Government Offices Or Courthouse County Clerks?
Helpful in dating or other background checks, as well as for family history searches, marriage records offer confirmation of a legal union. They include the names of both individuals as well as the date when the marriage license was issued and the county where the ceremony took place. Depending on the state, marriage licenses and other records are housed and issued by a health department or other government office and / or through clerks' offices in county courts.
For example, Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida and Hawaii all issue marriage records from state health departments, while Arizona, the District of Columbia and Ohio offer record copies only through the courts. America Samoa, Guam and South Carolina provide maritime history information only from vital statistics offices. Many other states have several sources of vital records, including marriage documents.
Typically though, the same type of marriage records are not available at each source. For instance, in Indiana, certified copies of the Record of Marriages are distributed through the state health office, but only the courts issue certified copies of the marriage certificate.
Proof, Fees And Online Access For Marriage Records
A marriage certificate is legal proof that a couple is married, but it can take several weeks, or even months, to process. In this interim period, the Record of Marriage document that couples receive after their wedding ceremony will provide the proof needed until the certificate arrives. Some states allow a Record of Marriage to be used for a change of name to the new married surname, while others require the actual marriage certificate.
Certificates are marriage documents that provide legal proof that a couple is married, while licenses are warrants that authorize the couple to be married. In some states, copies of marriage license records are available to anyone, such as in Georgia, whereas in other states like Virginia, the record does not become public information until 50 years after its date.
By United States law, each state must charge a small fee for marriage records access. The fees cover the process the search and not the information itself, are subject to change and range from $ 5 in Illinois to $ 25 in Alaska. One copy of the marriage license records or other record is included if the documents are found. The most convenient and quickest way to find American marriage records is typically online. Only a professional, trustworthy vital records provider's website should be accessed for such undertakings.