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Public Marriage Records

Public marriage records can be used to prove the validity of a couple’s marriage. They can also be used by people who are conducting genealogical research to confirm names and dates when putting together a family tree. These records can also be used as part of a routine background check by a prospective employer. Insurance companies may refer to public marriage records to confirm the marital status of a beneficiary before paying out on an insurance policy to ensure that the money is being paid out to the right person.

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Why Conduct a Public Marriage Records Search
A public marriage records search may need to be conducted if a couple’s original marriage certificate has been lost. A person may wish to order one to find out whether another person is (or has ever been) married before exchanging vows him or herself.

The information contained in a marriage record can be used to confirm the date when a couple was legally married. This date becomes significant in legal matters, since the document will be needed to prove a claim to marital property.

Information Listed on Public Marriage Records
When a public marriage record is ordered, it will provide some standard information about a couple. The recipient can expect to see the full names (first, middle, and surnames) for the bride and groom, as well as their dates of birth. The date of the marriage, as well as the city or town where it occurred will also be listed.

Public marriage records for marriages which have been celebrated in the past few years will be even more detailed. Certified records may include the couple’s Social Security Numbers, their home addresses, ages at the time of marriage, and their parents’ full names. The name of the member of the clergy, judge or officiant who presided at the wedding will also be listed on the document. The names of the two official witnesses will also be listed.

Order Public Marriage Records

The information needed to order public marriage records will vary, depending on the state. Some jurisdictions require that all applications be accompanied by a government-issued photo ID. A driver’s license, passport, school or work-issued ID card may be used. When one of these forms of ID is not available, two copies of alternate forms of ID may be substituted. The state can provide a list of acceptable alternate documents which can be used.

Each state sets a fee for ordering vital records, including marriage records. In many jurisdictions, the amount charged is a search fee, which is payable whether a specific record is located or not.

Public marriage records may be ordered in person by visiting a Vital Records Office, or by sending a request by mail. Some states accept phone or online orders. Another option for consumers who wish to order public marriage records is to visit a commercial site which can provide the requested information by accessing it from an online database. This is the fastest way to get the information, and the next logical step is to place your order without delay.