importance of marriage records

Understanding the Importance of Marriage Records

In September 19, 2013

One of the most important events in an adult’s life is getting married. The importance of marriage records becomes an a key part of an individual’s vital documents. A marriage certificate should be stored in a secure location, for example a safety deposit box or safe, with other important documents, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and medical documentation, to name a few.

The Need for Proof of Marriage

Proof of marriage documentation is important for a variety of different identification needs. For example, if a woman decides to take her husband’s name, she will need her marriage certificate in order to update her driver’s license, social security card, and other official forms of identification. It can also be an important part of estate planning to show proof of next of kin and designation of beneficiaries. For those who are tracing their family’s genealogy, marriage certificates are an incredibly important part of a family’s history.

How to Obtain Replacement Marriage Records Using VitalChek

Whether it is due to a natural disaster, theft, or other unexpected issue, there are times when it is necessary to acquire replacement marriage records. While the couple that has been married can work to obtain replacement marriage records, sometimes it is helpful to consult with a professional organization that is experienced in acquiring vital statistic records.

VitalChek is an organization that has been government-authorized to help individuals acquire vital statistic records for over 25 years. VitalChek works directly with government agencies on the local and state levels in order for authorized individuals to obtain vital statistic documents, such as marriage records.

VitalChek can often help replace records within one week. In some instances, marriage records can be replaced within just a few days. On occasion, however, it can take longer to acquire missing marriage records. Oftentimes, a delay in obtaining marriage records, or any vital statistic document, can occur because the documents may not be stored electronically, and may take longer to retrieve. It is also important to provide all required information, including proof of identity if necessary, so that VitalChek and the government agency issuing the document are assured the request is legitimate and that the person requesting is eligible to receive the document.


  1. How do I get a copy of my marriage license?

    1. You can go to the Marriage Record section of the VitalChek website to securely order a certified copy of your marriage certificate:

  2. I cannot get your website to work to order a Marriage License! I need it immediately! I have tried every tab and link, but my browser says, “waiting for vitalchek….”
    Please help!

    1. Thank you for your question, and we apologize for any inconvenience you are experiencing due to website issues. If you are still having difficulty placing an order on our website, you might try using a different browser – sometimes Chrome or Firefox will work better than Internet Explorer. If that doesn’t help, please feel free to contact us at 800-255-2414 for assistance. Thank you.

  3. DO NOT USE if you need your documents quickly. I have been waiting over a week for a copy of my marriage certificate coming from LA county in CA. I paid for expediting the shipping scanned all documents that were needed and it is still in Processing when I track my order. I called vitalchek and was told it can take up to 14 days. My husband passed away and I cannot get his pension check without this and I have now missed the cutoff and will not get a check until April 30. Very disappointed with their lack of service

    1. Thank you for your comment, and we apologize for any confusion about the time required for processing your request. If you would like us to follow-up on the status of your order, please feel free to send us an email with your order number to, and we’ll be glad to assist you. Thank you.

  4. I need to order copies of my mothers marriages and divorces for an estate settlement. Do the copies we get from you always show the signatures of bride/groom and divorcing woman and man?

    Thank You

    1. Thank you for your question. The certificate copies you can order through VitalChek will be official, certified copies issued by the authorized government agency. These certified copies are typically valid for most legal purposes, including estate settlement. Whether they show bride/groom/spouse signatures would depend upon the issuing agency’s regulations. Thank you.

  5. My sister and I are completing our family ancestry, as well as joining several organizations based on this family history ( e.g. Daughters of the American Revolution = we’re in!) and recently, The American Association of Salem Witches. This latter requires documentation that we are unable to locate in family records, specifically the marriages of our mother to her first and second spouses, and the subsequent divorce records. We do not have the dates or locations of any of these events, though can reasonably speculate to some extent. I find that your site is of no use if don’t have EXACT data, which is EXACTLY what we need the records for = Catch 22! Surely we are not the first to encounter this.
    Does anyone have any suggestions of how to proceed? We’re talking events in the early 1940s and 1950s.
    Appreciate any guidance or suggestions. Thanks!

    1. Hello and thank you for your question.
      Unfortunately our site will require a certain amount of information to determine what vital records agency to order from. Since VitalChek is considered an expedited service for the ordering of vital records, the vital records agencies typically will ask that you have exact or a specific range of information when going through our site.
      Most vital records offices would suggest you order by mail in application if you are needing them to do a broad search.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  6. same question
    I need to order copies of my mothers marriages and divorces for an estate settlement. Do the copies we get from you always show the signatures of bride/groom and divorcing woman and man?

    Thank You

    1. Hello Marisol. Thanks for reaching out with your question. The information presented on the marriage and death certificate may vary depending on the state agency they are processed through. You may want to contact the issuing vital records agency for more information on this subject.

  7. Hello, My name is Chris Gayle I am also a blogger I have read your article is very nice to Keep it up!

    1. Hi Chris. We appreciate the feedback!

  8. Hello Larissa Very nice and informative article, Thanks for sharing.

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