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How to Find Arizona Marriage Records
In Arizona, marriage records are official documents that certify and prove the validity of marriages in the State. These records are recognized as vital records and, in line with Arizona territorial law of 1864, are kept and issued by authorized public officials in the state.
Unlike other US states, Arizona's Bureau of Vital Records does not maintain or hold marriage records. Rather, a marriage record is maintained and held separate from other Arizona vital records by the county clerk of superior courts in the county where the marriage license was issued.
Thus, record seekers can find Arizona marriage records through the clerks of counties' superior courts. These court clerks are also responsible for maintaining divorce records, such as divorce certificates and dissolution of marriage records in Arizona. Hence, record seekers can find and obtain divorce certificates in Arizona through these clerk offices.
It is important to note that certified copies of marriage records are not Arizona public marriage records. Certified copies are usually notarized and may have a raised seal, and only certain qualified persons and entities can request certified copies of marriage records in the state. However, county clerks of superior courts can provide unqualified record seekers with un-certified copies of marriage records.
Are Arizona Marriage Records Public?
Yes, Arizona marriage records are considered part of Arizona public records. However, only authorized persons or persons with a primary interest in the record may access these certified copies of records. These authorized individuals may include immediate family, legal representatives, authorized parties/bodies, or the person - above 18 years of age-whose name is on the record.
Family Court records can include marriage records and divorce records. These records contain the 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.
How to Find Out if Someone is Married in Arizona
To find out if someone is married in Arizona, inquirers can review the individuals personal records to find information on whether or not they have been issued a marriage license within state limits. Inquirers may also review Arizona public marriage records to ascertain if the individual is married in the state.
Marriage records in Arizona are held and maintained by the clerk of the superior court in the county where the Arizona marriage license was issued. Interested members of the public can request a marriage record search in Arizona through the county clerks of superior courts to find marriage records. However, access to certified marriage records is restricted to only authorized individuals. These include registrants over 18 years, their immediate family members, their legal representatives, and other authorized individuals/entities. Meanwhile, unauthorized individuals and entities are granted access to un-certified copies of requested marriage records.
To request a marriage record search, interested persons can visit the clerk's office in person, submit a public record request by mail or email, or use the court clerk’s website to place an order online. Usually, online requests would require the requestor to visit the website, naviagate public record request page, complete an online form, and submit it. Forms for requesting records may also be available on the court clerk's website. In-person, email or mail, requests may also be made to the clerks office. Whichever the case, the requesting party will be required to provide the following information to faciliate the record search:
- The record case number
- The full name of the parties involved
- The particular documents they require;
- The filing and marriage dates
- Their contact information, such as their phone number or email address, in case any inquiries about the requested data should come up.
Even though marriage records can attest that an individual was married in Arizona, they do not indicate whether they are still married. Hence, to verify if a marriage is still legally active, inquirers would also need to find out if the individual has any dissolution of marriage records or divorce records. County clerks of superior courts also maintain dissolution of marriage records, and these records can be obtained from them in the same manner as marriage records.
How to Check Marriage Status Online in Arizona
To check marriage status online, interested persons can request vital record information of the individual from the county clerk in the judicial district where they are resident. The vital records of an individual is a culmination of their personal records and information, this will include details of any marriage and/or divorce recorded in their name. However, to obtain this information the marriage record in question must not be restricted from public disclosure.
Both government websites and organizations may offer public vital records including divorce and marriage records. Third-party public record websites 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 sometimes sealed. Hence, the availability of these types of records cannot be guaranteed.
What are Arizona Marriage Records?
Arizona marriage records are documents that contain detailed information on marriages that were registered and took place in the state. Due to the sensitivity of the information in these records, the public is restricted from obtaining a certified copy of these records.
The information contained in Marriage Records includes:
- Identifying information about the Groom and Bride, such as full names, age, and marital status at the time of marriage
- Names of the parents of the Groom and Bride
- When the wedding ceremony took place
- County and state where the marriage license was issued
- Marriage license number
Common marriage records in the State of Arizona include marriage licenses, affidavits, and marriage certificates.
How Do I Obtain a Copy of My Marriage Record in Arizona?
Marriage records in Arizona are maintained by the Clerks of the Superior Courts in the counties where the marriage licenses were issued. Parties may request access to the Clerk of the Superior Court’s office at the applicable county.
As marriage records in the State are not kept at a central location, the methods for obtaining records may differ. Therefore, requesters have to look up the procedures, payment methods, and application requirements at the relevant county.
The costs for obtaining a copy, however, are uniform across the state. Requesters are required to pay a fee of $30.00 and an additional $7.00 for postage and handling to obtain copies of their marriage records. This payment may be made via cash or money order payable to the clerk's office. Common methods of requesting these records include mailing in the relevant application form, visiting the Superior Court County location, and requesting by phone.
Persons making the request must be 18 years of age or older, have a valid government-issued ID card, and have their Social Security Number.
The requester must also have certain information about the record, such as:
- Name of the groom
- Name of the bride (including former name, if applicable)
- County and state when the parties were wed
- The date, month, and year of the marriage ceremony
- The marriage license number
- Both license issuance and marriage dates may also help facilitate the search
- Where the full name of one or both of the spouses is not known, their birth date may be a helpful alternative
Individuals who do not have such information may request a search to locate the marriage record. This attracts an additional fee of $30.
