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Can You Copy a Marriage Certificate?

The matter of marriage certificates and when and where they can be used as proof of eligibility for certain government benefits programs or for proof that a spouse is eligible to be placed on a company-provided insurance policy or health insurance program inevitably comes up whenever people get married. The first question they usually ask is "Where can I get a copy of my marriage certificate?" One would be surprised how often people immediately lose track of their marriage certificate after tying the knot.

Because of that, it's also helpful to know when and where one can copy a marriage certificate, especially when the original might have been lost in a move or a relocation and the box containing the marriage certificate ended up in Boise, Idaho when the relocation took you to Los Angeles, California.

Additionally, there are certain circumstances where the ability to copy a marriage certificate is perfectly acceptable to use in an official situation, but there are also instances where such a copy will not be acceptable. This might be in cases where a person is trying to place his or her spouse on some sort of benefits program being offered by an employer. Usually, such a case mandates that an official copy - with a raised seal - be provided.

Where and When You Can Use a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate


For something that can be as vital as a record, the certificate of marriage certainly does seem to be treated in a somewhat cavalier manner by many couples. This is especially so when it comes to younger married couples under the age of 30, who never think about maybe locking away important documents and then find out that they won't be able to copy a marriage certificate to provide as verification of legal eligibility or relationship to his or her spouse.

And this is why getting a copy of marriage certificate or certificate verification can be so important. Generally, a certificate of marriage with raised seal is looked for by most government agencies when it comes to determining eligibility for a spouse to be able to access Social Security or other pension-type payments that the other spouse may have earned. This is one instance where one won't be able to copy a marriage certificate and then provide it to a bureaucrat. In fact, it'll probably be deemed inadequate.

However, for many other instances not involving applying for official government benefits programs, people will probably be able to copy a marriage certificate and then hand it over for use as either proof of marriage or as proof that one was once married. Some cases where one can obtain a copy of a marriage certificate and then use it as documentation might be senior communities that require couples to provide proof of marriage in order to qualify to live in the community and other sorts of similar situations. For the most part, it's just a matter of knowing where to go to get one.

And this is where the digital millennium that we live in can help out greatly, for there are a number of quality websites that exists for the purpose of helping people find vital records such as certificates of marriage. One site that can at least get a person started is the Centers for Disease Control. It lists all 50 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico.
Getting a copy of the marriage certificate doesn't need to be a daunting task at all. All it requires is a little bit of prior research and the willingness to either write or go online and make use of a few websites that have been set up to enable a person to get a copy of a certificate of marriage, especially in an emergency.