How to Get a Certified Copy of a Marriage License

Updated March 16, 2017

Your marriage certificate is an official document proving the existence of your marriage. Certified copies of your marriage license contain the official seal of the state that issued your license. You need a certified copy of your marriage license for various things such as changing your maiden name to your spouse's last name. To obtain a certified copy of your marriage license, write to the Vital Records Department in the county that issued your license, which is often a division of the county health department.

Look up the vital records office in the county that issued you the marriage certificate. For help, use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Where to Write for Vital Records" webpage, which lists the vital records departments for each state.

Call the vital records department to inquire about fees and the information they need from you to issue a certified copy of the license.

Send a letter requesting a certified copy of your marriage certificate. List critical details such the full names of you and your spouse, the date and place of the marriage, and the purpose of the request. Provide a self-addressed stamped envelope so that the vital records office can send you the certified marriage license.

Pay any required fees associated with the request. Fees vary depending on the vital records office in each individual county of each state.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.