How to Find a Marriage License Record
A marriage license record falls under the Freedom of Public Information Act (FOIA), which means you have the right to access the information. However, you have to know how to gain access to that information in order to retrieve it.
Despite popular belief, there is no magical database that has all the records you could imagine in one central location. All records are easily accessed if you know where to look and how to ask for the information. Fill out the right forms and provide the right data, and you will be granted access.
Requesting a Paper Marriage License Record
Many times, you will only need a paper marriage license as proof of marriage. Some companies require a paper marriage license to change the insurance plans or benefits. Military personnel need the paper license to add the spouse to the life insurance policy. Some women need the marriage license to change how their name appears on their driver’s license.
You will need:
- The Groom’s name
- The Bride’s Maiden name
- The County where the wedding took place
- Certificate Number (helps but not necessary)
In most cases, you will have to send in the information or go in person. However, even if you go in person you are not likely to receive the information the same day. Rarely, are any of these services offered online as a government service.
The county will look up the record and send the information to you via mail. You can request the information be sent by certified mail at an additional charge. You can expect to wait several weeks for the paper marriage license to be sent to you.
Searching for a Marriage License Record Online
Many people do not need a paper license. They are just looking for a marriage record. They want to know if a boyfriend is married and sometimes they are just curious about their own past. They are looking up their own family’s marriage records. In these cases, searching online is much easier.
You will need:
- Bride Name or Groom Name
- Age of the person (helps)
- City (optional)
- State (optional)
The more you know about the person you are looking up the better. For example, when you look up John Smith you will find many matches because that is a common name. However, if you know that John Smith is 25 and in Brokenarrow, Oklahoma, then you have just narrowed down your search.
Start searching marriage licenses records today. The information is out there and is available to everyone. What used to take hours searching through dusty records now only takes the click of the button.