In order to gain access to New Jersey marriage records, you will need to approach the Department of Health and Senior Services for assistance. The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry maintains marriage documents as well as other records such as birth certificates, death certificates, adoptions, and civil unions. You need to visit the specific town municipality where the wedding took place in order to locate the appropriate record.
Did you know that New Jersey marriage records are not limited to marriage licenses, marriage registrations, or marriage certificates? There are other sources that you can research that will help you verify a marriage that took place among your ancestors years ago. Courthouses often keep records of such events as marriage, as not every gets married within a church. Sometimes a judge will perform a ceremony, and in this case the court will have a record of the marriage. If you do know that the wedding took place in a church, and it still exists, you may be able to contact the church about their older records and archives so that you can find the documentation.
Another likely source for information is the local newspaper. It is often traditional to publicize engagement or announce marriages through the local paper. These will share the names of the bride and groom at least, and sometimes the parents of the couple will be mentioned as well. There might even be a photograph of the happy couple in the archives as well, so this is a nice resource to use when searching for New Jersey marriage records.
Believe it or not, death records can also be used as a source that verifies marriage. Obituaries, cemetery records or death certificates could note that they were married. Epitaphs often say "husband & wife" on the inscription. If one spouse lived longer than the other, the record on the individual who passed away first is likely to have the name of the surviving spouse.
When you are searching for marriage records, be sure that you have all of the right information to begin with. The first, middle, and last name and any suffix (Jr. Sr., etc.) is important to include when you are submitting a name because there could be a lot of people with the exact same first and last name. You should have the full names of both the bride and the groom because if you do not, you could arrive at a record that seems right, but isn't actually someone related to you.
Try to figure out the approximate year that the wedding took place as well. It may not be necessary to know the specific date of the wedding, but you can certainly save yourself some time searching and narrow the results if you can pinpoint the year that it occurred. If you already know the exact date, more power to you!
Local towns usually keep the vital marriage records on file, so it will truly help if you know what town they got married in. The would most likely have had to go to the health department or vital records location at that time to register to get married.
To request a certified New Jersey marriage record, follow the instructions below:
Download the Request for Certified Copy of a Vital Record application provided by the Vital Statistics website.
Read the instructions for completing the application. Fill out the portion for a certified marriage certificate, and include the full names of the bride and groom, exact date of event, and the city and county of marriage. You must also note why you are making the request, your relationship to the parties on the document, and provide a legible copy of your ID.
Send the completed application to the address below. You must also send a check or money order in the amount of $25 for a certified copy.
Send the application request to:
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Vital Statistics and Registration PO Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0370
About New Jersey Marriage Records
Marriage records are stored at the Bureau of Vital Statistics and Registration in the Department of Health and Senior Services. Records from 1901 to the present are kept at this office.
Marriage Records Prior to 1901
Those wishing to make a request for a marriage record prior to 1901 can make a request to the New Jersey State Archives office at the address below.
Restrictions Regarding Marriage Requests
Marriage records in New Jersey are not considered public records. Anyone requesting a certified copy of a marriage certificate must state their relationship to the parties on the record and provide proper identification.