Marriage is one of the major life-changing events in anyone’s life. As it is an official occasion, a marriage certificate is issued to certify it. A marriage certificate, also commonly referred to as a certified certificate of marriage or a marriage record, is an official document issued by a government authority that acts as proof that the couple listed on the marriage certificate have been legally married.
Why should you have a marriage certificate?
A marriage certificate can be used for various legal purposes, including:
- Filling taxes
- Applying for a Mortgage or loan
- Changing your last name to that of your spouse
- Opening/changing your bank account with your new name
- Applying for a new passport with your new name
What is the Difference Between a Marriage License and a Marriage Certificate?
A marriage license is normally issued first and is basically an application to be married. After you have filled out the application, conducted a ceremony, gotten it signed, and the authorized party has turned it back into the county, then you are given a marriage certificate to officiate the marriage.
What Details Should be in a Marriage Certificate?
- Names of the couple
- Date of marriage
- Venue/place of marriage
- Name of the witness(es)
- Signature of the ceremonial officiant and the couple
How to Obtain a Marriage Certificate
Set a Date and Venue for your wedding
Before applying for a marriage license, you should first decide on the date and venue you will be getting married. This is very important as you will have to file your marriage license application in the country that you will be getting married.
Visit the County Clerk
After setting the official date and venue for your wedding, the next thing to do is to visit the clerk’s office. Some of the documents that you should carry when going to the county clerk include:
- A valid ID or Passport
- Your birth certificates
- Proof of no impediment to marriage through:
- Affidavits to state marital status: joint affidavits if married under customary law and separate affidavits if single
- Death certificate if one or both of the couples are widowed
- Divorce decree absolute
- Color passport size photos
- Wedding invitation card in the case of Hindu or Christian marriage
Signature From your Officiant and Witnesses
After obtaining your marriage license, it is now time for you to gather up some signatures. While the requirements for signing a marriage license usually vary from state to state, most marriage licenses require signatures from the following people:
- The couple
- The witness
- The ceremony officiant
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Frequently Asked Questions
A marriage certificate is usually issued to the couple by the county clerk within the first 7-15 days of marriage. The newlyweds are usually issued with a certified document via mail within 24-48 hours upon filing a request and submitting all the required information.
A certificate of marriage is a legal document showing proof of marriage. For the document to be accepted as an official legal document, the certificate should be imprinted with a seal/stamp or contain a state seal.