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When you fall in love with someone and decide to share your life with that individual, you must sign a marriage license and properly file it with the state. Without this license, the state does not recognize your marriage. This can cause problems if you want to get benefits from your spouse or use benefits available to your spouse. Those who are not legally married will not get the same benefits and rights that other survivors do when their spouses die too. A marriage license is a document that legally binds you to your spouse.
The process of obtaining a marriage license can vary from state to state. Most states require that couples apply for a license first. This allows the state to make sure that both individuals can legally marry. Other states ask for blood tests too, which help determine if the two are closely related, which will block them from marrying. Blood tests can also reveal if one or both partners suffer from a serious disease.
A basic marriage license will contain some simple information, including:
Some older marriage licenses will also list the type of ceremony such as a religious ceremony performed in a church or a ceremony held in a courthouse. You will also find the names of the witnesses to the wedding. The license should list those names in a typed format with their signatures below.
One thing to consider is that a marriage license is different from a marriage certificate. The certificate is the official document awarded by the state to the couple that shows they have a legal marriage. Couples get the license and can sign and date it after the ceremony, but they will not get a certificate until they submit the license to the state for approval. Most states give couples several weeks to submit their licenses after their weddings.
You can easily find marriage and wedding info on the web as long as you know where to look. At OurPublicRecords, we reviewed the top public record sites around and ranked those sites on a scale from one to five. Each one has some good benefits and can give you access to marriage licenses and other records. When you use our links, you can find the marriage licenses filed by your parents and grandparents and other married and divorced couples who you know.
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