Frequently Asked Questions


What is an adpotion?
Who may adopt?
Who can be adopted?
What steps are usually involved in an adoption?
What is a Pre-Placement Investigation?
Is it always necessary to have a Pre-Placement Investigation?
Whose consent to the adoption is required?
Can a minor consent to the adoption of his or her child?
Can a person revoke consent to adoption executed by him or her due to the fact that at the time the consent was given that person was a minor?
When, where and in what form must a consent or relinquishment for adoption be given?
When may a consent or relinquishment be withdrawn?
Where is a petition for adoption filed?
When is a petition for adoption filed?
Can I pay the parent of a minor or unborn child for the child?
What expenses can I pay?
How confidential is an adoption?
What is the difference between an adoption by a stepparent or a close family member and other adoptions?
Can grandparents obtain visitation rights to see the adoptee after the adoption?


What is a Conservator?
Who is an incapacitated person?
Who can serve as a conservator?
When can a conservator be appointed?
What are the powers and duties of a conservator?
Am I required to have a lawyer?
What is the difference between a guardian and a conservator?
What are the steps followed in appointing a guardian or conservator for an adult?
Is a bond required?
Is an inventory required?
Are accountings required?


What is a guardian?
What is a ward?
Who can be a guardian for an adult?
Who can be a guardian for a child?
Can a parent appoint a guardian?
Can a spouse appoint a guardian?
What are the powers of a guardian?
When does guardianship end?

Estates with Wills

What does probate of a will mean?
Who should probate a will?
Where should a will be probated?
When must a will be filed for probate?
Do I have to have a lawyer?
Do I need to probate the will?

Estates without Wills

What happens to my property if I do not write a will?
Steps in probate of an estate?
What are the powers and duties of a personal representative?


What is a will?
Who may make a will?
How do I make a will?
May I dispose of my property in any way I desire by making a will?
How do I know if I need to write a will?
When do I need to write a will?
Who may draft a will?
Is a will expensive?
May a will be charged once it is written?
How long is my will 'good'?
What should I do with my will once it is written?


How has the marriage process changed under the new law passed in 2019 by the Alabama Legislature?
Where can I find the new Alabama Marriage Certificate form?
Can I still have a marriage ceremony performed?
How is the date of my marriage determined under the new law?
What does “the latter of the dates of the spouses’ signatures” mean?
When does my marriage become “legal”?
What happens if the Alabama Marriage Certificate form is not delivered to the probate court within 30 days of the spouses’ signatures, as required?
Can minors marry in Alabama?
Where can I find a notary? Will there be a charge for notary services?
How much does it cost to record a marriage with the probate court?
Am I required to record the Alabama Marriage Certificate form in the probate court of the Alabama county where I or my intended spouse reside?
Can I mail the Alabama Marriage Certificate to the probate court?
Will the probate court provide me with a certified copy of my Marriage Certificate after it has been recorded?
How do I get additional certified copies of my Marriage Certificate?


When I sell or otherwise dispose of my vehicle, does the license plate remain on the vehicle?
What is the fee to transfer a license plate?
What items should I bring to register a newly acquired used vehicle from an Alabama licensed dealer?
Does Alabama law require the vehicle operator to retain registration documents within the vehicle for possible presentation to law enforcement?
What are the prerequisites for registration?
Is emission testing a prerequisite to registration?
Is a registrant required to prove that he/she has liability insurance?
Is it necessary for the license plate issuing official to inspect the vehicle?
How does one obtain a personalized license plate?
What is the fee for a personalized plate?
How does one obtain a disability parking credential?
Am I required to surrender to the license plate upon Revocation of the Registration?

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Administrative Building

462 N. Oates St.
Dothan, AL 36303

Monday - Thursday
7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Department Hours May Very
Closed Holidays

County Courthouse

114 N. Oates St.
Dothan, AL 36303

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.