Main » Certificate of Marriage » Marriage License Records
Share/Bookmark

Marriage License Records

Thanks to the connective power of the Internet marriage license records can be found and accessed online. These records are accessible to the public and are mainly used for future references and studies. Most people use these records to supply information about their family history and for genealogy research, as well as providing official documents in legal proceedings, such as proof of identity and inheritance, divorce and for quick check on marital background of a prospective spouse or partner.

In the past, searching for marriage license records was certainly no picnic, because you would have to go through painstaking piles of hardcopy archives. This took time and effort and was extremely time consuming. A good portion of these searches used to be carried out by professional investigators and government officials. With the advent of the Internet, you can find the information you want without leaving your home: all you need is a computer and online connection.

In the United States, marriage records are considered public information. The Department of Health and Human Services in any given state can help you obtain a copy of your marriage certificate or even help you obtain a marriage licenses to begin the process. Because of the Freedom of Information Act of 1966, every individual has the right to freely retrieve and view marriage records information as long as they follow the proper procedure.

The broad designation of marriage records, typically contain general information such as: full names of the bride and groom, the date and year of marriage, the county were the marriage took place and the name of the officiating minister. These days many marriage records include other information such as the names and birthplaces of the bride's and groom's parents, the residential address of the bride and groom, information about previous marriages (if any) and the names of witnesses who attended the wedding ceremony. Marriage license records are often the specific information that is being sought after. These records represent the legitimacy of the marriage between two particular people and are used as key documents, especially in legal proceedings.

The Internet has made it very easy for anyone to obtain information quickly and easily without attracting suspicion. Marriage certificates are filled out and filed in triplicate: one is given to the bride and groom, another to the solemnization official and a last to the local government (which is responsible for maintaining records). You can get information on marriage licenses online, but please note that only the certified hardcopies are recognized for official purposes. There may be variations on this practice from one state to the other, because public records fall under the authority of individual states.

Online Marriage Records Finders


Searching for marriage records is very easy, especially if you have high-speed Internet access. You can also request and obtain hardcopies of marriage license in the United States offline; all you need to do is to write to the Vital Statistics Office in the state or county where the marriage took place. In order to ensure that you receive an accurate record for your request, and to make sure your request is filled with all due speed, you are advised to follow these steps:
  • Make sure your letter is very brief and straight to the point.
  • Make sure you do not include more than one or two requests at a time, and also ensure that you do not confuse your family line details.
  • Make sure you provide a self addressed, stamped envelope.
You should provide complete information on the individual and event for which you need the documents. You should include the following:
  • A list of dates and a description of the nature of the event as vividly and accurately as you possibly can.
  • If you are not sure of the exact date of the wedding (which is quite common) make sure you specify the span of years you wish searched. You should prepare to pay for searches that span several years back.
  • Alternate spellings.
  • Make sure you type or print all the names and addresses in your letter.
  • If you are impatient, you will have to learn how to exercise some patience because county offices are usually understaffed and swamped with paperwork.
You also need to include the following information in your request:
  • The date of the request
  • Full name of the groom -- the surname should be in capital letters.
  • Full name of the bride -- the maiden name of the bride should be capital letters.
  • Date of wedding ceremony
  • Location where the wedding took place (city, town, county or state)
  • Relationship to the bride and groom
  • The reason for which the record is needed
  • Requestor's full name and address
  • Requestor's driver's license number and state - this is required by some states
  • Requestor's signature

Even for people who are not computer savvy, you can find marriage license records online, without undergoing any kind of professional training at all. The exchange of information is one of the most convenient aspects of the Internet. You do not have to spend a single cent when you are searching for marriage licenses on the internet. You do not have to travel thousands of miles in order to search for marriage records. You can get all the information you need from the comfort of your chair.

You would not believe the lies many people have told in the past about their marital status, especially to unsuspecting employers. Some people have lied to their employers, saying that there were married -- while in fact they were not. In the United States, everyone (or almost everyone) knows that as a married man or woman, you are entitled to certain benefits. Some people take advantage of this fact and therefore lie about being married. Most employers never bothered to search for marriage records, because in the past it was quite expensive and time consuming to do so. With modern technology, you would not dare tell a lie about certain personal information, especially your marital status, because the truth is only a few clicks away.

The Internet has set most people free from the shackles of ignorance and brought them into the blissful world of information right at their fingertips. If you live in the United States, any state Departments of Health and Human Services can help you find useful information on marriage records. With the Internet you can actually find out who your ancestors were by simply reviewing marriage license records. It is great to know that you can travel back in time and discover so much of yourself, who you are and where you come from.