How Many Marriage Certificates Do I Need?

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How Many Marriage Certificates Do I Need?

Having a copy of your marriage certificate comes in handy in various scenarios. We, therefore, don't need to stress how important they are. Getting a copy of your marriage certificate should be easy, but frankly, it isn't, and sometimes it's not very clear. You have to fill out some forms and pay a fee.

Keeping track of all the steps and documents can be frustrating and challenging. But what if you didn't have to? DoNotPay can help you process your marriage certificate application in no time, and determine you need.

Marriage License and Marriage Certificate: KnowThe Difference

Marriage licenses and marriage certificates are somewhat similar documents. However, they fulfill different purposes, as we will detail below. You and your significant other will have to apply for a marriage license before getting married. The permit will allow you to get married, but what does a “certified copy of a marriage certificate” mean?

A marriage certificate proves that you got married and comes in handy when changing your name on documents or applying for loans as a married couple. In Utah, a marriage license and marriage certificate are the same document.

Who Can Get a Marriage Certificate Copy?

Marriage certificates, as hinted above, serve several purposes, and while you will need the certificate for various reasons, you won't get to keep the original document. Like many official records, the original certificate will remain on file with your city or state's records office after you've filed and signed for it.

You and your spouse will have to get a copy of the certified marriage certificate, which you will use for many of its purposes. Your next-of-kin, including your adult siblings, parents, and adult children, can also obtain a copy of marriage certificate if they can prove their relationship to you. Government entities and other organizations can request a copy if they can show a direct tangible need.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Marriage Certificate?

Every jurisdiction in the United States has its own fee schedule based on you need. In most cases, the fee is a nominal cost for basic administrative services. Some states charge as much as $30 to obtain a marriage certificate copy, while others charge significantly less, approximately $5.

What Documents Do I Need to Obtain a Copy of a Marriage Certificate?

You will need to provide the following information to get a marriage certificate in any state in the US:

  • The couple's names
  • The date when the event took place
  • The county where it's recorded

Generally, there are two types of certificates. You can acquire a certified or a noncertified marriage certificate copy. A non-certified marriage certificate can be used for official or legal purposes. But what does a certified copy of a marriage certificate mean? A certified marriage certificate copy allows you to obtain state identification and can be used to make a name change.

Documents You’ll Need to Request a Certified Copy of a Marriage Certificate
  1. Your ID
  2. Proof of relationship to the bride and groom if you're applying on behalf of the couple
  3. Associated fees

How Many Marriage Certificates Do I Need?

If you've asked yourself when applying for a copy, you'll be happy to know that you only need two copies. You can keep one with you for safekeeping and send the other one out when applying for documents or changing your identity.

You don't need many copies because, for starters, the cost of obtaining several copies is high. Secondly, the document usually gets returned once the process you're applying for is done. You can get three copies if you want to be sure. Some people opt to apply for five copies, but it's unnecessary to do so.

How To Get a Copy of a Marriage Certificate on Your Own

Now that you know what a marriage certificate is used for, it's time to learn how to obtain a copy on your own. Most states usually offer three ways of getting the document:

  1. Ordering online using a debit or credit card to pay for the copies.
  2. Visiting the county's office in person and requesting the copy
  3. Mailing your application by post and enclose your check or money order

While all of these methods will help you obtain marriage certificate copies, they each have their own disadvantages. For instance, you will get charged additional fees if you apply using a third-party vendor. Secondly, you might not have the time to visit the county office if you have a jam-packed schedule. But there are other viable options.

Get a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate with DoNotPay

DoNotPay can order your marriage certificates in seven easy steps:

  1. Go to the Certificates of Marriage product on DoNotPay.

  2. Select whether the certificate belongs to you or a relative/loved one. If it belongs to someone else, enter the details of both people on the certificate, and select/upload evidence that proves your relationship with them. If the certificate is yours, enter the details of your spouse.

  3. Enter the city, state, and county where the marriage certificate was issued as well as the date it was issued.

  4. Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy.

  5. Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license.

  6. Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct.

  7. If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail in your request form with a check on your behalf.

DoNotPay Works Across All Entities

We will not only help you determine your marriage certificate validity but also help you:

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