Whether you just had a marriage ceremony or you’re doing your homework in advance, it’s helpful to learn how to get a copy of marriage certificate documents before you start filling out the mountain of paperwork that comes along after the big day. (Note: For LGBTQ couples, find out if your state recognizes marriage or civil union.)
You have three options when seeking a copy of your marriage certificate—applying in person, by mail, or online. In the following sections, we’ll explore all three and discuss when you might need a copy of your important marriage documents.
Note: There’s a difference between a marriage license vs. certificate. The former is needed for someone officiating the marriage ceremony whereas the latter is for the couple to signify their marital status.
If you’re wondering, “How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate,” you’ve come to the right place.
Getting a copy of your marriage certificate is pretty easy, but some methods are more time-consuming than others. Let’s take a look at your three options for getting your hands on this vital record.
While the entire process can be done online (see below), many individuals still apply in person. Each jurisdiction has different requirements, but the general process is as follows:
While this is generally what you should expect when applying in person, there are some things to consider before taking this route:
Instead of filing paperwork in person, your jurisdiction likely allows you to file a vital record request by mail. The process won’t be all that different from applying in person:
While this might sound like a convenient way to request documents from home, you’ll have to pack your patience due to the processing time. Requesting a copy of a marriage certificate by mail will likely take much longer than applying in person, and the fees will likely be the same.
Neither applying in person nor applying by mail seem like very convenient options. Luckily, there’s an online solution to long lines or confusing documentation. Using our GOV+ platform, you can request certified copies of numerous documents like your marriage license, marriage certificate, birth certificate, and more without leaving home. Plus, you can complete your requests in three simple steps:
A marriage certificate has one crucial function—proving your marital status after you say “I do.”
But who needs this proof? After you get married, you’ll have to report your marital status to a variety of agencies, any of whom could ask for a certified copy of your marriage certificate:
If you are remarrying after a divorce, you would also need to know how to get a divorce certificate. There are plenty of other reasons for getting a copy of your marriage certificate, such as applying for a joint credit card or filing the birth record of your newborn child. Or maybe you need to get the marriage certificate of your parents. For example, one parent died, and the surviving spouse is registered as the beneficiary of the deceased. This is when a marriage certificate is necessary aside from providing the death records of the deceased.
While you can stand in line at the courthouse or wait for eons for the vital records office to process a mailed application, why not take an easier, simpler route?
With Gov+, you can submit a request for a marriage certificate within minutes. Plus, after you get the copies you need, we can help you complete a variety of other government tasks, too, like:
It’s the digital age—we can help you complete government requests online even if your jurisdiction is still lagging behind.