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Find Marriage Licenses

Though seldom heralded as such, marriage licenses are probably some of the most important documents a couple can seek out. It is the first step to your life together, and how you work in acquiring it can be a peep-through on how well the both of you are able to work together for a common goal. For some who are not satisfied with a common law marriage, meaning one that is not solemnized by the state or church, licenses are essential. Either via civil marriage or religious denominations, a license of some sort must be acquired in order to prevent legality problems later on. A marriage license doesn't mean you are already legally married. A marriage license is proof that the couple has already been allowed to marry because the two have met the specified requirements needed for marriage.

Currently, marriage licenses are easier to acquire now than ever before. Because of the advent of technology such as fax, e-mailing and other conveniences, one can already know about the requirements before going to the designated county clerk for formal application. It is recommended that the couple should obtain a license for marriage at the earliest time possible. A marriage license has a validity of 30 to 60 days. It can be used anywhere around the state where it was applied from. If the marriage has not been solemnized within the timeframe, the couple will have to apply again.

The marriage license is applied at county level. The following requirements will have to be fulfilled or given before a license can be issued to you: legal Identification, such as a driver's license; a certified true copy of the birth certificate; a passport and social security number should. If previously married, proper documentation should be given as to how the marriage ended, like one's divorce papers or death certificate. For minors, a parent's consent will have to be given.

There are states that require blood tests, but this is generally a thing of the past.

There is a fee to processing marriage licenses. The rate differs per state. Some may be as small as $10 while other could be as expensive as $100. Most states will only accept cash. There are some states though that give discounts or give the license for free all together if the couple attended marriage counseling or seminars.

Marriage documents can usually be acquired at the Vital Statistics Section of the Department of Health of each county. Most states will only allow access to the close relatives of the names in the certificate, such as adult siblings, adult children, parents and grandparents. For those who aren't in the circle of relation, legal identification will have to be presented or faxed beforehand.

Marriage databases on the Internet are also available. Although this is by no means legal replacement to a certified true copy, it will confirm that a marriage has indeed taken place between two people. The credibility of these sites must be checked; the best way to do this is through personal interaction between the county clerk and the requestor.

Every state has a different form. Each is distinct from the other and are not interchangeable. Official government sites or state sites usually have PDF forms or downloadable forms on their websites. For example, Los Angeles has an official form available for download. Information such as names of bride and groom, names of their parents, age, date of birth, and so on, is needed. For the divorced, it asks the number of previous marriages, the date of the last marriage, and how the marriage ended, whether by divorce, annulment or death.