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How to Find Ohio Marriage Records

Marriage is a legal act in which two people agree to sharing or dividing specific benefits. These benefits are specified by the Ohio state marriage laws. Due to the nature of marriage, where two people share their lives together, there are certain instances where the state must get involved. This is why these records are considered public records in Ohio. Members of the public can typically access and view Ohio marriage licenses and certificates. It should be noted, however, that these records are not the same and are employed for differing reasons. Knowing what form of record one needs before requesting to access them is imperative in saving time and money in their search.

Are Ohio Marriage Records Public?

While Ohio Marriage Records are public, they represent some of the most difficult records to obtain due to the personal nature of the information within. Government organizations often offer marriage verification letters rather than the original marriage records because marriage records must remain intact and unchanged with regard to the people involved in the marriage. If changes need to be made, these records are critical to that procedure.

Family Court Records can include marriage records and divorce records. These records contain personal information of those involved and their maintenance is critical should anyone involved wish to make changes. Because of this both marriage and divorce records can be considered more difficult to locate and obtain than other public records, and may not be available through government sources or third party public record websites.

Where to Find Free Ohio Marriage Records

It is not possible to access marriage records for completely free, but uncertified copies of licenses and certificates can be viewed for minimal fees. These documents will often be copies of the certified documents, but certified copies can be made available for a larger cost.

Copies of these records from 1803 to present are available through the Ohio Probate Court in the county where the marriage license was granted or the marriage was concluded. Marriage records are not available through the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics. It is recommended to double check the reasons for utilization of these records before requesting to make sure the requesting party is accessing the correct type of document.

How Do I Get My Marriage Certificate in Ohio?

Marriage certificates should be obtained from the Probate Court in the county where the marriage took place. Franklin County Probate Court keeps a listing of all the Probate Courts in Ohio and their contact information to make this process easier for requesting parties. Ohio counties’ processes for accessing these records may differ, but often these records are available to request by phone, fax, e-mail or walk-in. The married party may access these documents with the following information:

  • A completely filled out application written request
  • The married couple’s full name
  • Date of marriage or the date range if exact date is not available
  • The county and city where the marriage took place and was finalized
  • The date of birth of both spouses
  • The age of both spouses when the marriage occurred

With this request form, make sure to include valid identification. If the requesting party is making an in person request, a photocopy is not necessary. Otherwise, make a photocopy of the identification to include in the request. Valid forms include a drivers licence, state ID. If this form of id is not available to the requesting parties, they are required to have two of the following form of identification. One of these pieces must have a current address listed on it, and the other must be one of the following:

  • Insurance card
  • Vehicle registration
  • Credit or debit card statement
  • Bank card statement
  • Paystub
  • Public assistance card
  • Voter’s registration card
  • Military identification card
  • Ohio electronic benefits card

Most Ohio counties have slightly different processes for obtaining these records, so fees will vary. Contact the Probate Court that the requesting party will be soliciting records from, and ask what else is necessary before submitting a request.

What are Ohio Marriage Records?

A complete Marriage Record in the state of Ohio includes the original Marriage License and a certified Marriage Certificate. This record acts as a legal statement that a marriage has taken place, but the levels of authority differ depending on the form of the document. These are public records and can be accessed by the Ohio Probate Courts.

Both government websites and organizations may offer divorce and marriage records. Similarly, third party public record websites can also provide these types of records. But because third party organizations are not operated or sponsored by the government, record availability may vary. Further, marriage and divorce records are considered highly private and are often sealed, meaning availability of these types of records cannot be guaranteed.

What are Ohio Marriage Licenses?

A marriage licence is the document that is required for any couple to get married in Ohio. Marriage licensing laws differ depending on what county. The application for a marriage license may be available online on the Probate Court’s website, otherwise it is necessary to obtain it in person and fill it out. This application will require general information about both parties, such as their names, dates of birth, and date of planned marriage. The general rules of obtaining a marriage license in Ohio are as follows:

  • Applicants are required to appear together, in person at the Probate Court
  • Applicants must wait at least one day to marry
  • Licenses are typically valid for 60 days
  • The couple can be married in any county regardless of where the license was obtained
  • Pay the fee that is required for the specific county, usually only cash is accepted
  • It is usually prohibited for minors under 17 to marry in Ohio
  • If an applicant was previously married, they must produce proof of dissolution of marriage
  • Valid identification, as listed above, must be provided

How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Ohio

It is relatively straightforward for a person to change their name after marriage in Ohio. They will need to have a certified copy of their marriage certificate, which will serve as the authenticating document when making other changes. Newlyweds will receive their marriage certificates two weeks after saying their wedding vows.

Once the County Clerk's office sends the marriage certificate, the person looking to make a name change after marriage must notify the Social Security Administration (SSA). Interested applicants must download and fill out an SS-5 form and return it to the SSA in person or by post. They must also include their current passport or driver's license and a certified copy of their marriage certificate.

Parties must also visit the Internal Revenue Service to perform a name change after marriage. They must fill form IRS 8822, which they can use to log a name change or address change. After changing their details with the IRS, parties may visit their local DMV to request a modified driver's license. To change their driver's license, parties must present their current license, two passport photographs, and a certified copy of their marriage certificate. To change a name on a passport, parties can visit the passport office and apply to have it updated. They may also have to inform their financial institutions and utility providers about the name change.

What are Ohio Marriage Certificates?

An Illinois Marriage Certificate is a document typically provided to a couple after they have become married. Unlike a marriage license, they do not state the right of a couple to be married, but are legal proof that the marriage has already happened. The process to attain a Marriage Certificate is outlined above. Request parties must fill out an application to view these documents and submit it to the county clerk's office. Again, if an application is not accessible from the office or online, requesting parties can submit the request in written form with all necessary information.

An Ohio Marriage Certificate is provided to couples after they enter into a marital union. It is a document that is included in Ohio Marriage Records, and they state that a legal marriage has happened. This is not a marriage license, as it does not allow a couple to get married, but is produced after the marriage has occurred. Procedure to access these records from the local Ohio Probate Court is previously defined.

How Do I Obtain a Copy of My Marriage Certificate in Ohio

Obtaining a copy of a marriage certificate requires a visit or other form of contact to the local Ohio Probate Court where the marriage occurred. Unfortunately, there is not stae-wide system to access these records, but if the record is one’s own, the process is relatively easy and inexpensive.