A marriage certificate is a document proving that a marriage took place. People can typically use it for a variety of legal purposes. Every married couple gets a certified wedding certificate within a month after their legal wedding. This happens regardless if the wedding took place with a marriage license at an officiate or registered church. However, not everyone keeps a copy of their marriage certificate. Unfortunately, these certificates are vital for handling affairs, legal and financial concerns, or for traveling internationally. Therefore, you may need a copy.
In most cases, married couples need to have at least two copies of their marriage certificate at all times. They should keep one in a safe place such as a bank for personal documentation, and one for proof of marriage.
Use a Marriage Certificate to Change Your Name
If you wish to change your name to that of your spouse, a marriage certificate is necessary. You must bring a certified wedding certificate to the local social security office. Also, bring your original birth certificate and social security card. You may also need to show photo ID as proof of identity.
Once you have updated your social security card, you will have to update bank accounts and property leases and titles too. You should also update work contracts, leases, mortgage, and other contracts of ownership or responsibility.
Sharing Health Benefits
To share insurance, health benefits, or claim pension or insurance, you must show your marriage certificate. For example, to take advantage of the added coverage of a marital coverage plan, send your insurance company a photocopy or certified copy of your wedding certificate.
Filing taxes jointly can be beneficial for married couples. But, you need a copy of your marriage certificate to do so. You must also go through the process of changing names and IDs. That is because the name filed on taxes must match that on the social security card.
Applying for a Loan or Mortgage
If you are applying for a joint loan or mortgage, you may have to provide your marriage certificate as proof of marriage. You may also have to allow the lender to check your credit history separately. You do not typically need a certified marriage certificate for this and can give a photocopy or fax instead.
You will have to give a copy of your wedding certificate when:
- Applying for a passport with your new name
- Opening a bank account with your new name
- Arranging property succession to a spouse
- Giving tax-free gifts to a spouse
- Custody changes
How to Get a Marriage Certificate Online
If you are already married and signed a marriage certificate, you can order wedding certificates online at VitalRecordsOnline. In most cases, the process is simple, providing you have your photo ID and proof of relationship.
Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Wedding Certificate?
To order a replacement marriage certificate, you will have to prove your identity as family or a spouse. To do so, you must provide:
- Full names of the married couple (maiden name)
- Full date of the marriage
- Location of marriage
- Marriage certification need
- Relationship to the married couple (sometimes with proof such as a birth certificate)
- Phone number
How Long Does It Take to Get a Marriage Certificate?
If you are just getting married, your county clerk will send you the original certified wedding certificate within 2-4 weeks. You can receive a certified document via mail within 24-48 hours of filing a request with Vital Records Online. You can then use it to apply for a passport, bank account, or other need.