(Closed) Marriage Certificate Questions

posted 10 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

Sadly, it’s really not feasible!  I got married three weeks ago and am still in the process of changing my name.  It usually takes about a week for your marriage certificate to be placed on file with the Country Clerk so you can order a certified copy of it.  I Fed-Ex’ed mine to get it faster, but it still took roughly 5 days to get it after I ordered it.  So, to cut to the gist, about two weeks is the earliest probably!

Post # 5
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Check with your county or town’s local county clerk’s office, sometimes the info can be found on their web site.

If your uncle is getting ordained online or doing it through city hall, either way you and your hubby need to file for a marriage license in the county you’re getting married, they will issue a certificate, and the county’s rules will dictate whether your uncle can sign the certificate or not. 

We had a friend perform our ceremony, and he was deputized by the clerk at City Hall, and was allowed to sign the marriage certificate and send it in for recording.  Then we ordered a certified copy of it.

Post # 6
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Here is the process as I understand it.  You get a marriage license from your local county clerk’s office. (There may be a separate marriage certificate that comes with the license, or it may be all one document, depending on your state’s process.) After the ceremony, you and your husband, the officiant, and the witnesses sign the marriage license/certificate, and it then gets returned to the county clerk.  Typically your officient will mail it in (he has 30 days).

The best thing to do is to take the signed license/certificate to the office by hand.  This may speed up the process.  Where I live, as vital records are physically filed locally, I have been told you can get an official copy the same day.  So if you bring in the signed documentation on Monday after the wedding, you can walk out with your official copies that day.  Remember that you will need more than one official copy if you are changing your passport, as you have to send that copy away.

Post # 7
Member
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

Ok, I’ll tell you how this worked for us in North Carolina. I can’t speak for the way things work in your state though.

A week or so before the wedding we went online and filled out the application for the marriage lisence. We then went down to the County Clerk’s office and finished up the process there. We had to sign the forms and swear to the fact that everything in the forms was correct. We then left with our marriage lisence. It had all the instruction in the package to let us know what to do with it.

An experienced officiant usually takes care of this. It’s one of his/her duties. They get it signed and then mail it into the county office. You then have to wait for them to process it and either mail it to you or call you to pick it up. (North Carolina is no longer mailing certificates). But with a nonexperienced officiant it can be done different ways. Our officiant was a friend who had gotten ordained online. In NC that is not a problem and he did not have to present any additional information except for his name and title. Since the wedding day was so hectic we had everyone sign the lisence at the morning after bunch.

We (my husband and I) then took the lisence to the County Clerk’s office where we had gotten it. They were not busy and asked us if we would like to wait for the official marriage lisence. We said yes and about 15 minutes later, walked out with our certificate. We then headed straight over to the Social Security office and got my name changed. 24 hours from that, I could have gone to the DMV and gotten my drivers lisence changed if I had wanted to. I have a friend who got married in January. She and her husband personally dropped off the lisence and were able to wait for their certificate as well.

Again, I can’t speak for any state other than NC, but that was my experience. Please let me know if there is anything else I can answer for you!! The internet is a great resource and you can find answers to most of your questions for your state there. Also, if there is the option of filling out the application online before going to get the lisence, do it! It cuts down so much on time and gives you a chance to gather all the information you need at home and not in the clerk’s office.

Good luck!!!

p.s. Look into the restrictions for how long the lisence is good for. In NC it’s only good for 60 days. Make sure you’re not getting it too early or waiting too late.

 

Post # 8
Member
378 posts
Helper bee

Hmm. Anyone know how it works if you’re getting married in a different state? Thanks for making me think about how all of that is going to work. I know we have to get a liscense in the county we’re getting married in, I have all of that information, I just never thought of what I would need it for later. And I probably won’t officially change my name until sometime in the winter due to a lot of pre-booked business trips in the fall. "Yes, TSA man, that really is me!"

Post # 9
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

There is a lot of information on the internet.  One day I sat down and spent about an hour googling and came up with about everything I needed.  Social Security wants proof of identity and proof of name change – so your marriage certificate and your drivers license.  Apparently you have to go there first, because they want to see the version of your drivers’ license that has your old name.  Remember that you will have to change your name with your company’s payroll organization very soon after this, or your records won’t match up come tax time. 

The DMV wants your current drivers license and your marriage certificate.  You should make a copy of your current drivers license or make sure you get the old one back (with a hole punched in or whatever).  When I checked for my Professional Engineer’s license they said they would want copies of my old and new driver’s license, and there may be other organizations like that.

You have to file a new passport application, and they will want your birth certificate and your marriage certificate.  If you have had your current passport less than 6 months there is a reduced fee, but if not you pay the same as for a regular renewal.

When you book travel, just make sure that your plane ticket is in the same name as your ID, whether that is your married or maiden name.  Or you’re right, you will have problems.

As far as actually getting the license and filing the certificate, I think its a little different in almost every state.  If you can’t find what you want on the internet probably the easiest thing is to call the county clerk’s office and ask.

Post # 10
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

JMA19, your officiant will need to file your marriage license after the wedding in the county where you physically held your ceremony.  Once it’s filed, you request certified copies of it (you can do this by mail, you don’t have to physically go to the county clerk’s office if it’s not located near you). 

You can then use the certified certificate in the town/city/county you live in to change your SSN, driver’s license, etc.  You do not have to do all the name change stuff in the town/state you got married in if it’s different than where you live.

Definitely order more than one copy of the certified certificate post-wedding, I ordered 3.  Like someone mentioned above, you have to send one in for your new passport, and it’s handy to have an extra one on hand in case you need to leave one behind somewhere if someone requires it (like the bank when you change your name on your accounts, etc.).

Also not a bad idea to carry your marriage certificate around for the first few months i.e. to show the TSA guys, if your driver’s license doesn’t come in time for a trip!

Post # 11
Member
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

if you plan on travelling out of country for your honeymoon i would wait on changing your name because of all the custom issues.

Post # 12
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Here’s how it worked for us in Alabama.

Two weeks before we got married, we applied for a marriage license at the probate office at our county courthouse. We walked out with the license and printed instructions for our officiant (the instructions were: after the marriage ceremony, sign this, fill out your info, and send it in to this address). We gave the license as well as the instructions to our officiant at the rehearsal on Dec 18. He mailed it out on Dec 21.

By the time we got back from the honeymoon on Dec 24, our marriage certificate (the fancy document with the gold seal that we’ll probably frame) was waiting in our mailbox. We had to go back to the probate office to pick up a certified copy of our marriage license in person. This is what I used (along with my current driver’s license) to change my name on my SS card and driver’s license**.  I was also required to show this at the bank when I updated the name on my accounts.

I had my name changed on everything (SS, DL, bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, etc.) by Dec 29, ten days after we were married. However, most people I came in contact with while changing my name at various agencies thought this was crazy. (Most women said that they were still changing their names on things like utility bills two years after they were married.) I just wanted to get everything out of the way as soon as possible.

*We didn’t have to have a witness. There was not a place on our marriage license for a witness to sign. I don’t know for sure that this is standard for all counties in Alabama, but I know that at least three counties don’t require a witness.

**By the way, to get a new SS card, I went to the SS office in our city, but to get a new driver’s license, I did NOT go to the DMV. This was taken care of at the DL office which was a suboffice of the probate office. The DMV is only for those seeking initial licensure. About half of the counties in AL do it this way.

 

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