Q. Modernizing access to traditional courthouse services has been one of your initiatives. What new online services are available?
A. Making services more available and more secure has been a priority that, frankly, was moved to the top of the to-do list when COVID-19 started and then has continued to linger. Our newest online service is E-Certify, which we launched in late October 2021 and provides easy, affordable access to certified county records. While non-certified copies of court documents and official records are available online for free, customers often need certified copies of documents to prove authenticity — for instance, wills, divorce decrees, marriage licenses or satisfaction of mortgage documents. Through E-Certify, many certified records are available electronically for purchase 24 hours a day through our website at stjohnsclerk.com/ecertify. In addition to convenience and immediacy, benefits to online access include increased security and less risk of document fraud.
Q. Which online Clerk of Court services are accessed most frequently?
A. Although you can still visit us at the courthouse to pay a traffic ticket or a court fine, the online options to pay traffic, criminal and non-criminal citations are very popular and convenient because it’s available 24 hours a day year-round. We offer numerous online services around the clock — you can find a list at stjohnsclerk.com/st-johns-county-clerk-of-courts-online-services-available-24-7-over-the-holidays/.
Q. With Valentine’s Day coming up, are you seeing an increase in marriage licenses?
A. Marriage license applications have been trending upward over the past five years. As you might expect, Valentine’s Day is a popular time for weddings, so I want to remind readers that Florida has a three-day waiting period for residents unless they show completion of a premarital course when applying for a marriage license. Applying for a marriage license must be done in-person in the Recording Department of our office in the Richard O. Watson Judicial Complex. Our website gives all the details and requirements at stjohnsclerk.com/marriage-licenses-ceremonies/. What’s more, our deputy clerks are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies at the courthouse during business hours for a nominal fee ($30). No appointment is needed.
Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you or your office?
A: Visit our website, stjohnsclerk.com, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, call our main number at (904) 819-3600 or visit us at the Richard O. Watson Judicial Complex at 4010 Lewis Speedway in St. Augustine.