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How to Find North Dakota Marriage Records

North Dakota marriage records are the documents providing details of all legal marital unions which have occurred in the state. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of June 26, 2015 validated same-sex marriages, North Dakota marriage records have come to include records of same-sex unions as well.

Are North Dakota Marriage Records Available to the Public?

North Dakota marriages are on public record. Therefore, records of marriages performed in the state are available to be accessed, viewed, and copied by any member of the public. However, certified copies of a marriage record can only be obtained by a specific set of people. These are the couple named on the record, their immediate family, and legal representatives. If requesting a certified copy of a marriage record in North Dakota, the requester is required to provide the following information:

Names of the couple named on the record (including maiden names, if applicable) Where the marriage license was purchased When the marriage ceremony was held. Usually, there is an accompanying fee to obtain a certified copy of a marriage record in North Dakota.

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.

What is a North Dakota Marriage Record?

A North Dakota marriage record refers to all the documents retained that provide validation for the legal union of two persons as a married couple. The typical documents which constitute a marriage record in North Dakota are marriage licenses and marriage certificates.

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 is a North Dakota Marriage Certificate?

A North Dakota marriage certificate is a state-issued document that validates the marriage between two persons. A marriage certificate certifies that the two persons named on the record have satisfied all legal requirements in North Dakota to be identified as a married couple. In North Dakota marriage certificates are issued by Clerks of Court and County Recorders.

What is a North Dakota Marriage License?

A North Dakota marriage license is a document issued to eligible persons seeking to get married in North Dakota. A marriage license signifies approval for the persons to enter a marital union in the state that will be considered legal and binding. A North Dakota marriage license comes in triplicates including an original copy and two duplicate copies. A North Dakota marriage license is available to eligible couples from any County Recorder in the state. In some counties in the state, the Clerk of the Court also functions as the County Recorder and issues marriage licenses.

How to Change Your Name After Marriage in North Dakota

Parties must first obtain a marriage license to perform a name change after marriage in North Dakota. Parties must then begin notifying the relevant agencies, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA). The party must contact an SSA office with a copy of their marriage and a photo ID to change the name on their social security card. The SSA will provide an application form to fill and return. The party can expect their social security card in about two to three weeks.

North Dakotan parties must also update their driver's license information by contacting the North Dakota Department of Transportation within ten days of changing their name after marriage. After that, they can apply for a duplicate driver's license by visiting a local office in person and will need to submit a copy of their marriage certificate. It costs $3 to obtain a North Dakota duplicate driver's license.

North Dakota Formal Marriage License

A North Dakota formal marriage license is the usual marriage license issued in the state. It is the requisite document that permits two individuals to enter a marital union in the state. It is available to any two individuals who are eligible and have satisfied all requirements. A marriage license obtained in North Dakota can only be used in the state.

North Dakota Common-Law Marriage License

Common-law marriage is an arrangement where two individuals, considered eligible to be married, cohabit and present themselves to the general public as a married couple. This is despite not satisfying any of the legal requirements to be considered married i.e. obtaining a marriage license and conducting a solemnization ceremony.

Common-law marriages in North Dakota were abolished in 1890 and are no longer recognized. The state does not issue licenses for common-law marriages. Common-law marriages that occurred in other states and were considered a valid marriage in those states will be recognized in North Dakota. The common-law couple may be required to provide documentation verifying that their common-law marriage was deemed valid by the state in which it occurred.

How Do I Obtain a North Dakota Marriage License?

Obtain a North Dakota marriage license by contacting any County Recorder Office in the state. A marriage license will be issued to any two persons who meet all eligibility requirements prescribed in North Dakota, provide all the requested documents, and pay the required fee.

Only persons aged 18 years and older are eligible to receive marriage licenses in North Dakota without parental consent. Persons aged between 16 and 17 years require written and notarized consents from both parents or legal guardians. At least one of the parents or legal guardians must be present when the application is being made. Furthermore, legal guardians are required to bring along evidence of guardianship. Persons under the age of 16 may not receive a marriage license in North Dakota.

A North Dakota marriage license costs $65 and this fee must be paid at the time of application. Most counties require the fee to be paid in cash. The license is valid for 60 days from the date it was issued. If the license expires before the wedding ceremony is performed the couple must apply for a new license. There are no refunds.

Both persons applying for a marriage license must do so in person and fill out the application. They are also required to bring along acceptable IDs. Acceptable forms of ID in North Dakota include:

Valid driver’s license Any state-issued photo ID Military ID Passport Permanent resident card Original birth certificate or a certified copy The social security numbers of both persons are also required. While it is not mandatory to have a social security card, this is the preferred method of verifying applicants’ social security numbers. If either of the applicants was previously married, that applicant must provide a certified divorce certificate of their most recent divorce (for divorcees) or a certified death certificate (for widowed applicants). The certificate will be retained on file along with the marriage license application. In North Dakota, there are no requirements to provide a blood test result and there is no waiting period before a wedding ceremony can be conducted.

After the solemnization ceremony, the marriage license must be signed by the official who conducted the ceremony and two witnesses. The proper copies of the marriage license are the original copy and duplicate A. Duplicate B is strictly for personal records and serves no legal purpose. These must then be returned to the County Recorder’s Office where it was issued typically within 5 days. This is so the marriage license can be officially recorded and filed among the county records. The original copy of the marriage license will be returned to the couple. Certified copies of the marriage record will then be available from the County Recorder.

How Do I Obtain a North Dakota Marriage Certificate?

A certified copy of a North Dakota marriage certificate will only be available on request if the proper copies (the original copy and duplicate A) of the marriage license were returned to the County Recorder’s Office.

To obtain a certified copy of a North Dakota marriage certificate, submit a request to the County Recorder who issued the marriage license. A request can be submitted in person by visiting the courthouse where the license was issued. A request may also be submitted by sending a mail to the appropriate County Recorder. Requests for certified copies of a marriage certificate are only processed if they came from the couple named on the record, their immediate family members, and authorized legal representatives. These requests must provide the names of the couple and the marriage date. There is a fee to obtain certified copies of marriage certificates which typically ranges between $5 and $10.

The Division of Vital Records of the North Dakota Department of Health ceased providing marriage certificates on January 1, 2008.