Ohio Marriage Records
An Ohio marriage certificate is a legal document that declares two people have been officially wed, and that their marriage is recognized by the court. Before this document can be obtained, a marriage license must be requested, signed and submitted back to the county court. Marriage records are used to show proof of marriage, and are used for a variety of different official purposes, which range from buying a house to changing a name. Marriage license records are only available through the county probate court where the marriage license was issued. However, the state Vital Statistics Unit has a marriage license search index used to locate the county probate court. As the marriage index only contains the names of the spouses, the date of the marriage and the county where the marriage took place, it cannot be used for legal purposes. Continue reading the sections below for more information regarding marriage licenses in Ohio, including how to obtain replacement marriage certificate documents if a lost marriage certificate incident has occurred.
How to Get a Copy of a Marriage Registration in Ohio
Although a copy of marriage certificate, called a certified copy of Marriage Abstract (Proof of Marriage) in Ohio, can only be obtained through the county probate court where the marriage license was issued, most courts offer various methods for requesting copies. If you choose to order a marriage certificate online, your certificate will be delivered through standard shipping within a couple of weeks. Before completing this request, you should conduct a marriage license lookup through the marriage index to make sure your license has been successfully returned and processed by the state.
If you wish to order a certified copy of marriage certificate by mail, whether for personal reasons or due to loss of the original, then your request needs to be mailed to the county probate court from which you are requesting the proof of marriage. Furthermore, the marriage certificate copy request should include the names of both spouses, the year the marriage took place, a phone number so you can be reached, the service fee payment in the form of cash or a money order and a self-addressed stamped envelope, so the abstract can be mailed to you. Expect the marriage certificate search to take a few days, and then anticipate a few weeks to receive your abstract in the mail.
You can also conduct your marriage record search in person at the county probate court. In order to receive the duplicate marriage certificate, you must have the names of both spouses and the year the marriage was officiated. Furthermore, marriage documents are public documents in Ohio, which means that anyone is eligible to order a certified copy of Marriage Abstract, as long as they have the appropriate information and provide their full names and signatures. As mentioned above, each county probate court functions differently, and thus, may provide different methods for obtaining a copy of a marriage certificate documents. Learn more about obtaining vital records in our informative guide.
Types of Marriage Documents in Ohio
For a marriage registration to be complete, a couple must first apply for a marriage license. A marriage license is essential for other wedding records to be issued. Moreover, you cannot order a marriage certificate unless the marriage license has been returned to the probate court, because the license basically allows for the marriage to take place and become legally recognized.
In order to file for a marriage license, the couple involved must go to the probate court in the county in which one or both parties live. In order to verify the marriage license applicants’ identities, applicants will be asked to present valid photo IDs and their Social Security Numbers (a Social Security card is not necessary, but the Social Security Number must be included on the application for the marriage license). No appointment is necessary when visiting the probate court, and the marriage license becomes valid upon issuance. Although a marriage license must be obtained in a county of residence, it is valid in any county throughout the state, in case a couple wishes to marry in another municipality. Out-of-state residents who are to be wed in Ohio must request marriage licenses in the counties in which they will marry. The marriage documents must be officiated within 60 days of issuance.
The Certified Marriage Abstract (Proof of Marriage) is filed after the marriage license has been signed by both spouses and an officiant, usually right after the wedding ceremony occurs. The officiant must then send the wedding records off to the probate court for processing and filing. After this is successfully completed, a marriage certificate can be issued. A marriage certificate usually takes up to a few weeks to file. The probate court will not send you a copy of your marriage certificate unless you have requested it. However, marriage records are needed for many different legal purposes, so it is best to order these documents as soon as possible. Read more information about the different types of vital records in Ohio in our comprehensive guide.
Uses for Marriage Records in Ohio
Marriage records have many different uses when your new spouse and you are attempting to build your new life together. For starters, a marriage certificate must be provided when a partner attempts to change his or her name with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration. Furthermore, mortgage lenders may ask you to provide a copy of marriage certificate documentation when you apply for a loan on a house, so they can authorize a credit check for you separately, and together. As a rule of thumb, try to keep at least two extra copies of your marriage certificate in your personal files, so you have them readily available whenever you need them. Learn more about the uses of vital records by perusing our guide.