Where to Find Free Arizona Marriage Records
Persons looking to obtain free Arizona marriage records may query the county clerk or the courthouse in the county where the marriage was recorded. These courthouses typically have self service computers with which interested persons can search the county's indexes for marriage information on a individual. To search using these computers, the inquirer must provide at least one of the following information
- The subjects full name
- Birth date
- Marriage license information (including filing and issuance date)
- The date of the marriage
However, these records are only free to view and inquirers interested in obtaining copies will be required to pay a nominal fee by cash or money order payable to the Clerk's Office. If the requestor also solicits the help of the clerk to save time, they may be required to pay a fee to cover the cost of the search.
How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Arizona
Parties who want to change their name after marriage in Arizona must first get their marriage license or certificate. These documents are essential, and parties must provide one of them when attempting a name change on other official documents. Newlyweds typically get their marriage license on their wedding day and also receive certified copies of their marriage certificate from their county clerk’s office.
Having obtained a marriage license or certificate, the first office to contact for a name change after marriage is the Social Security Administration (SSA). The interested party must complete the SS-5 form and attach a certified copy of their marriage certificate and a copy of their passport or driver’s license. The SSA will typically issue a new social security card with a new number within two weeks.
Once the person changing their name after marriage receives feedback from the SSA, they may send applications to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of State. For the IRS, the individual must complete form IRS 8822 and verify their new name to prevent future confusion regarding tax returns. The DOS issues international passports and amendment requests. To get a name changed on a passport, the applicant must complete forms DS-11, DS-82, or DS-5504 - depending on how long they’ve held their current passport. The applicant will also need to attach a copy of their marriage license, a current passport, and a 2x2 photograph.
What are Arizona Marriage Certificates?
Arizona marriage certificates are documents issued by the State of Arizona to newly-wed couples to show that the marriage is recognized in the eyes of the law. These documents prove that wedded couples are legally married.
A marriage certificate is only issued after the ceremony has been performed and the marriage license has been mailed back by the officiant to the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the license was granted.
The details contained on a marriage certificate in Arizona include:
- Full names of the spouses
- State/county where the marriage was finalized
- Date of marriage
- Names and signatures of witnesses
- Name of officiant of the ceremony
Persons who request copies of a marriage certificate in Arizona usually do so for legal, financial, identification, or genealogical reasons/purposes.
How do I Get My Marriage Certificate in Arizona
Original marriage certificates are usually issued by the county recorder's office in the county where the marriage license was issued. The certificate generally contains the names of the bride and groom, the date of the marriage, and the place of the marriage. To obtain an original marriage certificate, interested members of the public may submit a request form to the county recorder's office, along with a copy of their driver's license or other valid photo identification. There is usually a fee for this service, and it may take several weeks to receive the certificate.
How to Obtain a Copy of My Arizona Marriage Certificate
Requests for certified copies of a marriage certificate with a raised seal may also be directed to the clerk of the superior court in the county where the marriage license was issued. Written requests are required to contain the following information:
- The full names of the applicants prior to the marriage license application
- The marriage license number
- The social security number of the subjects
- Any name change information
- Money order payable to the court clerk for the specified fee
- A self-addressed, stamped envelope (for mail requests)
What are Arizona Marriage Licenses?
In accordance with the Statutes of Arizona State, two individuals who wish to be wed must obtain an Arizona marriage license from any of the 15 counties of the state prior to the marriage ceremony. This marriage license serves the sole purpose of granting the couples permission from the government to have the wedding ceremony. By their nature, marriage licenses contain more information and details than other types of marriage records.
Marriage licenses in Arizona are valid for 12 months in any county of the state and are only issued by the Clerk of Superior Court to persons who are of the legal age (18 years old and above).
However, Section 25-102 of Arizona Revised Statutes provides exceptions for persons who are under the legal age, but not below the minimum age of 16 years of age, to be issued marriage licenses if, and only if, they meet any of the following requirements:
- Have the consent of at least one parent or legal guardian
- Their spouse-to-be is not more than 3 years older
- If they possess an emancipation order
- If they possess a court order from a Judge of the Superior Court
Persons who fail to meet these requirements are, by law, prohibited from obtaining a marriage license.
Arizona Covenant Marriage Licenses
Arizona is one of three states in the United States that permit covenant marriages. This type of marriage is not entirely different from a conventional marriage. However, it requires different procedures for acquiring a marriage license, and grants couples additional options during divorce and separation proceedings. Parties who wish to obtain a covenant marriage license are required to:
- Attend pre-marital counseling and get a notarized statement or affidavit from the marriage counselor or member of the clergy
- State their intentions when applying for a license by preparing and signing a Declaration of Intent to Enter Into a Covenant Marriage document
- Possess valid government-issued IDs
- Be of the legal age (or between ages 16 to 18 years, with the consent of parent/guardian)
Furthermore, the Clerk of the Superior Court must witness the signatures of the two parties.
Arizona Common Law Marriage Licenses
The State of Arizona does not recognize common-law marriage and, therefore, does not issue licenses for this form of marriage. However, if the relationship between the parties involved was recognized in another state Arizona may also recognize the common law union between both parties.
Are Prenups Public Record in Arizona?
Per section 25-201 of Arizona Revised Statutes, a premarital agreement (also known as a prenup) is an agreement established between prospective spouses before marriage that becomes effective upon marriage. Prenuptial agreements are not mentioned in Arizona public record acts, and the state Uniform Premarital Agreement Act has no regulations that limit access to premarital agreements. However, certain forms of marriage records are confidential, prenuptial agreements could also be confidential records.