Marriage is a wonderful experience, even if it’s your second or fifth time getting committed. Which is why it is important that you settle every single aspect related to or might influence your decision before you finally tie the knot. If you’ve had several marriage records before, you should see to it that all of them are null and void, to ensure that your current marriage is legal. If your partner has had the same history as you, you should also take a look at his or her divorce records and check if they have been finalized. Aside from that, you will also need these references to complete your partner’s name change, finalize adoption, settle passport information, present as evidence in judicial proceedings and claim inheritance and pension benefits.
To acquire a marriage record, you can search or order it through an online marriage license retrieval website, or directly approach the state registry and have them find it for you on the spot, or deliver it at a later date. You will need to provide an email address, identification and a credit or debit card to settle the service payment via web. You will also need to fill up an application form and present an authorization letter if you are digging for marriage information of your spouse that you are not involved in. If you decide to have a third party handle the marriage record search, you don’t have to exert any effort at tracing down the documents you need. Turnaround time can be anywhere between 3 days to a week, depending on the file’s accessibility. But, you have to be careful about who you trust your information with, because it is possible for you to get ripped off.
It is also important for you to determine beforehand what type of marriage record you would like found. This way, you won’t waste people’s time and your money. There are actually two types of marriage records in existence – a copy and a sealed one – and they have certain applicability and limitations. Similar to birth and divorce certificates, plain copy marriage records are only useful as personal and historical reference. A “Triple-Seal” copy is one you can apply for legal matters and official use, whether in your hometown or abroad. The same applies for divorce documents.
Getting marriage or divorce records will probably cost you around $10 to $20 per copy, with the help of a search company. If it is to be used abroad, the fees would be between $30 and $35. The following print outs will usually have a lesser charge, and if the files are more than 50 years old, the payment will be incremental. It is technically cheaper if you do the retrieval on your own. But, you will have to undergo a process, and that will require patience. If you consider the time, energy and equipment you use to accomplish things, doing it independently might just incur the same, if not a little bit more, costs than getting help. So, it probably will be smarter to get someone else to do the dirty work.