Getting married is a very big step for couples, and one of most important things you need to get to that step is a marriage registration certificate. Marriage registration certificates are essential for a married couple, but many people do not actually know that much about marriage registration—how to do it, what (if any) rules there are and so on.
If you are engaged to be married and need to know more about marriage registration, look no further than this guide to everything you need to know about marriage registration.
Where to go for a marriage registration
In most jurisdictions, you will need to apply for a marriage at the office of the county clerk. The county clerk’s office issues various registrations and permits, such as permits for new buildings and, of course, marriage licenses. In some jurisdictions, you may need to go somewhere else; make sure you research where to go for a marriage license in your area before you head out of the house.
What you need to bring with you
This can vary from state to state and even county to county. In some states, all you need to bring with you are birth certificates, a state-issued ID, and proof that your marriage is legal in your state. Other states may have other requirements for applying for a marriage license, such as proof that you are not related or that you have undergone certain medical tests required by some state laws.
Make sure there’s no time limit
Many people do not realize that some marriage registrations actually have a time limit—and these time limits vary state by state. In some states, marriage registration certificates are only valid for a certain period of time—which can be anywhere from a week to several months. If you live in a state with a short time limit on a license, you need to make sure that you time your license application just right with your marriage ceremony.
In other states, the time limit works in reverse: you must wait a certain time period after applying for your license before you can actually receive your marriage registration certification. This is typically done to discourage spur-of-the-moment marriages, since you can’t be married to someone without being with them for at least a few months. In these cases, you must make sure that your marriage ceremony is planned in time – when your registration finally becomes valid.
You may be need to undergo testing
In some states, couples who wish to be married are required to undergo testing for certain infectious diseases such as rubella or tuberculosis; this type of testing used to be standard in almost all states but has fell out of favor in the last few years in many of them.
Some states may also strongly encourage both partners to get tested for certain diseases, including HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, before they make the marriage registration valid.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Mary Fisher