How to Find Someone Else's Marriage License?

By Risa Edwards - Updated May 31, 2017
groom, bride and bouquet

Unless you have a confidential marriage record, marriage licenses are generally considered public record and available to anyone. Generally, you can access the license through placing a request through the proper channels. Note, depending on the state, you may be required to have one of the parties whose license you are inquiring about to give consent before you can access the marriage license.

Gather Required Documentation

Gather as much personal information as possible. This includes the names of both spouses, marriage date and the state and county where the marriage took place.

Requesting Vital Records

Contact the county where the marriage took place. Some counties have electronic copies available to download. There may be a small fee required to access this information. Most states only require your request, applicable fees and a government-issued ID and signature.

Many counties will mail you a copy of public records. Otherwise, you will need to make a trip to the county clerk's office and make a photocopy.

Remember, Access to Vital Records Vary by State

Remember to check with your state to see if you can access another person's marriage licence; some states don't allow you to access the licence without written permission. For instance, In California, there are two types of marriage certificates: confidential and public. If you are trying to obtain a public marriage record, you can only obtain a copy of the record if you are related to one of the parties in the marriage, a member of law enforcement, or an attorney who represents one of the parties. If you are trying to access a confidential marriage record, you're out of luck.

About the Author

Risa Edwards is a librarian who works for a small private university. She has a degree in geology and library science, but is interested in topics from across many disciplines. Edwards enjoys using her research skills to help others as well as continuing to broaden her own knowledge.

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