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Public Marriage Records

By law, most every state in the union regards certain official documents as belonging in the public realm. This includes death certificates, birth certificates and marriage licenses or certificates of marriage. As such, these matrimonial documents are considered public marriage records and can be viewed or requested by most any citizen with a need for them.

Generally, outside of the couples who were actually married, persons who might have a need for such records include those who are trying to piece together family histories (genealogists), private investigators - for whatever reason they've been tasked to find such records - sociologists, cultural anthropologists and other such professionals.

As a way to study large shifts in demographics, public marriage records can be an excellent set of documents to a handle on such demographic shifts. Perhaps, though, the most important reason that people have for needing such documentary evidence is simply because they've lost their original marriage certificates or copies of marriage licenses.

Because of this, these couples were men and women may not be able to be able to properly establish certain types of eligibility for government benefits programs and also for employer-provided health insurance programs. Usually, in almost every case, official copies of public marriage records will be needed in order to effect proper enrollment into such programs.

Tips and Hints to Access Public Marriage Records


As always, one of the single best ways to get started on a search for public marriage records is to head for the Internet. This new digital age that's been created for our convenience has helped to cut down on the amount of legwork needed in order to access something like county public marriage records, for instance.

This is not to say that the only method for accessing these kinds of records is through online means, though it is certainly meant to say that the easiest and most convenient way to do so is by making use of all of the services from either government websites or commercial websites set up by businesses interested in helping persons find free public marriage records or other types of documents.

Once on the Internet, the single best method for finding government or commercial websites is to head to a search engine and enter in a phrase such as "public records marriage license" or something similar. There are sure to be hundreds of results, though the chances are excellent that what's needed can be found within the first 30 or 40 such results.

In fact, public marriage records are out there and only need to be located in order to be made use of. Each state or county or municipality that issues marriage licenses or other sorts of documents related to matrimonial activities will have its own set of rules and regulations, not only about getting married but also about how to access such records.

The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also maintains a website that has hyperlinks to each of the states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico, where a person can locate vital records such as marriage documents. Also, any of several good commercial websites exist that can aid a person in obtaining any sort of publicly-available record for a nominal fee. Quite often, going this route can make much more sense than trying to run everything down by you, including arranging for payment for such records and then shipment of those same records to a designated address.

In many cases, these sites can make arrangements for an overnight delivery of the document once it's been located. This can come in really handy when a public records marriage license needs to be presented in an expeditious manner in order to qualify for one program or another and which has a time limit on it.

Never forget, also, that there are plenty of public libraries that have computers available for the use of the people using the library, and that the staffs at those libraries can give a quick bit of instruction on how to get online and at least locate a search engine. Once that data engine, remember to enter in a phrase and then head to the websites that that phrase returns.

There are normally no restrictions on who can and cannot access public records, and most states and counties realize this and have set up certain links at their websites in order to direct users to the proper office where a request can be made online. However, dealing with a government bureaucracy can be intimidating and it might just be smarter to work with a commercial website.