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Process for Obtaining State Marriage Records

Whether you simply need to find your own state marriage record or want to search for someone else’s information, each state designates a specific office to oversee and file these records. Although photocopies are often available free of charge, you must be armed with the correct information in order to ensure you receive the right state marriage license records. Following is the process to obtain state marriage records for you or someone you simply want to learn more about:

Gather the Correct and Necessary Information

The information you’ll need to obtain any record of marriage will be determined by who it is for, how long ago the marriage occurred, and whether you need a certified or non-certified copy. If the marriage record you’re searching for is yours, you simply need to have a couple of forms of government-issued I.D. on hand. This may include a passport, driver’s license or military I.D. 

If you need state marriage records for someone other than yourself, you need to find a little more information before beginning your search. Knowing the bride and groom’s full names, the date of the wedding (or at least the year), and the specific county where it took place will help in finding the correct record. 

Unless you are a direct descendant of the parties named on the certificate, you will not have the option to request a certified copy. However, if you can provide a court order stating that the record is required for you to claim property you legally own, you may be able to obtain a certified copy in some states. 

Contact the Correct Office

Each state designates a specific office to handle these state marriage records, and it’s always a good idea to know where you need to go before heading to the local courthouse. If it is indeed the state that handles the marriage records, the Department of Public Health, the State Registrar, Superior Court or Office of Vital Records may be the best place to start. If you cannot find them in any of these, you may need to start at the county government level and work your way up. County marriage records are typically held in the County Clerk’s office.

Once you find the correct office, contact them directly and double-check what information they need to find the record, what you need to bring with you, and if any fees are involved for copies. Many may also offer the option to obtain state marriage records online.

Finding the marriage record you need is much easier when you are armed with the correct information and know where you’re headed. Search online or call the correct state offices to inquire where you need to go and what you need to obtain these state marriage records, and this will ensure you find the correct paperwork as well as avoid wasting time in the process.


State-Specific Marriage Records:

Alabama Marriage Records

California Marriage Records

Florida Marriage Records

Georgia Marriage Records

Illinois Marriage Records

Indiana Marriage Records

Kentucky Marriage Records

Maryland Marriage Records

Michigan Marriage Records

Missouri Marriage Records

Nevada Marriage Records

Ohio Marriage Records

Tennessee Marriage Records

Texas Marriage Records



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