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Oops - Don't Forget Your Marriage License

by Scott Free

When you marry, you must first get a marriage license. This is necessary for a variety of reasons. They prove that you are free to marry, and in some cases, they prove you are not rushing into a marriage. Because there is a waiting period for the license, you cannot get one, and then get married two minutes later. This is the case in most states in the US, but there may be a few exceptions.

The basic use of a marriage license is to prove that you are free to marry. Some states require blood tests to get a marriage license, but this less common than it used to be. The license also states that you are not already married, or if you were, you are legally divorced and free to remarry. The person performing your marriage must have a copy of your marriage license to perform your ceremony; otherwise, the marriage is not legal.

What most people don't know about a marriage license is that it is a matter of public record. When you apply for a license, it is usually listed in the newspaper. While I'm not sure why they do this, I'm pretty sure it is to make sure all information you submitted was true, and if you lied about your marital state when you applied for your marriage license, someone can step forward. A copy of your marriage license will be stored in your county courthouse indefinitely.

The Satelites
The Satelites
The Satelites
The Satelites

Another thing people don't know is that many people can find you via your marriage license. Many private investigators can find out information about you and your history by going to a courthouse and requesting a copy of your license. This may not lead someone directly to you, but it can supply him or her with your married name if they don't know what it is, and can give them a lead as to where you may be living.

Your marriage license may also be used by future generations if they are trying to put together their family tree. For genealogists, the marriage license is a great way to find lost ancestors, and to find out whom they married and where they lived. This might give them clues that they may have not been able to find otherwise. You may be able to find lists of old marriage licenses online, but in most cases, you will have to go to the courthouse to get one.

About the author...
Scott "Free" Saraniero is the co-founder of The Satelites.