Marriage records are public records. They are one of the core Public Vital Records along with Death, Birth and Divorce. It is a very well-searched record category and is available to any member of the public free of charge as long as procedures and requirements are complied with.
Their treatment may vary from state to state but Public Marriage Records are available in all states. Coming under state jurisdiction, they are maintained at state repositories. It is important to note that state records are not linked among themselves. If someone has resided in various states, all those states have to be covered in order for a marriage record search to be complete. If the person has never married in a state, the search will return with a ‘no record found’. This is often the desired outcome of a search.
There are both Confidential and Public Marriage Records. The bulk of marriage records fall under the latter category and the information found in these free marriage records typically include personal particulars of the couple, their parents’, witnesses’ and also the name of the conducting official of the marriage ceremony. Some related records may also show up such as Divorce and Birth Records.
People make use of free marriage records in various ways. Genealogists, lawyers, journalists and even police use them extensively in the course of their work. On the more private front, they are used by adopted or separated children to locate or trace the identities of their natural parents. Most of all, people use them in the background checks on their partners when their relationships have advanced to a certain level, especially when marriage is being contemplated.
It’s actually easy and convenient to obtain free marriage records from the respective government departments. Requests can be made by mail, fax, telephone, in person or even online nowadays. With computerization, the retrieval proper can be swift but the formality and procedures may necessitate some queuing or waiting period. To get around that, turn to commercial providers for Online Marriage Records. For a few dollars, you get them faster, better and easier.