Marriage records are public records maintained by the county clerk’s office that oversees the location the marriage took place. Anyone can access public records without proving his identity or relation to a bride and groom. Most county clerk offices offer access to public records both in-person and on line through the office’s website. If you have the Social Security number of either the bride or the groom, it makes the search much easier
Determine the county where the marriage took place. Go to the County Clerk’s office during its public office hours.
Explain to the office attendant that you want to the marriage records for a party. Give her all of the information you may have about the marriage, including the date it took place, the names of the bride and groom and the Social Security number you obtained.
Verify that the marriage records the attendant brings back are indeed the ones you wanted to access. Ask the office attendant to view the records in the County Clerk’s viewing room if you want to examine the records or take notes. Ask the office attendant for copies of the records if you would like to leave with them and pay any fees associated with this service.
On line Searches
Determine the county where the marriage took place. Access the County Clerk’s website for that county. Click the link that takes you to the public records database.
Enter all of the information you may have about the marriage into the search fields, including the names of the bride and groom and their Social Security numbers. Click “Search.”
Browse the search results until you find the one you were looking for. Select that marriage record and hit the enter key. View and take notes on the marriage record. Click “Print” if you need a printed record of the marriage. Enter your payment information on the screen to pay the printing fees.
Tips & Warnings
- Viewing a marriage record is free because it is a public record. You must pay the printing fees if you want a printed copy of the marriage record. There is an additional certification charge to have the documents stamped as certified by the County Clerk. Certification is important if you want to use the documents in as legal proof, such as in court, with a government agency or with a bank. Certified copies are generally only available in person at the County Clerk’s office.
- There is some uniformity in the County Clerk operations across the country, but there are also variations on procedure and pricing. If you have any questions about accessing the marriage records for a county, contact the County Clerk’s office for county-specific information.