Marriage Records

Marriage records are public records for all legal marriages performed in the U.S..

Marriage Records are Public Information

In the U.S., marriage records are the recording of a legal marriage license and are considered public information. Marriages that are legal under common-law marriage laws are not recorded with a marriage license or recorded for public record. Only nine states and the District of Columbia allow common-law marriage, which is considered a fully legal form of marriage in those states.

Generally, a marriage record will list the couple's full names, date of marriage, and county where the marriage was recorded. States differ on their laws for issuing marriage licenses - for example, whether there is a waiting period between the license and ceremony. Many states require between 1 and 6 days between the license and ceremony.

Marriage licenses and records are recorded at the state level and fall under a state's jurisdiction, but marriages are recognized across the country per the Full Faith and Credit Clause in the U.S. Constitution. However, with same-sex marriages, states may not recognize a license from another state.