Strange as it may sound, marriage documents are quite a commodity on the criminal black market. As reported in the Kentucky Post, a number of marriage documents were stolen from various county clerk offices. In Scott County, Kentucky, Barbary Eldrige, the Deputy Clerk, reported 200 pages were stolen. Authorities fear these documents will be used to forge illegal documents.
All marriage documents are vital documents and should be protected as vehemently as birth certificates and social security cards. A marriage license, the initial document needed to start your life as a couple, can be applied for at your local county office. The requirements in actually getting the license vary for each county and it is good to check out online sites in order to verify the paperwork needed to retrieve a marriage license. Generally, the couple, or either person (again, depending on the county), must go to the county clerk personally to complete a MN10 form, or marriage notice. Information such as you and your fiancée's name, the date and place of birth, the name of your parents, the place where they were married and your social security number is needed.
Legal identification such as a driver's license, birth certificate or passport is also necessary. If you were previously married, proper documentations should be presented as to the nullity of the previous marriage such as divorce papers or a death certificate. A sum, ranging from $20 to $80, must be paid. This is the processing fee of each county. It is best to check with the county clerk of the county you plan to get married in for the price. Some may accept checks while others may not. For minors, those who are 16 or 17, a personal or written document must be given to the County, which states that both the parents and guardians have given their consent for the marriage.
Access Marriage Documents and Forms
All marriage documents can be used for identification, verification, and paternity cases. These documents should be handled with care. A copy can usually be accessed at the Vital Records Section from the Department of Health of each county, although this depends on the county and the date on which you got married. Older documents are usually placed under a different section in the government.
Many government offices and affiliates require you to get a certified true copy: one with the proper seal and signature of the State Registrar. There are those who don't need a certified true copy but just a confirmation document of the marriage; this depends on the purpose and the formality of the matter. The certified true copy can be requested in many ways such as in person, via telephone, via fax or via mail. A new trend emerging nowadays is the request for an uncertified copy via e-mail. The uncertified true copy is called a verification letter and contains pretty much the same information found in the certified true copy except that it cannot be used for legal purposes such as getting insurance.
When getting a copy in person, the clerk usually requires some form of identification with photo such as a driver's license. A fee of $10 to $50 is generally collected for a certified true copy. The County Vital Records Section normally has an online form of contact. On their websites, you can check all the necessary information needed such as specific fees, schedule and office hours, addresses, numbers of the county clerk and vital documents like the letter of authorization to be brought during your visit.