A marriage certificate is a special form that you will need in some cases, so it is good to think about preserving it. Obtained certified copies will allow you to use making sure that your original example stays with you.
Generally, it is good to know that a marriage certificate is considered a vital record, such as birth, death, marriage certificate. This means that, usually, the first place to request your certificate is the Department of Vital Records for your area, but the process varies a bit by the state.
For example, in Minnesota (and Montana), you can get the requested certified copy of your marriage certificate through online services typically operated by the state’s public health division.
This allows you to get the certificate even if you live in another state simply by filling out an online application and pay a nominal fee. The fee to search for a certificate is around $10 to 15, and for each additional document of the certificate ordered at the same time, the fee is around $6.00.
On the other hand, some states don’t provide an online option, so you will probably need to visit the county office in the county you were married, or you can call them first and see if they could help you somehow.
Where to Find Contacts
On the official page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can find the names and addresses of each vital records office, as well as the current fees. You will have to provide the proper vital records fees paid for the service by credit card, check, or money order.
However, when considering where to obtain the copies of your marriage certificate, think about requesting the document from a county clerk, town or city hall, or a civil registrar in the state where you were married.
Where to Get Copies if You Got Married Abroad
If you were married abroad, you would need to find the issuing authority, not of your birth country, the country where your marriage took place. You can search your country in the menu on the left side of the page.
On the U.S. Department of State’s web page, you can see the names and the current fees for the service and procedures.
What if I Lost the Original?
If you lost your marriage certificate or you can’t get an official copy, you have to submit:
A notarized personal affidavit: this will describe the facts of your marriage and why you can’t obtain official copies of the marriage certificate
A statement from the government agency: this document has to explain why your marriage certificate is not available.
And What if I Can’t get an Official Copy?
If you cannot get a certified statement from an appropriate government agency, you have to provide at least two additional notarized personal affidavits. Those affidavits need to be from other people, such as your parents or a close relative.