our office is located on the first floor of the Hall County Courthouse. Office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday except county holidays when the Courthouse is closed.

Probate Court issues marriage licenses and weapons carry licenses as well as handles estates when a person dies and guardianship and conservatorship proceedings for minors or incapacitated adults. Probate Court also has exclusive jurisdiction over commitments to involuntary evaluation and treatment for people with mental, drug, or alcohol issues.

Hall County Probate Court has expanded jurisdiction under Article 6, Title 15, Chapter 9 of the Official Code of Georgia. The Code requires that Probate Judges in counties of population over 96,000 must have the same qualifications as a Superior Court Judge, including a minimum of 7 years of experience practicing law.

The Probate Judge will perform marriage ceremonies by appointment only on Thursdays between 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Couples wishing to schedule a marriage ceremony must already have a marriage license. Please call our office to make arrangements.

For more information:

 Marriage License
 Weapons Carry License
 Guardianship or Conservatorship
 Estates
 Online Forms Library
 Contact Information


Marriage License

Persons must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a marriage license. If either person is age 16 or 17, both parents of this person must sign the marriage application. If the parents are divorced, the custodial parent must produce legal custody documents at the time of application.

New - Applications may now be submitted online. After online submission, both applicants are still required to appear at the Hall County Probate Court to sign the application. Please read the instructions before logging in to understand the process.

 Online Application Form

When applying for a Marriage License, applicants must produce the following:
  1. A valid driver's license, other identification card with photo and birth date, or valid passport.
  2. If either applicant has had a prior marriage they will need to produce, at the time of application, a copy of the Final Judgment or Decree of Divorce signed by the Judge of Superior Court, or if either applicant's former spouse is deceased a death certificate will be required.

As of July 1, 2003 blood tests are no longer required to obtain a marriage license.

Both parties will be required to be present at the Hall County Probate Court at the time of application in order to sign the application. If for some reason this is not possible, one party may come in and supply the information, but prior to the marriage, the other party will be required to come into Probate Court and sign the application.

Cost for a Marriage License: $56.00*.
Marriage Licenses are issued M-F 8:30am-4:30pm.
No appointment is required.

* You may qualify for waiver of the Application fee if you attend a qualifying premarital education program pursuant to Georgia House Bill 378 which entails a minimum of six (6) hours of counseling.

This form should be presented at the time of application in order to receive the discount on your license.

FEES Without
Certification of Premarital Counseling
With
Certification of Premarital Counseling
Application Fee $40.00 $0.00
Vital Records Recording Fee $1.00 $1.00
Children's Trust Fund Fee $15.00 $15.00
TOTAL $56.00 $16.00

The Probate Judge will perform marriage ceremonies by appointment only on Thursdays between 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Couples wishing to schedule a marriage ceremony must already have a marriage license. Please call our office to make arrangements.




Georgia Weapons Carry License

Hall County residents who are at least 21 years old (18-20 year olds with certain military training may apply - please see a clerk for details) may apply for a Weapons Carry License at the Hall County Probate Court. Please bring a valid driver's license or photo ID. At the Probate Court you will complete the application and consent forms to consent to fingerprinting and background checks.

For a list of reasons you may not be eligible to receive a Georgia Weapons Carry License, see The Official Code of Georgia Annotated 16-11-129(b) and 16-11-129(d)(4).

New - Applications may now be submitted online. Applicants must still visit the Hall County Probate Court to sign their application after submission, but using the online form will make your visit shorter. Please read the instructions before logging in to understand the process.

 Online Application Form

Application Process:
  • Apply at the Hall County Probate Court during regular business hours (8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday)
  • Present valid ID with your street address on it.
  • Pay the application fees
  • After you complete the paperwork, you will need to go to the Law Enforcement Center (the old Hall County Jail) located at 610 Main Street, Gainesville, GA between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday. At the LEC, you will have your fingerprints scanned and you need to pay them $25.00 (cash or money order in the exact amount).
  • The Law Enforcement Center staff will take your application from Hall County Probate Court and forward it, with your background check, to the Probate Court when your background check is completed.
  • Depending on what appears in your background check, your license may be mailed to you as soon as 3 weeks from the date you have your fingerprints done. It may take longer if you have a criminal record that needs to be reviewed.
  • Your license is good for a period of five years, after which you must reapply if you wish to have a valid license.
Renewal Licenses:
  • A renewal will be issued under the following circumstances:
    • A person who has a license issued by Hall County Probate Court AND
    • That license has not expired or has not been expired for more than 1 month
  • Renewals must have a name based background search even though fingerprints are no longer required. They will be instructed to request that at the Court Services Division of the Sheriff's Department inside the Courthouse after visiting the Probate Court.
Fees:
  • Probate Court - Original license $74.25 (cash, local check, or credit card with a service fee)

    Renewal license $30.00

  • Law Enforcement Center - Original license $25.00 (money order or cash in exact amount)

    Renewal license $20.00

  • Replacement of lost/stolen card: $6.00

Please be aware that use of a concealed weapon or firearm is regulated by other provisions of Georgia Law. You may wish to review O.C.G.A. 16-11-126 through 16-11-135 for more information.

