marriage certificate

5 Reasons You’ll Need Your Marriage Certificate

In May 16, 2016

Did you know that your marriage certificate is actually quite important? It is recommended that you have at least two copies at all times – one can be used for personal documentation and the other can be used to show proof of marriage.  Are you wondering why you would be required to show proof of your marriage? There are several reasons including but not limited to receiving spousal benefits, changing your name, and for any form of immigration.

Here are 5 reasons why you need your marriage certificate after you have been married.

  • Do you plan on legally changing your name? If so, you will be required to bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate to the social security office to do so. You will also be required to show your marriage certificate after you have changed your name legally to  to make changes to your name for  bank accounts, at work, and more.
  • Are you or a spouse joining your health benefits? If so, you will need to show proof of your marriage or major life event if you are outside of the normal enrollment period. Many insurance companies will require a marriage certificate to complete the coverage addition.
  • Are you or a spouse a foreigner who will need to gain immigration benefits, you will be required to show proof of legal marriage that is valid within the United States. You will be required to show your marriage certificate for this process.
  • If you plan on buying a house and need to apply for a loan, many lenders will ask for a marriage certificate. This is so lenders can check your credit history jointly and separately.


Due to these reasons why you need your marriage certificate, among many others, you should always have a few certified copies. Many times when you have to send in a copy to a government agency, it can take a few weeks for them to mail it back to you. If you do not have multiple certified copies of your marriage certificate, getting your name changed or your benefits changed will likely take a much longer time period to complete. If you need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate, you can order one online now at


  1. If taking out a will would you need your marriage certificate

    1. Hello Stephen. We recommend you contact someone who specializes in writing wills for more information about what documentation you will need to provide.

  2. You don’t need to change your name to file joint taxes. This person may have meant to say that if you choose to change your name, you will need to notify the IRS so that your Social Security card can be changed before you use your new name to file jointly .

    1. Hi Laura. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We’ll look into this and update the information accordingly.

    2. Hi Laura. Just wanted to let you know that we appreciate your input about this confusing information and have update the article accordingly. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. In this day and age why are so many hard copies needed?

  4. I am looking for a straight answer to one simple question, if anyone knows the answer to my question? I am legally divorced for several years now, and I want to know if you have to keep your marriage license from your first and only marriage for the rest of your life? Even if you never marry again? Chrissy Cole?

  5. I have just discovered one other reason why you may need to have your marriage certificate, even after divorced. I just
    received my Driver’s License Renewal information, and apparently we’ve passed some Federal “Real ID Act,” that is a
    Real ID compliant card. Since my name is different than my birth name, I need to show either my U.S. Passport, which
    unfortunately expires in a week, or my marriage certificate that shows evidence of my name change. Basically, my advise
    is to keep all your certificates up to date, because the more of them that you have possession of, the easier it will be to
    request a copy of something that you are missing.

    1. Very good advice, Debra, considering the the ever increasing threat of identity theft. The more documentation you have, the better!

  6. My husband and I gothink married 5 years ago,his last name on his bitlrth certificate was different from the name we married under. I did not find this out till he legally changed his name the beginning of this year.My question is : Is this marriage even legal

    1. Hello Patty. We are not qualified to answer legal questions. You may want to contact someone with legal expertise for answers to your question regarding the validity of your marriage. We wish you the best.

  7. would you need your marriage licence for dependent eligiblity verification?

    1. Hello Joan. It is possible that copy of your marriage certificate may be required by your insurance carrier for dependent eligibility verification.


    1. It is doubtful but since requirements can vary from state to state, you could check in the state where the marriage would take place.

  9. Does your physicians office request a copy of your marriage certificate if you’re a new patient from out of state.

    1. Hello Michele. Each physician may have different requirements so it is best to check with the specific doctor before visiting.

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