How to Find Marriage Records On and Offline
A marriage record is one of the most important vital records we can have. Not only are older marriage records valuable tools for determining our heritage and genealogy, but we all have to have copies of marriage records and divorce records if we ever wish to get married for a second time. Sometimes, insurance companies and other organizations may require proof of marriage to claim insurance or you may need a copy to properly execute your partner's will. No matter what reason you need a marriage record for, there are two main ways to get one: online or off line. Let's take a look at who you need to contact if you want an official copy of your marriage certificate.
The first place you can start your search for marriage records is at the vital records office in the city or county in which the marriage happened. Of course, this is easier said than done if you don't know the county or even the state in which the marriage occurred. Often times, the same records are kept at the state level, so you can try your state's official vital records office if you aren't sure of the county. You may have to answer some questions before the certificate can be mailed to you because some states have limited availability of marriage records to the public. You may have to prove that you are related somehow or that you need the record for some kind of official business. You may be able to request an uncertified marriage record, which technically is not a legal document but shows the same information. These are most often used by families who want to establish their lineage and don't need a certified copy. You can also ask for your vital records request to be expedited in case you are looking to obtain a new marriage certificate, although the cost for such a service is often high.
The Internet has made searching for vital records like marriage certificates much easier. Not only can you find phone numbers for vital records offices much easier, websites like RecordsProject.com act like a clearinghouse of information so that you only have to look in one place. Every day, thousands of these requests are made and it is much easier to do today than it ever was before. If you are married, divorced or if you are looking to trace your genealogy, a marriage record is a vital document you can't live without.