Access Public Marriage Records
The information about an individual’s marriage is considered to be a part of the vital records. Such records are usually public and the state governments across the United States of America provide access to the public marriage records for its residents. The records are of prime importance when you need to know about the personal life of an individual specially his/her marital details. This becomes essential while checking the information of your spouse or even for various screening purposes. Immigration and citizenship issues are also connected with the public marriage records as are adoption and divorce proceedings.
The State departments of health and bureaus of vital records usually maintain the public marriage records pertaining to the state. Most of the states actually began to maintain the evidence of marriages only in the late nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. The states of New Hampshire, Vermont as well as the capital Washington DC were the first few states to maintain a database for public marriage records. Colorado was the last state to have incorporated the practice in the year 1968. The vital records office of the state is responsible for providing details of the public marriage records at present. More information about the process can be accessed from http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/certs/index.html .
A copy of the Public Record Marriage usually consists of all relevant and vital information about the couple in question. The full name of both the groom as well as the bride is included within the public marriage record. The date of the marriage as well as the specific location down to the county almost always forms a part of the public marriage record. The addresses of both the parties as well as the name of the witnesses to the marriage also form an essential part of the public marriage record information. The names of the parents along with the details of any previous marriages are recorded as well.
The marriage licenses are generally the documents that need to be searched in order to obtain information on marriage. The marriage certificate, on the other hand, is usually a document that is handed over to the newly wedded couple after the wedding and forms a part of the family records.
Request for Public Marriage Records
You may be able to retrieve a copy of the marriage license from the office of the vital records or the county court clerk by providing specific information along with your request for the record. Apart from the full name of both the bridegroom and the bride you must be able to provide the exact date of the marriage as well as the specific location. The city, town and county needs to be mentioned in order to obtain the right record within the shortest possible time. Relationship of the requester to the parties concerned is essential for retrieving the record as well.
The purpose for the public marriage record needs to be stated categorically within the letter of request too. The name and address of the requester along with his/her identity number preferably the number of the driving license is required to be provided as well. The name of the state as well as the signature of the requester is necessary in order for the request to be processed.
Sources for Marriage Records
The public marriage records are usually available from the local county court clerk’s office of the state where the marriage took place. The marriage records are provided by the states in accordance with the Freedom of information Act of 1964. Most of the states across the United States have a central repository for storing the vital records of the state. Since the public marriage records come under the state jurisdiction, the laws regarding their access and the procedure for obtaining them may vary from state to state. There may also be a token amount charged as fee for obtaining the public marriage records.
The vital records office in Alabama for instance charges a fee of $12 for obtaining the marriage records. An additional amount is charged for each extra copy of the document. The office to be contacted for retrieving the marriage records is:
P.O. Box 5625, Montgomery, AL-36103-5625, Phone-(334) 206-5418
The California Department of public Health is entrusted to maintain the public marriage records of the state. Details about the procedure for obtaining the copies of marriage licenses and certificates can be accessed by logging in to http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/CertifiedCopiesofMarriageandDivorceRecords.aspx .
Similarly the Illinois Department of public Health also handles the requests for vital records. The department is housed at Division of Vital Records, 605 W. Jefferson Street, Springfield, IL 62702-5097. Phone: (217) 782-6553. The official website of Illinois State archives http://www.sos.state.il.us/departments/archives/marriage.html provides access to marriage index of the state.
Indiana marriage records can be obtained by any member of the general public by meeting the specifications laid down by the jurisdiction of the state. The resource http://www.in.gov/library/3243.htm provides vital information about the marriage records of Indiana.
The Culture and History Department of west Virginia has an online public marriage record search facility which can be accessed by visiting http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_mcsearch.aspx.
The Department of Health of Washington can be contacted by sending a mail to the Center for Health Statistics, P.O. Box 9709, Olympia, WA-98507-9709 in order to obtain the public marriage records of the state.