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How do I Obtain a Marriage Certificate?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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The procedure you'll have to follow to obtain a marriage certificate may depend on your jurisdiction. In many places, however, you can apply for a copy of a marriage certificate through the Vital Statistics Office or a similar agency. You will typically have to fill out a request form and pay a fee to obtain a copy of a marriage certificate. Additionally, some jurisdictions have laws that require you to prove that you have the right to receive a copy of this document. For example, you may have to prove that you are one of the people listed on the marriage certificate, a close family member of either of the people on the certificate, or an attorney who needs the certificate for a court case.

The process you will have to follow to obtain a marriage certificate isn’t usually difficult or complicated. In most cases, you will only have to complete a form and pay a fee to obtain one. Depending on the jurisdiction in which you live, you can obtain a marriage certificate from the Vital Statistics Office, the Marriage Bureau, or a similar agency. Many agencies that are responsible for these records will allow you to apply for a copy in person or via the mail. Often, these agencies also have websites through which you can complete and submit the required forms.

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To obtain a marriage certificate, you will likely have to gather some important information and use it to complete the required forms. You will likely need to know the full names of the bride and groom on the marriage certificate as well as their birth dates and the date on which they were married. You may need the maiden name of the bride as well. Learning the county in which the marriage certificate was filed may also prove helpful when you are applying for a copy of a marriage certificate.

If you are one of the people listed on the marriage certificate, you usually have the right to obtain a copy of it. This may also hold true if you are an immediate family member of either party listed on the certificate. Some places have laws that govern granting copies of marriage certificates to individuals who do not fit this criteria. For example, some jurisdictions require individuals to obtain consent from the bride or the groom if the marriage certificate is less than 50 years old. If the parties are deceased, however, such consent rules do not apply.

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