Beginning in 1923, North Dakota required that all vital records, including marriages, divorce, birth and death records, be filed with the State Division of Vital Records. Located in the capital of Bismarck, the Division of Vital Records is part of the North Dakota Department of Health and contains records for most marriages performed in North Dakota since 1925. However, even though the Division of Vital Records technically stores all marriage records, anyone who attempts to obtain a copy of their marriage record from this division will find themselves out of luck.
The reason is that North Dakota passed a law that went into effect on January 1, 2008, which requires that anyone wishing to obtain a certified copy of a North Dakota marriage record must apply for the copy in the county where the original marriage license was issued. As of 2008, certified copies of marriage records can only be issued directly by the North Dakota county where the marriage license was paid for and filed. In some cases, this might not be the same county where the marriage took place, which means it is essential that you know which county originally issued the marriage license.
Depending on which county the marriage license was filed in, it will be necessary to contact the local Clerk of Court, County Recorder or County Treasurer to get a copy of any North Dakota marriage license issued after 1925. If you are looking for North Dakota marriage records from before 1925, the State Archive has microfilm marriage records from 28 of North Dakota’s 53 counties. In order to obtain a certified copy of a marriage record from the county, you will usually need to pay a processing fee and wait anywhere between a few days to several weeks before the copy is issued.
Searching for North Dakota Marriage Records Through a Third-Party Service
There is no reason to panic if you?re unable to determine which county the marriage license was filed in, as there are a number of third-party online databases that you can search to hopefully find the record you?re looking for. Sites like SearchQuarry.com allow you to search through entire state databases in order to find marriage records and also birth, death, divorce and a range of other records. In many cases, these sites can actually make your search quicker and easier by allowing you to instantly find what you’re looking for instead of having to wait for the relevant county to find your record and issue a certified copy.
The fact that marriage records and other vital records are public means that there are vast databases dedicated solely to assisting people like you find whatever records they need. In some cases, you can even order official certified copies of your records directly through these third-party websites, which will obviously save you from having to contact the relevant county office on your own.
Finding and obtaining North Dakota marriage records directly from the relevant county generally isn’t that difficult. However, many people still end up using a third-party service in order to simplify the process.