A marriage certificate is a form containing vital information about the wedding that took place. This document is a legal record of the union between the two people who were married. This certificate will include the bride and groom’s full names, the date of the marriage and the name of the officiating person. In some instances, it might also contain the signature of a witness to the event. The person who officiates the wedding provides the certificate, and also is responsible for sending it into the county clerk’s office. This certificate is the only legal record of the marriage, so it is important to have it filed properly. You can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate by contacting the Department of Health Services in the state you were originally married in. You can usually order a copy online through the state’s website, over the phone or via mail in options. There is a nominal fee for this and processing may take a few weeks for the official copy of the marriage certificate to be mailed to you.
A certified copy of the marriage certificate can be obtained by contacting the county clerk’s office in the county where the marriage was performed. This copy is an exact replica of the original marriage certificate filed with the court. Some counties provide their marriage certificate request forms online, making it convenient to complete the form and send it in. People who do not have Internet access can still request a certified copy of their certificate by sending a letter with the required information. Calling the county clerk’s office is a good way to obtain needed information about where to send the letter and what fees might be involved.
The letter should contain the names of the bride and groom prior to the marriage, as well as the name of the person who officiated. It should also include the city and date of the wedding, why the person is requesting a copy, the person’s name, address, driver’s license or ID number and signature. Always include a self-addressed stamped envelope for return purposes, as well as a check for the fees.
There are also non-certified copies of marriage certificates available to purchase online. Commemorative certificates are decorative prints created for display. These prints will have the names of the wedded couple and the date their marriage took place. The background of the print is usually colored and can include some type of sentimental image, such as a pair of wedding bands. These non-certified copies can be purchased online through different government offices, as well as through private retailers. These certificates are not legal records and are designed for informational purposes only.