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Do You Need A Birth Certificate To Get Married?





Getting a marriage license requires the correct documents. 


Yes, you need a certified copy of your birth certificate. U.S. Marriage license laws vary by state, however, most states require a birth certificate along with your government-issued photo ID as well as your Social Security Number (SSN). 

To get married, make sure you start gathering the necessary documents early to avoid delays in your wedding plans. 


1. Require Documents For Marriage

To obtain a marriage license, you'll need:

  • government-issued identification
  • proof of residency or citizenship
  • social security number
  • certified copy of your birth certificate (this varies by state)

Additional documents if you've been married before may include: 

  • divorce decrees
  • death certificates


Certified birth certificate

A certified birth certificate is an official document-- issued by the state – that verifies your birth details and legal identity. 

This kind of document is important for legal matters, including marriage license applications and passport issuance. 

In the U.S., a certified birth certificate is often necessary for:

  • obtaining driver's licenses
  • enrolling in school
  • applying for government benefits



2. Application Timing 

Applying for a marriage license is crucial to avoiding last-minute delays that could jeopardize your wedding plans. 

Factors like: 

  • processing times
  • waiting periods
  • validity durations

must be considered when scheduling your application. 


State processing times 

Processing times for marriage licenses can vary significantly depending on local regulations and administrative workloads. 

For example, states like South Carolina have a minimal 1-day processing time. 

But, states like Minnesota require a five-day waiting period. 


3. Where To Obtain A Marriage License 

Marriage licenses can be obtained from local government offices. 

Primary locations include: 

  • city halls
  • marriage license bureaus
  • registrar's offices
  • county, city, or town clerk's offices

– this depends entirely on your jurisdiction. And most states require couples to apply for marriage licenses in person.


Costs and Fees 

Fees may apply to a marriage license application ranging from $5 to $26. 

These costs can vary depending on the county, city or municipality in which you apply. 

Be sure to verify exact fee beforehand by contacting the relevant local government office. 


Difference between marriage license and marriage certificate 

A marriage license is a legal document you obtain before getting married, which declares that 2 citizens are eligible to get married. 

A marriage certificate is a document issued after the marriage that certifies that the two citizens are married. 


4. Contact State Vital Records 

If you are applying for a marriage license soon and need a copy of your birth certificate, head online to State Vital Records

Our quick, efficient process makes replacing your birth certificate easy and affordable. 



  • Order online – Submit the form on State Vital Records through our online order form.
  • Notarization Through NotaryLive - In terms of notarization, some states require notarization of an application or a sworn statement – because of  State Vital Records' partnership with NotaryLive, a remote online notarization platform that provides fast, secure and convenient notarization 24/7. ((Note: Keep in mind there are added fees when using NotaryLive for convenient, remote online notarization.)
    • Upload Your Document
    • VerifyYour Identity
    • Connect Online With An Online Notary
    • NotaryLive Routes Your Documents to State Vital Records Automatically


  • State Vital Records – After notarization through NotaryLive,  State Vital Records will send the application to the jurisdiction. This is where the jurisdiction is responsible for the rest of the application process.
  • Jurisdiction – Will complete order and mail copy of the requested vital records to you


If you require assistance in notarizing your document, please contact [email protected]. Interested in the notarization process? Click here to learn more.


Looking to order your state vital records? Click here to make a request. Have any questions, contact us!



Frequently Asked Questions

  • What documents do I need to order a birth certificate online? 
    • Generally, you’ll need the following:
      • Proof of identity: A valid government-issued ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport)
      • Information about the individual: Full name, date of birth, and parent’s names.
      • Payment method: A credit card or debit card for the processing fee.
  • What’s the fastest way to get a copy of my birth certificate?
    • offers a convenient process to order your vital records and will send your application to the jurisdiction for you where it is processed.
  • Is it safe to order a birth certificate online? 
    • Ordering a birth certificate online from an official government website is generally safe and secure. To protect your personal information, make sure the website uses encryption (check for “https” in the URL like ). Avoid third-party websites or services that may need additional costs and are not linked with the government