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Helen Hewell
Probate Judge
Banks County
Probate Court

Judge Helen Hewell

Banks County Probate Court will serve the citizens in an effective, efficient, impartial and professional manner to perform the duties assigned to it under the constitution and laws of Georgia.  Georgia Probate Courts exercise exclusive, original jurisdiction in the probate of wills, administration of estates, appointment of guardians (minor and adult) and involuntary hospitalization of incapacitated adults and other individuals.

All probate court judges administer oaths of office, issue marriage and firearms licenses; some process United States Passports applications. They may hold habeas corpus hearings or preside over criminal preliminary hearings. Unless a jury trial is requested, probate court judges may also hear certain misdemeanors, traffic cases and violations of state game and fish laws in counties where there is no state court. When authorized by local statute, probate judges serve as election supervisors and make appointments to certain local public offices.


Banks County Probate Court Services: (Click to Expand)
The Banks County Probate Court is responsible for handling:
  • Administration of Estates
  • Birth Certificates
  • Custodian of All Records
  • Death Certificates
  • Firearms Licenses
  • Guardianship
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Misdemeanor game and fish citations
  • Misdemeanor traffic citations
  • Probate Wills
NOTE: Probate issues can be very sensitive. To save time and money, we strongly recommend you hire an attorney to handle these intricate and sensitive issues.

Check out our frequently asked questions below for more information.
Marriage Licenses: (Click to Expand)
Marriage Licenses are issued daily from 8:30 - 4:00  EST and cost $67.00 cash or check. Applicants must apply in person and present identification which contains each applicant's full name and date of birth. Click here for a copy of marriage application. 

Applicants may apply for a marriage license in any Probate Court in Georgia, provided at least one of the applicants is a resident of Georgia. If neither applicant is a resident of Georgia, the couple must apply in the county where the ceremony will be performed.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. If either applicant is 16 or 17 years of age, parental consent will be required to obtain a marriage license. No license can be issued to any person under the age of 16.

If either applicant had a previous marriage, documentation must be submitted at the time of applying, which indicates how the previous marriage was dissolved (divorce decree, death certificate, etc.)

If applicants have completed a six hour premarital education program, the cost of the license is $27.00. If the applicants have not completed such a program, the cost of the license is $67.00.  Click here to download a certification form   Please make sure this is signed by counselor and also notarized. 

You must have:
  • State issued identification.
  • If you have been married, we must see a copy of your final divorce decree signed by the judge or a death certificate if widowed.
Fire Arms Licenses: (Click to Expand)
Fire Arms Licenses are issued Monday through Friday from 8:30 - 12:30 and 1:30 - 4:00 EST and cost $30.00 cash or check. The process takes about 15 minutes and includes a photograph and electronic signature.  You will also need $50.00 for fingerprinting at the sheriff's office. This must be paid by cash or money order.  You must have a valid Georgia issued identification showing residence in Banks County.

Licenses are valid for five years.  The issuing of a new license usually requires two to four weeks and your new license will be mailed to you.

If your license is lost or stolen, please contact the Probate Court immediately.
  • Law for Firearms License
  • Application for Weapons Carry License
  • New Probate Court Forms
  • Available for Download
For more information regarding firearms permit. More
Guardianship: (Click to Expand)

Adult Guardianship

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 make 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 of 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. More

Minor Guardianship

Probate courts have jurisdiction over the appintment and supervision of guardians and conservators of minors.  Following are examples of types of cases in which the Probate Court may appoint a guardian or conservator of minor child:

  • Temporary guardianship of a child under age 18 if either or both parents are still living.  Both parents will be required to consent.  Temporary guardianship will allow the guardian to enroll the child in school, authorize medical treatment, etc.
  • Permanent guardianship of a child under age 18 if both of the minor's parents are deceased or parentsl rights of any living parent have been terminated by a court.
  • Conservatorship of the property of a child under the age of 18 when such property is valued at $15,000 or more and is to be received by the minor through such sources as inheritance, judgments, settlements or life insurance benefits.

Conservatorship & Guardianship Videos

Traffic and Game/Fish Violations Information: (Click to Expand)


Traffic tickets may be paid in person, sent by mail or paid online.  If paid in person, we accept cash, money order or credit/debit card. When paying by card, name on card must match person presenting card.  There is a 4% processing fee charged for each card transaction.

When paying a traffic fine by mail, please include your name, citation number and /or driver's license number along with payment. Payments must be in the form of a money order, or other certified funds and made payable to Banks County Probate Court. NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

You may choose to pay for your tickets online via a convenient service provided by a secure third party payment company. Major credit cards are accepted. There will be a small fee paid to the provider to cover the cost of this convenient and secure payment service. CLICK HERE to pay your tickets online.

Click here for information regarding Georgia Super Speeder Law.


Wills: (Click to Expand)
If you are a Banks County resident and would like to file your Last Will and Testament for safe-keeping, the Banks County Probate Court can provide this service for a $15.00 fee. To file the will, it must be in a sealed envelope. It is kept in the Probate Court for safe-keeping and is not public record.

For more information regarding wills, please click here.   More
Certified Copy of Documents: (Click to Expand)
Banks County Probate Court is the custodian of vital records which includes birth and death records. Certified copies cost $25.00 for the first copy and $5 for each additional copy. For standard Probate Court forms and other information no listed here, click on

To request a certified copy of marriage license or application for marriage license:
  • Marriage must be since 1859
  • Provide request in writing by mail or in person at the office
  • Name of groom and bride at time of the marriage
  • Date of marriage
  • $11.00 money order (or cash in person)
  • Self-addressed envelope if mailed
To request a certified copy of Birth or Death Certificate:
  • Birth must be since 1861
  • Death must be since 1924
  • Provide request in writing by mail or in person at the office
  • Signed request with (photocopy of) state issued picture identification
  • Full name of birth of person
  • Date of birth or death
  • County of birth or death
  • Full name of parents.
To request a certified copy of wills, estates, guardianships and other probate records:
  • Record must be for event no earlier than 1859
  • Provide request in writing by mail or in person at the office
  • Explanation of the record requirement
  • Full names of parties involved
  • Date of record


Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can the staff at the Probate Court office provide legal advice?
A: No. If you have any legal questions or concern regarding an estate or guardianship matter, you may want to consult with an attorney.
Q: How can I pay the fee or fines?
A: Payments may be paid by cash, money order or credit card.  Credit card payments must be paid online.  Cash, card or money order may be paid at Probate Court.  Money orders may also be mailed in before your court date.   NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Q: When will my court date be?
A: Please refer to date on your ticket or call the Probate Court for court date.

Month In Which Case Was Made DUI Cases Other
January will be heard on March 8 March 7
February will be heard on April 5 April 4
March will be heard on May 17 May 16
April will be heard on June 14 June 13
May will be heard on July 12 July 11
June will be heard on August 9 August 8
July will be heard on September 6 September 4
August will be heard on October 18 October 22
September will be heard on November 8 November 7
October will be heard on December 13 December 12
November will be heard on January 11 January 10
December will be heard on February 8 February 7

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