Q&A:

What if I just want to renew my license?
Renewals must go through the entire process outlined above pursuant to O.C.G.A. 16-11-129.

My fingerprints haven't changed since last time so do I need to go to the jail?
Everyone must be fingerprinted regardless of when and how many times you may have been fingerprinted in the past.

What do I do if I lose my card or it gets stolen?
Contact Hall County Probate Court immediately!



Guardianship or Conservatorship

A "guardianship" is a legal relationship wherein the Court appoints a person (a guardian) to make certain decisions for another person (a ward) proven to need such assistance. The decision-making power removed from a person should be as limited as possible. Under Georgia law, a guardianship shall be "designed to encourage the development of maximum self-reliance and independence in the [person] and shall be ordered only to the extent necessitated by the person's actual and adaptive limitations." (O.C.G.A. 29-5-7(h)). A guardianship can be created on an emergency basis, and it can be temporary (limited in duration) or permanent. Guardianships can be limited in scope, removing as few rights as necessary.

Guardianship is of the person and Conservatorship is of the property. The most restrictive guardianship is a Guardianship and Conservatorship without any limits on the powers of the Guardian/Conservator. A Guardianship can take away a person's rights to decide to marry, make contracts, consent to medical treatment, establish a residence, and bring or defend an action in court. A Conservatorship can take away a person's right to decide to bring and defend actions in court, make contracts, buy and sell property, and enter into business and commercial transactions. Since the Court should remove as few rights as possible, it is essential that any action be specific as to what is needed.

Guardian Eligibility
Any person who is not a minor, has not been deemed "incapacitated" or does not have a substantial conflict of interest can be a guardian. The law lists preferences as to whom the Court should appoint. A person chosen by an adult, especially before any interruption in decision-making ability, has first preference. Thereafter, in descending order, preferences are a spouse, an adult child, and then the parent. The Court may pass over someone considered a preference to appoint someone else.

Appointment of a Guardian
Guardianship is imposed by a formal legal procedure since a person's right to make decisions should not be casually removed. Any interested person may file a petition by completing the form available from the County Probate Court. Limits to the guardianship should be listed in the petition. Friends and relatives should bring the abilities of the person to the Court's attention so rights are not lost unneccessarily.

Guardianship Process:

  • File a completed Petition with the Court and pay the filing fee.
  • The Court will order an evaluation by a disinterested physician.
  • If probable cause of incapacity exists, the Judge will schedule a hearing, at which time the Judge will decide whether or not to grant a Guardianship or Conservatorship or both.
Downloads:

There may be alternatives that you can see rather than a Guardianship or Conservatorship. Please review the "Guardianship and its Alternatives in Georgia" brochure from the Georgia Advocacy Office.

 Georgia standard forms.

The Handbooks for Guardians and Conservators are available for both Guardians/Conservators of adults and Guardians/Conservators for minors in English and Spanish.

The Conservator and Guardian videos for adults and children can be viewed at the Georgia Probate Court website in English or Spanish.



Estates

Please note that when you file your annual return, you must enclose the most current bank statement or an Affidavit of Financial Institution.

 Georgia standard forms.

Q&A:

Do I need a lawyer to probate a will?
The Probate Court does not require that you hire an attorney, but you may need assistance as this is a court proceeding.

Can the Probate Court staff assist me in preparing my petition?
The law prohibits the staff of the Probate Court from giving legal advice or assistance so they cannot help you. If you need assistance, you may hire an attorney.

Why does a will need to be probated?
The word "probate" means "to prove." A will cannot operate under Georgia law until it has been proven by the Court to be a valid will. The Court process allows anyone with standing to object and be heard.

Is my power of attorney still good even though the individual is dead?
No, the power of attorney loses all authority when the person giving the power dies.




Contact Information
Patty Walters Laine
Judge
 Media Resource

Lisa Millwood
Chief Clerk
770-531-6921
 Email

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Gainesville, GA 30501

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