|North Dakota Resources:
ND State Vital Statistics Office
North Dakota Division of Vital Records
What's the Process For Finding North Dakota Marriage Records?
The entire process of getting married is sometimes stressful, especially for the person who is doing the planning. Generally this person is the bride, and it is stressful for most brides simply because they have so much to do. Along with caterers and dresses and venues and attendants, they need to put together the information they need in order to obtain their marriage license. After the ceremony, the completed license is returned to the Vital Records office to be recorded, proving that you're legally married.
Usually, people who get married receive a copy of their marriage certificate in the mail a few weeks after their ceremony was completed; these records are necessary for a number of reasons, including changing the bride's name on social security cards, licenses, and bank accounts. But what should you do if your certificate doesn't arrive when it's supposed to?
Finding Your Certificate
The first step you need to take to get your North Dakota marriage record is to figure out where exactly it is. This is actually a very easy part because a large majority of the time the records are kept in the largest city closest to where you were married. This may be a bit different, however, if you were married in a small town. If you were married near, or in, a large city, you will need to contact the Vital Records office of the large city, but if you were married in a small town that is nowhere near a large city, as many of the small towns in North Dakota are, than you will have to go directly to the town clerk for that town.
North Dakota marriage records are kept in the location where you were married because it is the easiest way to make sure that records are not lost in transit.
Getting a Copy
Once you've found your North Dakota marriage record, it is time to attain your official copy. If you were just looking up information about your ancestors, such as trying to fill in a family tree, for instance, then you could view the information on the relevant North Dakota marriage records online for free. If you need a legal copy, however, then you'll have to pay the proper Vital Records office a nominal fee for a certified copy. Legal copies need to be notarized by the appropriate person in the Vital Records or town clerk's office, and you will definitely be required to pay a small amount.
You'll need to fill out the applicable form on the department's website, or send them the request through the postal service, and you'll then only have to wait a few weeks to get your legal copy in the mail. Once you receive the record, make sure to keep it safe, as marriage records can be used for criminal purposes in the wrong hands.
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