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How to get a copy of a marriage certificate or a marriage license

A marriage license legally allows you to marry. A marriage certificate proves you got married. How you get copies depends on whether you were married in the U.S. or abroad.

How to get a certified copy of a marriage certificate

If you were married in the U.S., contact the vital records office in the state where you were married. They will tell you the cost, what information you need to supply, and if you can get a copy online, by mail, or in person.

How to get a copy of a marriage license

Most marriage licenses expire within 30 days to a year, depending on the issuing state. If yours expires or gets lost before you get married, apply for a new one.

Most of the time, you can apply for a marriage license at the county clerk or recorder’s office in the jurisdiction where you are getting married. Contact the local government where you are getting married to find out how to apply.

Married abroad: how to get marriage records

Contact the embassy or consulate of the country where the marriage took place.

If you were married abroad before November 9, 1989, contact the State Department to get a copy of the Certificate of Witness to Marriage Abroad.

LAST UPDATED: January 26, 2024


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