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CostHelper > Weddings  > Marriage Certificate

Marriage Certificate Cost


How Much Does a Marriage Certificate Cost?

 
low costOfficial, Legal Certificate: $5-$26average costHeirloom Certificate: $5-$30high costElaborate or State-Issued Heirloom Certificate: $45-$275
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When a couple marries, they must apply for and purchase a marriage license, which the officiant fills out and signs on the wedding day. Before the couple can receive a legal marriage certificate, they must submit the signed marriage license to the county clerk (in person or via mail). Either spouse can order copies of the legal marriage certificate once the record is official, usually within a few weeks. Some couples choose to order non-certified "heirloom" marriage certificates to display as a keepsake.

Typical costs:

  • A legal marriage certificate costs anywhere from $5 to $26 for the first copy. Fees vary by state, with additional copies of the same certificate running $3 to $15 each. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[1] (CDC) website lists typical marriage certificate costs by state.
  • Inexpensive heirloom marriage certificates typically cost $5 to $30, and are available at online gift retailers. These may incorporate various religious symbols and traditions.
  • More elaborate heirloom marriage certificates typically cost $45 to $275, and are available from retailers or from a state's records office (only a few states currently offer these, such as Texas, Alaska and Massachusetts). These may be matted and framed or signed in calligraphy, but they are not certified documents and cannot be used for legal purposes.
Related articles: Marriage License, Officiant, Wedding Gown Preservation

What should be included:
  • A state-issued, legal marriage certificate should have an official signature and may be printed on security paper with a raised state seal. Names, wedding location and marriage date should be printed on the certificate.
  • An heirloom marriage certificate, though not an official government document, should include a space for the couple's names and wedding date. Because this document is only a keepsake, the information included is up to the couple.
Additional costs:
  • Expect to pay more for the marriage certificate when using a convenient, online service like USA Vital[2] . Fees for this company's marriage certificate search and retrieval service range from $37 to $80.
  • A state may charge more for a marriage certificate that is valid for foreign use (known as a long certificate). In New York City[3] , a long certificate costs $20 more than a short certificate (for domestic use). Also in NYC, expect to pay $10 extra for a hand signature and raised seal.
  • Additional charges up to $20 may apply to have your marriage certificate expedited.
  • If you are not sure which year a marriage took place, be prepared to pay an additional search fee of $1 to $5 per year searched. In many cases, you will still be responsible to pay this fee, even if the record cannot be found.
Discounts:
  • Order 2 to 3 copies of your marriage certificate at the same time to save money and a return trip to the county clerk.
Shopping for a marriage certificate:
  • To update a passport, you'll need to mail one certified marriage certificate. Order another certified copy to show to your employer and the DMV; this will be returned for your records. Your new driver's license should be enough to change your name on most records.
  • Depending on your state, you may avoid a long wait by ordering in person rather than by mail. California has reported delays of up to six months.
  • Provide the groom's name, bride's maiden name, wedding date, county where license was issued and your relation to the couple if it is not your record. The state may not issue you a certified copy if you are cannot prove your relation to the couple or need for the document.
  • Companies like USA Vital[4] and VitalChek[5] allows customers to order legal copies of marriage certificates online.
  • Inexpensive heirloom certificates are sold at Wedding Depot[6] , A Charming Chest, The Wedding Helpers[7] and Planner's Guide[8] .
  • Expensive heirloom certificates are available at Beautiful Calligraphy[9] , Online Christian Products[10] and Lord's Art.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Marriage License Fee
Amount: $37.00
Posted by: Lisa Carver in Moline, IL.Posted: June 20th, 2014 02:06AM
We got married at courthouse, the court fee is $37. And the copy of marriage certificate is $11 each
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Marriage License Fee
Amount: $72.00
Posted by: dgve in Seguin, TX.Posted: December 15th, 2010 12:12AM
We were shocked to see that the price of a marriage license has more than doubled in 2 years in our county (Guadalupe). A duplicate license is $42.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm
  2.  www.usavital.com/order/order.asp
  3.  www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/marriage/records.shtml#fees
  4.  www.usavital.com/order/order.asp
  5.  /www.vitalchek.com/order_main.aspx
  6.  www.weddingdepot.com/marriage-certificates-c-23_47.html
  7.  www.weddinghelpers.com/cert.html
  8.  www.plannersguide.com/wed7.htm
  9.  www.beautifulcalligraphy.com/store/cart1191.html?m=product_list&c=29
  10.  www.onlinechristianproducts.com/site/1482850/page/912884
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