Couples who intend to solemnize their relationship must obtain a marriage license in the county where they reside. To get the marriage license, they must provide certain information, all of which will make up their marriage record. You can request these records from the custodian or online.
You can expect to see the following information on the marriage record:
- Name of spouses
- Maiden names
- Age of both spouses
- Name of parents/guardians
- Location of marriage
- County of residence
- Name of the court/county official that issued the license
- License number
Generally, the custodian of marriage records in a state is the county clerk, the register of deeds, or the clerk of courts. To obtain marriage records from these entities, you must visit their office at the county courthouse or designated government building. The custodian will request the names of the spouses and their maiden names, as well as the date of marriage. Bear in mind that custodians in some states restrict assess to marriage records based on the Privacy Act. Consequently, if you do not have a filial relationship to the individual, you must produce a court order authorising you to access these records.
The clerk will charge a flat fee for providing copies of the marriage record, but you must pay additional fees if you wish to have the marriage record certified. Some states also maintain copies of marriage records on their official judiciary website. Similarly, recent marriage records are available through the Departments of Health and you can find older marriage records on public databases like the Marriage Registers of Freedman and Ancentry.