Difference Between Marriage License and Marriage Certificate

Marriage License vs Marriage Certificate

Marriage is a beautiful event in the life of an individual. This social ceremony ties two people together in more ways than one for a long, long time to come. Marriage, like birth and death, is recognized by the governments through a document called marriage certificate. There is another document called marriage license that confuses many as they cannot differentiate between the two. In fact, there are millions who feel that a marriage license is the same as a marriage certificate which, however, is not the case. The differences between these two legal documents will be made clear in this article.

Marriage License

You do not drive a car unless you have a valid driver’s license issued by the concerned department. In much the similar manner, marriage is a big responsibility that requires getting permission from the authorities. This permission is grated by governments in the shape of a marriage license. Once an individual gets a marriage license, he gets green signal from the authorities to go ahead and marry a person of his or her choice. In some states, one has to apply for a marriage license and provide information to the authorities about him and wait for a time period before he is granted the marriage license. In other states, there is no waiting period, and the marriage license is issued at the same time when a person marries to get his marriage certificate.

Whenever you want to marry, the first requirement is of course to get a marriage license. One has to apply for a marriage license at his local county clerk’s office and also pay a fee that is applicable. One has to fill the relevant forms and provide all the information that is required. In some states, an individual may even be required to undergo blood tests to prove that he is not suffering from venereal diseases or measles before he gets marriage license.

Marriage Certificate

The record kept by authorities and indicating the fact that two individuals married according to the provisions of the laws is referred to as marriage certificate. It is a document that reflects that a person has not only obtained the permission but also married. Inside United States, marriage certificate is the same document as the marriage license, and the event of the ceremony is mentioned on the same paper. This is usually done by the official who conducts the marriage ceremony.

What is the difference between Marriage License and Marriage Certificate?

• In many countries, a marriage license is a separate document from a marriage certificate, but in US, the marriage certificate and the marriage license are one and the same documents as the marriage event is recorded on the same document on a place reserved for it.

• A marriage license is like a permission from the authorities to get married whereas the marriage certificate indicates that the marriage was solemnized and witnessed as per the provisions of the law.

• One has to apply for a marriage license and wait for a few days in most states while providing all relevant information.

• One also has to pay a fee for the license.

• Marriage certificate is issued after the registration of marriage in the registrar’s office.

• In some states, marriage license and marriage certificates are issued on the same day