Georgia Marriage Records
A Georgia marriage license is issued once the intended couple have applied for one and have been approved by a county court office. Then, a marriage certificate is authorized after the marriage has been officiated. Marriage records are open to the public, and anyone seeking a copy of one can obtain it easily. However, certain documents are private and have restrictions on who can request certified copies. When you seek a copy of marriage certificate, there a very few ways you can access the papers, which include through Georgia’s State Office of Vital Records and through a county Probate Court. Continue reading the sections below for more information on how to obtain a copy of marriage documents, the different kinds of marriage documents and the uses they serve.
How to Get a Marriage Record in Georgia
If you plan to obtain your Georgia marriage registration documents through the State Office of Vital Records, then the marriage license must have been issued after June 1952 and before August 1996. All other marriage license records are only obtainable through the county Probate Court where the license was initially issued. In order to conduct a marriage license search through the state, you have to complete and sign the records request form, attach a copy of an acceptable picture ID and pay the search fee. The marriage certificate search form can be printed off of the state’s website or picked up at a County Vital Records Office. Furthermore, valid forms of identification include a driver’s license, military ID, Georgia state identification card and a U.S. Passport. The marriage documents application form can only be submitted by mail or through walk-in service at any County Vital Records Office. You should receive your certified copy of marriage certificate by mail within a few weeks.
If you plan on ordering your marriage certificate copy through the county Probate Court, then the methods in which you can obtain the document may vary. Some courts may allow you to submit a request online or by mail, but each court will have its own way of processing a request. There is no guarantee that you can order a marriage certificate online, so it is best to contact the Probate Court ahead of time and figure out your options. Additionally, the marriage license lookup process may take a different amount of time depending on the size and traffic of the court’s administration office.
If you are hoping to receive a duplicate marriage certificate within six months of the marriage, then you have to contact the office where the marriage license was issued. This is because marriage licenses take some time to authorize into a marriage certificate after it has been completed and submitted. Furthermore, certified copies of marriage certificates are available to anyone who requests them. However, only the spouses named on the marriage license can request a certified copy of the original marriage license application.
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Types of Georgia Marriage Documents
There a couple of different types of wedding records you obtain before and after a wedding. A marriage license is the document you must acquire before you can get married and obtain an official marriage certificate. When a couple wants to get married, they must apply for a marriage license first, which allows them to be married in the state. The marriage license is provided to the couple the same day and must be signed by both spouses, an officiant and two witnesses (usually done after the wedding ceremony) before it can be accepted by the state. Additionally, a Georgia marriage license does not expire, so you do not have to complete the wedding ceremony as soon as possible after applying for your license. After the marriage license has been signed by all required parties, then the officiant sends it to the state to record and the marriage certificate becomes available.
A marriage certificate is the document that legally declares a marriage and typically includes names of the spouses who were married, the county in which the marriage took place and the date the marriage was officiated. Typically, a marriage certificate is required for legal purposes, such as stating spousal eligibility for Medicare benefits, since a marriage license does not guarantee a marriage has actually taken place. Furthermore, you must request a copy of a marriage certificate at the time it is submitted in order to receive one once it has been filed by the state. If you need a replacement marriage certificate, then it can be requested using the methods mentioned in the section above. Your marriage record search can only be conducted once a marriage certificate has been successfully issued.
Some counties offer decorative marriage certificates designed for framing and display. However, these certificates do not serve any legal or official purpose. If you are interested in this keepsake marriage certificate, then contact your county Probate Court to see if it has this option. You cannot use a keepsake marriage certificate as evidence of a union when learning how to apply for health insurance as a married couple.
Uses of Georgia Marriage Documents
Before you order a marriage certificate, you might wonder what purposes they serve. Marriage certificates can be used when you and your spouse attempt to buy a house together. Mortgage lenders tend to request a copy of a marriage certificate so they can authorize credit checks for a married couple individually and together.
If you and your spouse plan on sharing insurance benefits, then the insurance company will request a copy of a marriage certificate so you can be legally added to the plan. Finally, a marriage certificate is essential when one spouse plans on changing his or her name through the Social Security office.
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