Even the most glorious events of your life, including your wedding, can involve some unavoidable paperwork (or e-work, as the case may be in our digital era). If you plan to get married soon, you need to make sure you’ve taken your marriage certificate into consideration. This legal document serves as proof of your valid marriage — a critical factor when it comes to everything from how you file your taxes to what name you use in your other legal documents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated wedding arrangements, including marriage certificate applications, for countless couples over the past year or so. Fortunately, you can conduct your wedding entirely online now and even get your marriage certificate through the magic of the Internet, thanks to the services offered by MarryFromHome. If you’ve never really understood much about marriage certificates, you should find this overview helpful.
Is a Wedding Necessary to Obtain a Marriage Certificate?
Because the marriage certificate confirms that yes, you actually got married, you have to go through with the wedding before you can receive it. Of course, you’d have no use for a marriage certificate anyway if you weren’t actually married, right?
Even if you were able to get your hands on the marriage certificate itself beforehand, it wouldn’t do you much good. Your officiant and two witnesses must sign the certificate to make it eligible for processing by the local authorities — and they can only do that after the wedding has reached a successful conclusion. In the case of an online wedding, a digital signature is perfectly sufficient.
For many couples who spent the last year of their lives in social isolation, the good news is that you can proceed with that wedding as an online-only experience. MarryFromHome’s online wedding service makes it easy for you to get married via videoconference, with an online officiant and virtual guests looking on from the safety and convenience of their own homes — even their own homes are on the other side of the world!
What Other Requirements Do You Have to Follow to Get a Marriage Certificate?
You may think of your wedding as the most important part of your journey toward marriage, but that journey’s requirements actually begin long before you say “I do.” The first major piece of documentation you need to think about isn’t the marriage certificate — it’s the marriage license.
If you’ve never understood the difference between the two, think of them as before-and-after legal bookends to your wedding. The marriage license is the document that allows you to get legally married; the marriage certificate serves as legal verification that you are in fact married.
In the past, couples went to their city or county clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license. Today, several states have broadened their procedures to allow for online marriage license applications.
Either way, you’ll still need to provide whatever personal information required by your state (or the state in which you intend to be married). This data may include your Social Security numbers (only for US citizens), proof that you’re both of legal age to be married, and valid IDs or driver’s licenses.
For online marriage license applications, each of you may also need to affirm that you have the necessary Internet-ready electronics, a valid means of online fee payment, and an unlocked credit report.
Bear in mind that not everyone can receive a marriage license even after meeting these basic requirements. Individuals who are already married to someone else, who are blood relatives (or otherwise relately too closely for the state’s comfort), or who suffer from any mental incapacity that interferes with their ability to comprehend their actions cannot get a marriage license. On the upside, same-sex couples no longer face the legal obstacles to obtaining a marriage license that they once did.
The advantage of MarryFromHome’s online marriage service is that only a government issued ID and a selfie are required. No other documents are needed, making the application process fast and straightforward.
How Do You Order a Marriage Certificate?
The procedure for ordering a marriage certificate can vary, depending on whether you choose to take the process online. The traditional method involves going to the county clerk’s office about a week before the wedding, filling an application form, and paying a fee. You then receive the marriage certificate and have it ready at the ceremony for the officiant and witnesses to sign, at which point you take the signed document back to the clerk’s office for processing.
Ordering an online marriage certificate can prove much simpler and less time-consuming than the in-person approach. You still have to provide any necessary data and documents, but you can deliver them electronically instead of mailing them or presenting them by hand.
MarryFromHome provides you with an online application and then registers you in a US state that recognizes online marriage. Our system then generates both a legal marriage license and a legal marriage certificate as soon as all the necessary administrative confirmations have gone through.
If you lose your marriage certificate or simply need more copies than you originally ordered, don’t panic; you can order a certified copy of this document at any point in the future. You can even request this document online if you wish (or if your local clerk’s office has temporarily suspended in-person document requests).
Only you or your spouse can order copies of your marriage certificate, with rare exceptions made for attorneys, government organizations, and law enforcement agencies as needed. To help ensure the privacy and security of a marriage certificate request, both of you may need to verify your identities. You even be asked to provide certain details about the wedding ceremony.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Marriage Certificate?
Once you’ve completed the wedding ceremony, your designated officiant and two predetermined witnesses will sign the marriage certificate. You and your spouse will also sign this certificate (a digital signature is accepted). But you’re not finished with the process just yet!
The officiant (or your online wedding service) must then submit the signed marriage certificate to the country clerk’s office, where it will go through the necessary administrative processing to make it an officially-recognized document. This office will then mail you however many copies of the marriage certificate you requested (you can also arrange to have a digital copy of the marriage ceremony emailed to you).
Expect the entire process to extend a few weeks beyond your actual wedding date.
What’s the Easiest Way to Get Your Marriage Certificate Online?
Your local government’s website should offer methods and instructions for requesting a certified copy of a marriage certificate, if you’re just looking to replace a lost document or order extra copies. But what’s the easiest way to go digital with every part of your marriage, including the marriage certificate?
You may have seen the answer to this question coming from a mile away — which just means that you’ve been paying attention. MarryFromHome offers the easiest, most efficient way to manage every step of your online wedding, including your online marriage certificate.
We provide the officiant, make sure that everybody has signed on the proverbial dotted line, and send the signed marriage certificate to the appropriate local administrative office for official approval. So instead of struggling with all the separate puzzle pieces of your online wedding yourself, leave everything to your friends at MarryFromHome. Contact us today!