Perform a free District of Columbia public marriage records search, including marriage licenses, certificates, registries, and indexes.
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Marriage Records are official documents that contain information about marriages. These include marriage licenses, certificates, registries, and indexes. Marriage Records can show whether a marriage is legally valid, which may be required to obtain benefits related to marriage.
A marriage license is a document issued by a state authority that permits a couple to get married. Couples must apply for a marriage license, and the document includes personal information about the individuals, such as names, dates of birth, and in some cases, disclosure of prior marriages. After getting married, couples must submit the marriage license form to the appropriate state authority in order to receive a marriage certificate, which is legal proof of the marriage.
Marriage registries are databases of all marriages that have taken place in a jurisdiction. Similarly, a marriage index includes records of marriage licenses and certificates issued by a particular office. In some states, these records may only become public after a waiting period. These databases are valuable resources for historians and social scientists to understand marriage patterns over time.
Marriage Records can prove that a marriage is valid. A certified marriage certificate is legal proof of the marriage, and it can be used to certify that a marriage is officially recognized by the state. Valid Marriage Records are required to apply for insurance on a spouse's plan, receive spousal benefits, establish paternity, or apply for a name change.
Genealogical research also relies on Marriage Records to trace ancestry and understand the relationship between different branches of a family tree. Many government offices have Marriage Records that date back to the 1800s or earlier, providing a wealth of information to understand a family's history. These records can establish when a couple married, the woman's maiden name, and where a couple filed for marriage. In some cases, the Marriage Records may also list the names of the couple's parents.