A marriage license legally allows you to marry. A marriage certificate proves you got married. How you get copies depends on whether you married in the U.S. or abroad.
How to get a certified copy of a marriage certificate
If you were married in the U.S., contact the vital records office in the statewhere you were married. They will tell you the cost, what information you need to supply, and if you can get a copy online, by mail, or in person.
How to get a copy of a marriage license
- Most marriage licenses expire within 30 days to a year, depending on the issuing state.
- If yours expires or gets lost before you get married, apply for a new one.
Married abroad: how to get marriage records
Contact the embassy or consulate of the country where the marriage took place.
If you were married abroad before November 9, 1989, contact the State Department to get a copy of the Certificate of Witness to Marriage Abroad.