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Verifying Marriage Registration

Marriage is a sacred institution and most people are looking forward to tying the nuptial knot sometime in the future. These days obtaining a marriage registration form is relatively simple. You can simply -- and discreetly -- verify marriage registration in the United States by only using the internet. With modern technology you do not have to appear in person in order to register for your marriage and you do not need to verify a marriage registration in person either.

Marriage registrations are verified for a number of reasons; the most common reason is to ensure that the marriage between the couple is legal. A marriage is not legal if it has not been properly registered in the state where the marriage has taken place. With the Internet you can verify marriage records in any state in the Union. The Department of Vital Statistics or Health & Human Services (depending on the state) can provide you with information concerning marriage records and other related documents. The great thing about using the internet to verify marriage registration is that you can do it without alerting anyone's suspicion. You can also obtain copies of marriage records as proof of your findings, because marriage records in the United States are considered public documents. Please note though that you will not be provided with the social security number(s) of the participants, for security reasons.

Make Sure Your Marriage Certificate is Registered

A couple who intends to be married needs to understand the processes involved in the registration of marriages. Some states require that the couple apply for a marriage license in person. In some states application for a marriage license must be signed by the bride and groom in front of the town or city clerk -- a representative cannot apply for a marriage license on behalf of the bride or groom, even if the representative has been given the power of attorney. 

It is extremely important that the couple ensure that the marriage certificate is duly registered. In some states, if a town or city clerk issues the marriage license, the marriage license fee will include the issuance of a certificate of marriage registration. Usually the issuing clerk immediately sends the certificate to the applicants. This happens within 15 days (or more) after the license has been returned by the officiating minister and serves as a notice that the record of the marriage is on file.

Please note: If a couple does not receive a marriage registration form or a certificate of marriage within 4 weeks of their wedding, they should immediately contact the town or city clerk who issued the marriage license.

You should also be aware of the fact that some states do not issue marriage licenses to every couple, and some states will not authorize marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In most states, couples are required to provide the following documents:

  •     Birth certificate
  •     Passport
  •     Employment identification card (with photograph)
  •     Immigration record - for foreigners
  •     Drivers license

Some states will not allow a marriage to take place between an ancestor and a descendant, for example, an uncle and his niece, an aunt and her nephew, or a brother and sister (whether full or half blood).